When a group of researchers concluded that cell phone usage during pregnancy may increase behavioral problems in babies. As national media reported, the study surveyed 13,000 women who used cell phones two to three times per day. The resulting data indicated that the more a woman talks on her cell phone while pregnant, the more likely it is that her child will be hyperactive or have other emotional and behavioral issues. The study’s accuracy, however, has come under scrutiny for a number of reasons.
One of the problems is that researchers also took into consideration the child’s use of cell phones through age seven. Thus, it’s difficult to attribute with certainty a child’s hyperactivity to in utero exposure to cell phones. Could that child’s use of a cell phone also contribute to or aggravate behavioral and emotional issues ? Some skeptics feel that women who talk excessively on the phone may be more inclined to ignore the needs of their children, a factor that explains why the incidence of hyperactivity among these children was higher.
Another flaw with this study is that it was conducted via a survey — which might not always the most reliable method, because some people will take the time to do the survey and some will not. The interviewers found that women with hyperactive children were more likely to fill out the study than those who did not have hyperactive children. The resulting data may have been unfairly weighted. Finally, a number of other published studies show that cell phones do not pose an increased risk during pregnancy.
So if you read reports that tell you to limit usage of your cell phone if you are pregnant. Chances are you might have called your obstetrician, who claimed he had never heard of that, and with good reason : there currently is no recommendation claiming that women should limit their usage of cell phones. The CDC has found no link between cell phone use and problems with pregnancies, but the question is whether or not the child will have developmental issues after birth. More studies need to be undertaken.
For now, we feel it a good precaution to decrease your belly’s exposure to cell phones. This means setting the phone away from you and using the speaker option if possible or using an ear apparatus like a wireless Bluetooth headset.