In our modern digital age, mobile phones have become an integral part of how we conduct our everyday lives, from business to socializing. The safety of mobile phone use has always been a controversial debate and, unfortunately, it remains uncertain if mobile phones are safe to use while you’re pregnant. Mobile phones have only been widely used since the 1990s, so it is impossible to measure any long-term effects as of yet.
Mobile phones emit low levels of radio waves, called non-ionising, electromagnetic radiation. This is not usual, as plenty of everyday household items such as your television, computer and microwave all emit this same type of radiation. Experts believe that this type of low-level radiation is unlikely to harm an unborn baby. However, other studies have shown that there may be links between babies exposed to mobile phone usage in the womb and childhood behavioural problems.
In a study involving pregnant mice that were placed near an active mobile phone, the results showed that the mice gave birth to offspring showing signs of hyperactivity and suffering poor memory. However, studies such as this have often been bashed as alarmist and unjustified. At this stage, it is virtually impossible to prove if there is any cause for concern.
What can you do?
Despite the uncertainty, many mums might understandably wish to exercise caution in this regard. You can monitor the amount of radiation you are exposed to by checking your phone’s SAR value. Each mobile phone in Europe is required to have an SAR (specific absorption rate) value, rated according to the levels of radiation absorbed by your body when using your phone. You can check your phone’s SAR on the manufacturer’s website to ensure your mobile safety.
You may wish to think about reducing your reliance on your mobile phone whilst pregnant. This can seem like an almost impossible task, but there are ways to decrease your mobile usage. Only use your mobile phone to make a phone call when you have no alternative. When you must use your phone, keep the call as short as possible. When you can, try to send a text message instead of making a phone call to reduce your exposure.
You may also like to explore the option of getting a headset in order to decrease the amount of radiation near your head. However, pregnant women should be careful to not place their phone on or near their stomach, and to avoid carrying a mobile phone on their person if at all possible. It is much safer to carry a mobile phone in your handbag, rather than in your pocket.