A question that has been of great debate for new age moms is whether using cell phones (now smartphones) is okay during pregnancy. While most of the recent research clearly tips towards a big ‘NO, it’s not safe,’ a recent study has proven that it’s actually not the case. In fact, this study has definitively gone on to say that using cell phones during pregnancy is pretty much okay and will not affect your baby’s development in any way.
Quite a bold statement, wouldn’t you say?
Well, before we divulge the details of this study, let’s find out what previous studies had to say so that we can actually clear up the cloud of confusion that has surrounded cell phone use during pregnancy for nearly a decade.
What We Have Known All Along About Pregnancy And Cell Phone Use
Cell phones have never been good news for women if we go by what previous studies have to say. And, there are many such studies to show the ill effects of this device on women who are carrying a baby (1).
According to one study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, children who are exposed to cell phones before being born and even soon afterward are more likely to develop behavioral problems later on in life (2). These behavioral problems could range from inattention and hyperactivity to antisocial behavior and more. Despite making strong claims, the researchers of the study went on to say that there’s very little data to back up the findings, and as of now, this is still a theory.
Now let’s take another study, which has made the same claim. This study was carried out on a large scale by lead researcher Dr. Laura Birks. It came to the conclusion that mothers who used cell phones when pregnant were more likely to have hyperactive children (3). The study had analyzed data collected from 80,000 pairs of mother and child who belonged to different countries such as Denmark, Norway, Spain, Korea, and the Netherlands. Even though findings stressed that children between 5 to 7 years of age were likely to suffer from hyperactivity due to their mothers talking on cell phones when pregnant, Birks herself requested readers to take this discovery with a pinch of salt. She said her research was unable to establish a concrete connection between cell phone use and the behavioral problems that children developed at a later stage.
What The Current Study Has To Say
As you can see from both the studies, researchers were unable to establish a direct link between the use of cell phones and the ill effects it can have on the health of the unborn baby. At this stage, these can almost be called myths. Fortunately, the myth-busting study is here to put all your fears to rest!
According to this new study, which was published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, not only does cell phone use not have any adverse effects on pregnancy – but instead, has a couple of positive benefits!
Yes, that’s right! The myth has been busted. And for good!
The lead author of this study, Dr. Eleni Papadopoulou, along with her team had analyzed 45,389 pairs of Norwegian mothers and children to effectively conclude that the use of cell phones during pregnancy has never been the cause of behavioral problems in children, neither does it affect the mental development of babies in any way.
“The concern for harm to the fetus caused by radio frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones, is mainly driven by reports from experimental animal studies with inconsistent results,” said Papadopoulou.
She also mentioned,“Even though this is an observational study, our findings do not support the hypothesis of adverse effects on child’s language, communication and motor skills due to the use of mobile phone during pregnancy.”
Her study went one step ahead and actually managed to find a positive correlation between cell phone use during pregnancy and the effect it has on children, especially on their language and motor skills. According to the data collected by this study, mommies who used their smartphones when pregnant had children who were 27% less likely to talk in very basic and simple sentences. Moreover, they were also 14% less likely to make use of wrong or incomplete grammar as well as 31% less likely to develop speech delays at the age of 3. Finally, they were also 18% less likely to have poor motor skills at the same age. All of these claims were made in comparison to women who did not use their phones when pregnant.
The study analyzed these children since birth up to 5 years of age, taking into account the self-reports given by the mothers of these children (4).
So, if you were worried all along that you would have to give up on your 24×7 palm-friendly entertainment device the moment you got preggers, you don’t have to anymore. Cell phone use has got the green signal!