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Is It Safe To Wear Bluetooth Devices And Fitness Bands During Pregnancy?

3 min read

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for this one as the research done on the same is too limited to get concrete views. However, if you go by the “better safe than sorry” philosophy, then it is best to not use them during the pregnancy. There is, of course, the strong counter point here. We have been hearing for long how mobiles or cell phones can result in tumors and cancers. But would we stop using it altogether during pregnancy? The amount of risk you want to expose the fetus to is a call that you need to take. We hope this article helps you make an educated choice.
SAR Levels

  • What Are SAR Levels Limits In Pregnancy?
  • The Other Side Of The Story – How Can Wearables Save Pregnancies?

What Are SAR Levels Limits In Pregnancy?

SAR refers to Specific Absorption Rate and is related to the radiation levels of electronic devices. The legal limit of SAR in the US is 1.6 W/kg, and interestingly, most of the mobile phones that we use has a SAR that is dangerously close to this 1.6W/kg limit.
But this is about cellphone radiation and we are discussing Bluetooth radiation in this article because most wearables use Bluetooth technology. There are very few studies that explore the harmful effects of Bluetooth. Many reports suggest that the radiation from Bluetooth devices is too low to be dangerous. However, some studies suggest that the SAR of Bluetooth devices are also not low enough for us breathe a sigh of relief. Furthermore, Bluetooth uses frequency in the range of 2.4 GHz to 2.48 GHz – this falls in the microwave range. That means, Bluetooth uses the same electromagnetic field as your microwave oven. Food for thought, huh?
And wearables are something that will be attached to your body at all times. Do you want you and the fetus to be in the microwave radiation range at all times? Or are you willing to trust the studies that deem Bluetooth safe – or at least many times safer than a cell phone? Most private researchers suggest that studies that prove Bluetooth to be “safe” are commissioned by the mobile industry and hence not true.
According to these private researchers, the short wave length and rapid oscillation of Bluetooth devices that help it travel long distances also make it easy to penetrate human tissue at a cellular level.
Woman wearing fitness device

The Other Side Of The Story – How Can Wearables Save Pregnancies?

Pregnancy these days come with a number of potential complications. Be it the more google-savvy parents or the more pertinent lifestyle changes, pregnant women tend to get easily panicky and insecure about things that can possibly go wrong. This is where wearables make a difference. While not yet so popular in India, but used extensively in developed nations, there are many wearable sensors that can help in ensuring a safe pregnancy. These devices are mainly:

  • Pregnancy audio belts that helps you play music to the baby in the womb (no kidding!), while doubling up as a belly support belt. It can be connected (via Bluetooth of course) to a MP3 player or iPod to play music
  • Handheld scanning devices that lets you do an ultrasound scan in the convenience of your home. It is small and can be used to hear baby”s heartbeat, record audio and visual footage or take pictures of baby inside the womb. It is again connected to your smartphone using Bluetooth
  • Health trackers that tracks various health parameters like weight, BMI, pulse and BP of the pregnant women and sends a warning signals when something is wrong

While these technological advances seem too good to be true, it is totally a different matter if you should use them. Are repeated ultrasound of your uterus a good idea? Ultrasound is also a radiation!
While we repeat that there are no solid, proven studies around the matter, using any kind of wireless technology is much like putting yourself in a field of microwave radiation – a risk you might want to avoid at least during pregnancy. Remember, lack of evidence that it can cause harm is not a vote on safety.

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