Is It Safe? Using the Microwave

using a microwave while pregnant

"Don't stand so close to me."

I wasn't a totally by-the-books pregnant girl. I had the occasional sip of wine, I didn't give up soft cheese, I took cold medication (with my midwife's approval) once when I was literally suffering from the worst cold of my life.

But using the microwave? I'm sorry, but radiation just freaks me out. I'm not saying I didn't use it -- I had meals to prepare for my hungry toddler -- but I did pretty much turn it on and then just run out of the kitchen.

Microwaves are at home, in the office, everywhere. So what's the deal? Is it safe to use a microwave while pregnant?


Long story short, it's probably fine, although, honestly, there hasn't been tons of research done.

Here's the longer answer.

Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to raise the temperature of a cell. The radiation causes electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and there has been some concern that exposure to EMFs might lead to low birth weight or birth defects. But there have been no studies clearly linking the two.

One microwave concern that applies whether you're pregnant or not -- radiation leakage. With some older microwaves, this is a possibility if the seal on the door is broken (check to see if air escapes when it's in use). In more modern models, the oven typically won't work if the seal is broken, so newer is safer.

And of course you don't have to stand in front of the thing while it's on if that makes you feel better.

As always, talk to your doctor about any safety concerns you may have.

Do you worry about exposure to potential environmental toxins like EMFs, second-hand smoke, and common household chemicals?

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