Today’s smartphones can give us travel directions, look up important information, and entertain us while we wait, but a new study suggests they may not be good for pregnant moms.
A new study by doctors at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in New York City suggests a mom’s ringing cell phone can surprise and irritate their unborn babies.
Dr. Boris Petrikovsky, director of maternal and fetal medicine, told the Philadelphia Inquirer the ringing cell phone bothers the fetus.
“What we figured out is that if you’re a baby in-utero and someone wakes you up every hour, you will not be a happy camper. The sound, and perhaps even vibrations, cause a lot of ‘startle reflex’, which disturbs the normal sleep cycle.”
Doctors at the New York hospital wanted to see why female physicians had more pregnancy complications than other women.
As part of their job, these women carry cell phones and beepers on their waist, which is also close to the baby’s head, and can be called many times throughout the day.
When the moms cell phones started ringing, the fetuses appeared to be startled, they turned their heads, opened their mouths, and blinked.
In other words, the ringing cell phones appear to wake up and scare the unborn baby, according to What To Expect.
When researchers kept ringing the mom’s cell phones, the fetuses kept being startled, meaning they didn’t get used to the sound. Doctors still don’t know if repeatedly startling the fetus is damaging to its health.
The study is small and hasn’t been peer reviewed or published yet, but doctors at Wyckoff aren’t taking any chances, Petrikovsky told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“So we now recommend that women not carry cellphones and beepers in close proximity to their baby. They should put it in their chest pocket or bag. The further away it is from the baby, the less chance the baby will be affected.”
The study will be presented this week at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in San Francisco.
We already know that cell phones may cause an increase in cancer risk in adults and especially in young children whose brains haven’t fully formed yet.
Mom’s who use cell phones are also more likely to have misbehaving children. Research suggests moms who use cell phones while pregnant regularly are 40 percent more likely to have kids with behavioral problems, according to Newser.
[Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images]