I’ve written many articles that included tips for what expectant mothers should do to protect their children from EMF radiation, but I’ve never specifically written a guide to address it.
So, in this article, I want to do just that. Not only are we going to talk about all of the potential dangers that EMF radiation poses to unborn children, but we’re also going to go in depth about how you can prevent this. We’ll talk about things you can do to protect your body, and your child’s throughout the entire pregnancy.
This is not a topic that is often talked about, but it really needs to be. There are some frightening studies that we’ll talk about that shed light on just how dangerous EMF radiation exposure can be.
Now, I’m not going to go in depth about what EMF radiation is, or why it’s generally of concern, as nearly every article on EMF Academy already covers that. Instead, I want to stay specifically focused on how EMF radiation affects all stages of pregnancy.
Now, I do just want to write a quick disclaimer. This article does mention some significant dangers to expectant mothers and is likely to be quite concerning. I want to mention this because I do not want this to be viewed as trying to scare you in any way. However, because this topic is not often enough covered, I wanted to do my best to spread needed information. I will do my utmost to back up everything I mention in this article with solid scientific research. When I do so, I will link directly to the science.
Alright, let’s get started.
EMF Radiation and Pregnancy – What Studies Show
So, if you’ve read my enormous guide on protecting children from EMF radiation, then you probably have some understanding of the general reasons that young children are more vulnerable to EMF radiation, including:
- A 2011 study found that “When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults”
- Their brains also have a different chemical makeup, containing a higher concentration of fluids and ions that can allow EMF radiation to penetrate significantly deeper into their brain tissue.
- Children also have smaller heads, meaning their entire brain is closer to the source of the EMF radiation.
However, there are also specific risks to the viability of the pregnancy that we also need to consider, so let’s look at a few important studies. These are in no particular order.
Kaiser Permanente Cohort Miscarriage Study
In 2017, researchers De-Kun Li, Hong Chen, Jeannette R. Ferber, Roxana Odouli & Charles Quesenberry published a study. They examined 913 women throughout the entirety of their pregnancies, looking for possible correlation between levels of EMF radiation exposure, and an increased likelihood of miscarriage.
All of the women used special meters called the EMDEX lite that tracked their interaction with magnetic fields each day, and they kept a log of what they did and where they went, as well as noting if they felt that they had any high exposures to EMF radiation.
The researchers also conducted in-person interviews with the participants to find out family history, environmental risks, and anything else that could affect the results of the study.
Ultimately, the study found that women exposed to large amounts of magnetic field radiation, a type of EMF radiation, were nearly three times more likely to miscarry in comparison to those who had low exposures.
A quote from the study:
“In this study, we found an almost three-fold increased risk of miscarriage if a pregnant woman was exposed to higher MF levels compared to women with lower MF exposure. The association was independent of any specific MF exposure sources or locations, thus removing the concern that other factors connected to the sources of the exposure might account for the observed associations…
…Given the ubiquitous nature of exposure to this non-ionizing radiation, a small increased risk due to MF exposure could lead to unacceptable health consequences to pregnant women. Although the number of epidemiological studies examining the adverse impact of MF exposure in humans remains limited, the findings of this study should bring attention to this potentially important environmental hazard to pregnant women, at least in the context of miscarriage risk, and stimulate much needed additional research.”
Study On Use of Cell Phones and Risk of Spontaneous Abortion
Another important study was conducted by the Faculty of Medical Science at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran and published in the Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering in 2015 titled: “Use of mobile phone during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion.”
Now, it’s important to note that this was a post-perspective study, meaning the participants were interviewed after their miscarriages, instead of being followed throughout their pregnancies.
In the study, 292 women who miscarried prior to 14 weeks, and 308 women who miscarried after 14 weeks, were interviewed. The researchers collected data about socioeconomics, medical and reproductive history, as well as lifestyle choices.
More importantly for our purposes though, the women were also asked detailed questions about their cell phone use during their pregnancy, including calling time per day, where they kept their cell phones when they were not using them, whether they used hands free equipment, what other activities they did on their phone and how often, etc.
They also asked them about what cell phones they used and looked at the reported specific absorption rates (SAR) of those phones.
After analyzing the data, they concluded:
“This study demonstrated an increased risk of spontaneous abortions associated with EMF exposure and confirmed the results of other researches”
Study On At-Home EMF Exposures and Miscarriages
In 1993 the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Kuopio, Finland published a study that examined the increased likelihood for miscarrying if the homes of the studied women had higher levels of magnetic radiation.
The researchers took measurements in 89 participants homes. They found that those with the highest levels of exposure to magnetic fields resulted in a five-fold increase in miscarriage risk.
Now, I do want to mention that the researchers also concluded: “The results should be interpreted cautiously due to the small number of highly exposed subjects and other limitations of the data.”
So, although the same size was small, it does point to a likely increase in risk for women whose homes have high levels of EMF radiation exposure.
Chinese Study On Exposure of Female Mice to ELF Magnetic Fields
The last study I want to mention related to miscarriage risk is not on humans but is still telling about the potential dangers of EMF radiation on the reproductive system and viability of offspring in the case of mice.
Mice were split into two groups. A control group was simply observed, with no unnecisary exposure to EMF radiation, and a case group that was exposed to fairly large amounts (given their size) of magnetic fields throughout their pregnancies.
The results showed that the case group, who were exposed to EMF radiation, produced 60% less offspring. In addition, spontaneous abortions, as well as fetal deformities, were extremely common in the control group.
Prenatal EMF Exposure and It’s Effect on Child Behavioral Problems
The risks of EMF radiation exposure for pregnant mothers extends beyond just an increased miscarriage risk, and has also been associated with long-term affects on children.
The used questionnaires to gather information from over 13,000 children and parents for the 2008 study, and over 28,000 children for the 2012 study, and looked at cell-phone use both while the child was inside the womb, and then the child’s use of cell-phones growing up.
In both studies, they concluded that children with the highest levels of exposure were more likely to suffer from emotional and behavioral issues compared to those with minimal or no exposure.
In the conclusion of the 2008 study, researchers wrote:
“Exposure to cell phones prenatally-and, to a lesser degree, postnatally-was associated with behavioral difficulties such as emotional and hyperactivity problems around the age of school entry… …If real, they would be of public health concern given the widespread use of this technology.”
In addition, a 2017 cohort study examined just over 80,000 children and mothers, and again looked at their cell-phone use both prenatally and use of the child after birth. This was the largest study of this kind completed to date.
The researchers concluded:
“Maternal cell phone use during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk for behavioral problems, particularly hyperactivity/inattention problems, in the offspring. “
Magnetic Radiation and Increased Child Obesity Risk
In 2012, another study by the Kaiser Permanente Research Division found that children who had the highest levels of magnetic radiation exposure while in the womb, had up to a 69% increased risk of obesity later in live.
At the end of the abstract, the researchers did, what I think, is a fantastic job summarizing what studies have shown about EMF exposure and it’s effect both on pregnancy outcomes, and the health of the child:
“Studies have shown that EMFs could impact pregnancy outcomes and childhood diseases including asthma. Higher EMF has also been associated with diabetes in humans, and overweight and high glucose level in animals. A recent study published in JAMA showed an EMF effect on glucose metabolism, which provides a direct biological plausibility for a possible EMF effect on the risk of obesity. In a recently published paper in Scientific Reports, in-utero MF exposure has been associated with ADHD in offspring indicating an EMF effect on fetal neurological development in mice. Therefore, exposure to EMFs during pregnancy could potentially impact the fetal development including fetal endocrine and metabolic systems, predisposing offspring to a higher risk of obesity.”
The results of all of these studies, however, are consistent with many other studies that have been performed over the last 30 years.
I know I went a bit long outlining some of the studies that have been conducted around this topic, but I think it’s extremely important to understand that this is a known issue, at least in the scientific community. So it’s worth asking yourself why it isn’t talked about more.
There are a wealth of other studies showing a connection between exposure to EMF radiation and all kinds of potential health effects. However, I don’t want to completely derail this article into simply a roundup of those studies.
I will mention that the Environmental Health Trust, a leading non-profit spreading important information about EMF radiation, has an article that is full of these studies, with links directly to the research. So, if the summaries above were not enough to convince you of this potential risk, please take a moment and check out that article.
The BabySafe Project
The Environmental Health Trust, in partnership with Grassroots Environmental Education started an educational website and movement called The BabySafe Project to spread information about the dangers of EMF radiation in relation to pregnancy.
I wanted to mention it in this article because I think it’s an excellent resource for more information on the topic, and it’s lead entirely by non-profits. You can request free information and materials that they will mail directly to you for free, thanks to donations to the project.
In addition, they have, what I think, is a really powerful join statement on the website that has been signed now by hundreds of physicians, researchers, and educators. It reads:
They also have a great video on this subject:
Alright, now that we’ve spent to so much time talking about what the studies show us, and what resources we have available on the topic, I think it’s important to spend the rest of the article talking about what we can do about it.
How can we go about protecting ourselves, and our children, from the dangers of EMF radiation. Luckily, there are some things we can do, and products we can use, to dramatically reduce our risk of these dangers.
Pregnancy and EMF Radiation – How To Protect Yourself and Your Baby
So, I think it’s important for this section to note, that from the research above, as well as other sources, we know that the risk of EMF radiation exposure is cumulative. Meaning the danger isn’t from short, acute exposures, but rather from our everyday use and habits.
So, I’m going to break this section into two parts. First, we’ll talk about simple changes you can make to dramatically lower your general exposure to EMF radiation while pregnant. After that, we’ll talk about some available products on the market that can make this even simpler.
Ways To Reduce Your Exposure While Pregnant
Although there are more risks than just miscarriage from EMF radiation, it’s important to remember that 99% of all miscarriages happen in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. So, this is the most crucial time to take precaution. Don’t be overly stressed, as this isn’t good for you or baby either.
However, if you can make small changes like the ones below, you and baby should be healthier and happier.
1. Keep Distance
One of the most important general concepts of EMF protection, is the importance of maintaining distance from sources of EMF radiation. There is something called the Inverse Square Law of Physics, that essentially states that as we double the distance between ourselves and a source of radiation, we quarter our exposure to it. This means that any distance you can gain gives you exponential amounts of protection.
So, a few examples of ways we can utilize this to protect a pregnancy:
- When you’re on your cell-phone, try not to have it on or near your belly. There are some great products that can help with this that we’ll talk about down below.
- If you’re using a laptop or tablet, try sitting at a table instead of resting it on or near your belly.
- If you have WiFi in the home, and you absolutely can’t just turn it off, make sure it’s as far away from where you spend time as possible.
Those are just a few examples, but in general, just do your best to put distance between yourself and sources of EMF radiation.
2. Complete A Home EMF Audit
I think this one is really important, not only for the pregnancy but for the health of your entire family in the long run. Limiting our exposure to EMF radiation in the home can go a very long we in reducing our cumulative exposure risk.
Luckily, there are a ton of simple things we can do, but I’m not going to add thousands of words to this post by trying to write them all out. Instead, I’ll point you to my enormous Home EMF Protection Guide, which outlines tons of steps you can take to both test your home for radiation, and remediate those exposures.
Pay special attention to the areas you spend the most time.
3. Make Your Bedroom A Safe Haven
Reducing EMF radiation exposures in the areas we spend the most time is extremely crucial. So, it’s really important that we make sure your bedroom has the least amount of EMF’s as possible.
Things like not sleeping next to your cell-phone (or turning it off at night), getting un-needed electronics out of the room, turning off WiFi at night, getting an EMF protection canopy, and making sure your bed doesn’t have metal springs can all make a huge difference.
If you want to learn all the things that you can do to rid your bedroom of EMF radiation, be sure to check out this guide.
4. Get an EMF Meter
One of the most important general steps to protecting yourself from EMF radiation is making sure you have a quality EMF meter (I use this one).
Not only is this a crucial tool for the steps above, but it will simply help you understand how much, of what kind, of EMF radiation you have in your home. It will also allow you to know if the remediation steps you are taking are actually making a difference.
This is simply a tool that I think every household should have moving forward.
5. Consider Ditching Wireless
Many people don’t think about what a pervasive danger WiFi in the home can actually be. Modern routers are extremely powerful, and designed specifically to penetrate the walls of your home to offer better coverage and faster speeds.
The problem is that these same designs allow them to expose you to wireless radiation 24 hours a day. I won’t go into too much detail about why this is dangerous, but I do want to mention a few things that you can do.
- If you can help it, consider setting up wired internet instead. You’ll have faster and more reliable internet, without the EMF radiation. I wrote up a full guide on exactly how you can do this.
- If you can’t stand to get rid of your WiFi, at least consider turning it off at night. You’re likely not using it anyway, and you’ll get better sleep and be healthier. Take a look at this article to find out simple ways to do this automatically.
- Want to keep the WiFi? Consider using a WiFi router guard, that will reduce the amount of radiation you’ll be exposed to, and only a minor cost to the range of the connection.
- Or, opt for a Low EMF Router.
The bottom line is, anything you can do to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation is going to go a long way toward protecting your pregnancy. So, take a look at the guides on this site, as well as other reputable sources, and educate yourself on simple things you can do.
Now that we’ve talked about some of the best ways to protect yourself and your baby from EMF radiation, let’s talk about some of the best products on the market that make this quite a bit easier.
Best Products for Pregnancy EMF Protection
So, there are lots of great products on the market for EMF protection, many of which are on my recommended products page. However, I want to caution you that there are also a lot of fake, or scam products on the market.
Since more and more people are recognizing the dangers of EMF radiation, and the market for protection products is growing, more companies are entering the market. Many of the products that these companies are introducing are not at all backed by science or research, and they are simply trying to take advantage of a growing marketplace.
So, no matter what product you’re considering purchasing, do some due diligence to make sure you can trust the company, and the product.
Now, let’s look at some of the best products, in my opinion, for protecting your pregnancy from EMF radiation.
1. Maternity EMF Protection Blanket
This is probably my favorite EMF product if you’re pregnant, not only because it works, but because it’s so incredibly easy to use. I wrote up an entire guide on these blankets and how they work, but I want to focus on my favorite one from Defendershield.
The way blankets like this one work is simple to understand. The outside is made of organic bamboo fabric, so it’s hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and extremely soft. Inside of the bamboo is a shielding material capable of blocking “virtually 100% of wireless (RF) radiation from cell phones, tablets, laptops, WiFi routers, and other electronic devices.”
So, when you’re sitting on the couch or lying in bed, you simply drape the blanket over your belly. Not only will you be able to use your cell-phone, tablet, or laptop without exposing your body, or your baby, to radiation, but you’ll also protect your baby from any other radiation in the house, or from outside sources.
I own and have tested just about every anti-radiation blanket on the market, and I really love this one from Defendershield. First of all, it’s a nice size, many of the blankets on the market seem a bit small. I also love that it’s made of hypo-allergenic organic bamboo instead of cotton or synthetic fibers. Finally, the weight of the blanket felt really comforting to my wife, it is made extremely well.
2. Defendershield Belly Band
Defendershield recently came out with a fantastic pregnancy bellyband that I am so excited about.
It works just like you would think from looking at the picture. Instead of using a blanket to protect your belly, which doesn’t really work if you’re out and about, you can instead wear this lightweight belly band.
The outside is a comfortable cotton material, while the inside is lined with Radiashield, another EMF blocking material.
They are specifically designed so that they stand in place, without feeling constricting. The pleated design allows you to easily adjust the placement, as well as allowing the band to fit at any point of your pregnancy.
Out of all the bellyband products I’ve seen, this one from Defendershield is by far the nicest.
What About Other Products?
There are an enormous amount of EMF protection products on the market, some of which are fantastic. However, as far as specifically relating to maternity protection, these are the best products on the market in my opinion.
Things like protection cell-phone cases are great for protecting mom while on a phone call, but may not be a good product for pregnancy. This is primarily due to the fact that the design of these cases can sometimes result in more radiation emitting out of the back of the. phone.
Usually, this isn’t a problem, but we don’t want your phone emitting more radiation towards baby.
This article took a really long time to write, but as I was writing it something really struck me as odd. I can’t believe how much research has been published over the last 20 or so years on the topic of EMF radiation and pregnancy, and yet we so rarely hear about this danger.
To me, this says that there must be forces at work attempting to limit this information.
If you found this article helpful and informative, and have read this far, will you please help us all by sharing this with your friends and family. We need to take it upon ourselves to spread important information about the dangers of wireless radiation.
Thank you so much.
Your friend in health,