An electric blanket can keep you warm and cosy. But, what if you are pregnant, can you still use one? Read on to know if electric blankets are safe to use through pregnancy before you actually use one.
Though electric blankets are comfortable and warm during winters, yet if you’re pregnant, you need to stop and find out if it’s safe for you to use. Essentially, it’s safe for you to use an electric blanket during your pregnancy, but ensure that you don’t sleep with it while it’s still on.
Read More: Ketosis during Pregnancy – Is it safe?
What makes electric blankets unsafe for pregnant women
Pregnant women should not use electric blankets because they emit low frequency electromagnetic field (EMF). This refers to an invisible block of energy that surrounds wiring and electric devices.
Risks of Using Electric Blankets During Pregnancy
There are several high risks to using electric blankets when pregnant. For one, they create a magnetic field that enters the body, about six to seven inches for hours consecutively. According to studies, electric blankets are linked with childhood leukaemia and miscarriages.
According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, when pregnant women use electric blankets regularly, they unknowingly increase their risk for breast cancer. Further, they also increase their risk for endometrial cancer by 15%.
Electric blankets are also known to generate electric magnetic fields that suppress the production of melatonin, the most important detox agent for the brain. Due to electromagnetic radiation, inflammation can worsen by bringing into effect very strong mycotoxins, making the need for reducing inflammation paramount.
Health concerns of sleeping with an electric blanket during pregnancy
Being pregnant can expose you to various health problems if you sleep under an electric blanket. One, if you sleep with it on, you could get overheated if it’s not set at the right temperature. If this happens while you’re in your first trimester when your baby’s nerve tubes are still developing, an overheated state can cause disruption in the neural tube development and related problems like spina bifida. You can also have an increased risk for miscarriage if overheated.
Sleeping with an electric blanket can heat you up so much that you break out into a sweat, making you dehydrated, something you don’t want when you’re pregnant.
Still want to use an electric blanket? Here are some tips
You needn’t completely write off using an electric blanket while pregnant. You can, instead, use it with a great deal of caution. Here are some cautionary tips:
- Use your blanket only to warm your bed and turn it off before you turn in. This will prevent you from getting overheated and you can fall asleep in a warm bed.
- Ensure that the temperature settings are safe enough for you to use. Check with the instruction manual to be sure.
- Buy a low voltage electric blanket, to be on the safe side.
- According to doctors’ recommendations, pregnant women should not use an electric blanket, particularly from Week 1 to Week 7 of their pregnancy. At this time, pregnant woman are high risk for endometrial cancer and miscarriage due to an active electromagnetic field. Once the first seven weeks are over, the risk of miscarriage is considerably reduced and the pregnant woman can safely use it by placing it on a low setting.
- Instead of using an electric blanket, doctors advise their pregnant patients to use either a doubly thick duvet or to sleep with a hot water bottle.
- Also, pregnant women should stop using electric blankets in their ninth month as their water bag might burst and they can suffer an electric shock.
Read More: Is It Safe To Have Sex During Pregnancy?
Alternatives to using an electric blanket:
- One good alternative is to use a microwavable Bed Buddy hot pack. Microwave it for just a minute and it will remain warm all night.
- Another option is to use flannel sheets that are soft to touch and will keep you warm and comfortable in bed.
- You can also wear socks or a hat at night or use a hot water bottle.
- Responding to concerns about electromagnetic frequencies in electric blankets, U.S blanket makers have hit upon making blankets that do not generate any dangerous electromagnetic radiation. However, in spite of vastly reducing electromagnetic fields or eliminating them entirely, these “zero magnetic field” blankets might still reduce or eliminate magnetic fields, they may still generate electric fields that pose a high risk for pregnant women and their children, particularly those prone to Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS).