Moms-to-be, put down that phone!

Here is the tease to a CNN story:

[Image says: “Does mom’s cell phone hurt the kids?”]

I can’t resist stories that are directed ONLY at moms, so I clicked on it.

And then this image appeared:

[Image is of a disembodied white pregnant belly being used as cell phone resting spot.]

And here is the actual title of the story: Do cell phones cause behavioral problems?

Wait a second here!  I thought this was only about the pregnant moms and their cell phones?  Why aren’t they in the title of the article since they are clearly the ENTIRE subject here.

Then I actually READ the article and it says:

Children who had exposure to cell phones both in the womb and after birth, up to age 7  had a higher likelihood of behavioral problems than those who had no exposure, researchers said in a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

So, the study ranges from the womb to age 7.  But this is about the pregnant ladies ruining their children – don’t you forget it!

In this study, the researchers looked at more than 28,000 children. More than 10 percent of children who had prenatal exposure to cell phones had mothers who said they spoke on their cell phones four times a day or more. Nearly 50 percent of mothers said they had a cell phone turned on at all times.   Again, these figures are based on self-reporting by the mothers who participated in the study.

They found that, as with the previous study, the more frequently a mother used a cell phone, the greater the risk that her child would have a behavioral problem. This time around, they also ruled out a family history of behavioral problems, as well as the inattention of the mother.  Cell phone use and behavior problems were not related to time breast feeding and spent with the child, either, the researchers found.

Alright, so now that I know that part of the study to determine the origins of behavioral problems in children includes monitoring the inattentions of MOTHERS and since they have told me all about how bad prenatal cell phone use is, let’s get to that part about the other parent’s cell phone use, the years between birth and 7, or anything not related to moms doing bad things to their children.

Reading ahead, I realized how wrong I was, so I slapped myself upside the head, chuckled, shook my head, and said, “Those parts don’t exist, silly.”

In fact, the rest of the article basically tells you that this evidence proves nothing:

The association between cell phone exposure is not terribly strong, Kheifets said. Also, the authors do not yet know the mechanism behind the connection between cell phones and behavioral problems. One theory is that cell phone use may lead to excess secretion of the hormone melatonin, which can affect the mother’s metabolism and may influence the development of the fetus’s brain. But this is just a speculation, Kheifets said.

There is also no way to know whether the mothers were telling the truth about the amount of cell phone time they had. It’s impossible to tell from this research whether cell phone exposure really causes behavioral problems.

Just for the sake of repetition, let me repeat for you the third from last sentence in this article (it’s like they don’t want you to know this since it takes some serious scrolling to unveil it): IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL FROM THIS RESEARCH WHETHER CELL PHONE EXPOSURE REALLY CAUSES BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS. Did I say that loud enough for you to hear? 

It appears that this is another shitty story about policing pregnant women’s bodies when there is actually NOTHING to police.  See here.


7 thoughts on “Moms-to-be, put down that phone!

  1. As a recently new preggie, I am already tired of hearing what I can and can not do, and now they are trying to say I can’t use my phone. Great! lol.

    Seriously they just need to back off for a little bit, people have been having babies for years. lol

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting. Congratulations on your pregnancy. And yes, it is exhausting listening to the many (unfounded) claims about the terrible things that moms-to-be are doing to their babies. Since being pregnant (now over two years ago), I have been more and more aware of both the coverage and how most of these things are either statistically so tiny it’s barely worth a mention or just untrue. Good luck!

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  6. Can cell phones really cause behavioral problems? If this is true pregnant women should be aware of it. Are there studies conducted that supports this theory?

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