The Safety of Computer Use During Pregnancy

There has been a fear around using computers while pregnant that has been with us since the 1970s. If you use computers for a large part of your day, either for work or for school, then you might be concerned. The good news is, you have nothing to worry about. While there was once a concern that computer use could harm the unborn baby, causing miscarriage or birth defects, this is now not considered to be the case.

So what caused these concerns in the first place. In the 1970s there were clusters of miscarriages in the US, Canada, and in the UK. An article on babycenter.com cites a UK study of women working for the Civil Service. Women who worked with computers had a higher rate of miscarriage than those women who didn’t. However, this study just didn’t hold up to repeated research. There simply was no correlation to be found between computer use and miscarriages.

The potential danger in computer use during pregnancy was considered to come from the monitor. The monitor does put out electromagnetic radiation and this was the concern. It has been determined, after many years of study, that women and their unborn babies are safe when it comes to sitting in front of a computer screen. The electromagnetic radiation is non-ionizing and this means that it does not affect the body in the same way that x-rays and CT scans do.

The real concern these days when it comes to pregnant women using the computer for long periods of time is that they get little or no movement, which is crucial while pregnant. Sitting at a desk in front of a computer for hours is not recommended. If you must be at your computer for hours, then it is advisable to take frequent breaks during which time you get up and walk around. The general rule of thumb for the average person is 10 minutes per hour of sitting, but you will need to lengthen that while pregnant. Stretching will also help. Movement causes your circulation to get moving faster and it will help if you have any conditions such as sciatica.

It is also more important than ever to ensure that you have good ergonomics when you are pregnant. Make sure your chair and computer monitor are both at a good height so that your eyes are level with the top of the screen, your forearms are horizontal, and your wrists are straight. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your back should have good support. It is also a good idea to get your eyes checked and make sure that your vision is good.

Knowing that it is safe to work with a computer for long periods of time is a relief for those women who have to use a computer for many hours each day. Knowing that your baby is safe while you earn a living is important because the stress it would cause if you were to have to give up your job or have to find some way around using a computer would be monumental. In today’s world the computer is so much more important and integrated into society than it was in the 1970s. People use them at work and then come home and use computers for banking, paying bills, shopping, finding information, and keeping in touch with family and friends. Computers simply cannot be avoided. There is peace of mind in knowing you can use yours risk-free.

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