Are computers and laptops safe in pregnancy?

Here is a quote from the Health Physics Society website: "There is no radiation issue associated with using a laptop or any computer during your pregnancy. Since laptops do emit a fair amount of heat, though, not putting them on your abdomen is prudent, but using them on your lap (your thighs) is fine."

If you have a baby bump, you’ve probably been tempted to use it as a laptop tray while you’re lounging on the couch or in bed. This position is not recommended, but it’s not because of any harmful electromagnetic waves. A recent study tested the fetus after exposure to the electromagnetic forces put out by any laptop, and there were no negative side effects. However, your laptop gets hot while you use it, so you should always avoid putting it directly on your growing baby. Extreme heat has been known to cause serious birth defects, as it hinders the normal growth cycle. So, if you surf the web with your laptop resting on your belly, you won’t cause any damage because of the laptop’s electromagnetic output, but you could harm your baby from the high temperatures of the base.

In addition to high levels of heat that could harm your baby, using your laptop in such a relaxed seated position could hurt your body in the long run. Sitting for a long period of time while pregnant has been linked with blood clots, especially if the pressure is in an unusual spot. You should make sure you practice proper posture when pregnant by putting your laptop on a desk or table and sitting upright in a chair. That way, the heat won’t get to your fetus, and you’ll have less back and arm pain in the long run.

Source: Nicola Zoppetti et al: Evaluation And Characterization Of Fetal Exposures To Low Frequency Magnetic Fields Generated By Laptop Computers. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology Volume 107 Issue 3 pp. 456-463 December 2011

Are WiFis safe in pregnancy?

The safety of Wi-Fi use is a debatable subject. While the United States offers Wi-Fi everywhere, from the New York City subways to your local coffee shop, other countries are more rigid.  Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Australia, and China have set strict limits regarding Wi-Fi use in schools and places where children congregate. It’s been known that children do absorb radiation quicker and at a higher rate than adults, and during pregnancy, the potential for harm may be even higher.

How does Wi-Fi work?

Wi-Fi uses microwave electromagnetic radiation (EMR) to carry signals in a building or area, instead of wired connection such as an Ethernet wire.  WiFi uses microwaves in the 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz frequency range. This is similar to what is used in cordless phones and microwave ovens.  Actually, microwaves use even more power but that is contained within the oven.

Dangers From Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi signals go through walls, floors, and various objects and can bounce off each other, too. There is an increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation when using Wi-Fi and increased risk of potential health effects.

This is especially true for children and certain adults who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. The brains of children are still developing. In addition, while a child using a laptop may fall into the safe category, when the child is in a classroom with 20-30 laptops at the same time, the rate of electromagnetic radiation is multiplied.

Wi-Fi And Pregnancy

There aren’t any studies on Wi-Fi during pregnancy but it’s well worth taking some precautions:

  • Use Ethernet wires if you can.
  • Stay away from places where there is non-stop Wi-Fi and multiple users.
  • Keep your Wi-Fi router in a place where you are not often near.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on Wi-Fi devices.
  • Don’t place your laptop or tablet on your lap. Use them on a table or desk instead.
  • Turn your Wi-Fi off at night.

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