A pregnant woman is responsible for caring for herself and her baby. Any action she takes usually has a direct or indirect influence on the baby growing inside her. Therefore, it is always in their best interest to engage in only activities that are safe all through the period of her pregnancy.
One of the activities that are usually tempting to pregnant women is laying out in the sun, particularly during summer. The allure to get into a swimsuit, get a towel and lay out in the sun is usually strong, especially considering the fact that the body needs Vitamin D. However, it is important for pregnant women to protect themselves and the baby when they are laying out in the sun.
Why? Because some problems are associated with laying out in the sun when pregnant.
Problems associated with laying out in the sun when pregnant.
• Folic acid challenges
In a study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology in 2005, it was revealed that when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, the degradation of folic acid occurs. Considering that folic acid is essential for the growth and development of the baby, it means that pregnant women need to exercise caution when laying out in the sun. Folic acid deficiency may result in the baby’s physical deformities, like spina bifida.
• Issues with pregnancy
Female hormones are usually secreted in excess in a pregnant woman’s body and this opens the door to some specific problems when the skin is exposed to the sun. Melasma, which is also known as pregnancy mask, is a condition in which the area above the lip gets hyper-pigmented. These pigments may get darkened during pregnancy upon exposure to sunlight causing the darkened skin to be more visible. It is also possible to experience overheating from laying out in the sun when pregnant, and this my lead to dizziness, general nausea, or some kind of deformations in the baby.
If you are going to lay out in the sun when pregnant, then it is vital that you take follow these safety tips to ensure that you keep yourself and the baby safe from the problems that are associated with staying out in the sun. The safety tips include;
• Use sunscreen
The skin of a pregnant woman is more susceptible to sunburns. So, it is important that pregnant women protect themselves from the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. The sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours to ensure the skin is protected from UV rays – both UVA rays and UVB rays.
Don’t use any tanning lotions, reserve these after you give birth, and we strongly recommend you use quality tanning lotions for outdoors use only, do not go for indoor tanning just yet.
• Get cool from time to time
Every now and then when laying out in the sun, take out some time to sit in the shade, an air-conditioned room, or in a pool. Doing this will reduce the chance of experiencing overheating, dehydration, or overexposure, all three being conditions that may lead to pre-tern contractions. If there’s no shade, cover the baby bump with sun-protective clothing.
• Drink lots of fluids
Drinking water while laying in the sun help keep the body temperature low enough for the pregnant woman and the baby to be comfortable. Since sweating will be pronounced, more fluids should be taken.