With all of the health concerns that pop up in your mind during pregnancy, it’s normal to wonder whether using microwaves are safe to use while you’re pregnant. After all, having a machine with the potential to release radiation in your home is a valid concern.

Microwaves heat food and beverages through the use of electromagnetic radiation which is created by the waves emitted. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that microwaves are a kind of non-ionizing radiation, meaning they “do not have the same risks as x-rays or other types of ionizing radiation. (Ionizing radiation is a more energetic type of radiation that can cause changes to human cells.)”

The regulates the safety standards for microwaves. It’s important to purchase new, unused models that ensure safety. People have been using microwaves for over 50 years but there haven’t been any definitive studies performed on pregnant women who use microwaves for obvious reasons.

The FDA does recommend that all people, pregnant or not, take certain precautions when using a microwave:

  1. Follow the user’s manual. Every microwave is different, and some state that you should not ever operate it without food in it.
  2. Use only microwave-safe containers. Some plastic dishes can melt and release chemicals into the food.
  3. Do not overheat water or other liquids. The number one safety precaution (and injury) from microwaves are getting burned by overheated beverages.
  4. Check microwave for signs of leakage. Inspect the door hinges, latch, and seals to ensure they are not damaged.
  5. When you operate a microwave, take a few steps back. While there is no evidence that standing next to a microwave will cause any harmful effects, it’s pretty simple to move your body and belly away from any microwaves in use.
  6. Never lean on a microwave when it is operating.

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