There is no doubt about it – a little bit of colour makes us look healthier. Even mums-to-be look and feel better this way.
There is no confirmed evidence that proves that tanning while pregnant – whether you tan indoors or outdoors – is harmful to your baby. Whether you choose to tan out in the garden or on the beach, or in a tanning salon, the UV radiation is the same. It is just more concentrated when you use a tanning bed.
There is one true point about UV radiation, and this is that it is a cause of skin cancer. Additionally, it causes wrinkles and premature ageing, so if you choose to get a bit of colour, you should be aware of these risks.
Tanning Safety when pregnant
As the weather warms up, and we unpack those summer dresses and shorts, many of us notice how pale we have become over the winter months. How nice to be able to wear a sundress with a little colour to our skin. So, can you bronze your skin while you are pregnant?
Exposure to the sun adds a risk of premature ageing and skin cancer, whether you are pregnant or not. However, if you want a little extra colour on your skin, then it’s important to make wise choices about types of tanning, and times of exposure.
Some studies have shown that there is a link between UV rays and folic acid deficiency because UV rays are known to break down folic acid. This is important in the first trimester when your baby’s neural system is formed.
If you intend to tan, you should discuss with your health provider about increasing your folic acid intake during the early months of your pregnancy.
To date, there are no studies that show conclusively that tanning in a tanning bed will harm your baby. However, there are some ways that can be harmful to both you and your unborn babe.
Overheating is positively associated with spinal problems in an unborn baby, so it is best to avoid saunas when you are pregnant. This is because prolonged time spent in the sauna will raise your body temperature. You may become dehydrated, and dizzy, and possibly faint.
UV rays, whether they come from the sun or a tanning bed cannot possibly penetrate deep enough to cause damage inside you. If you think about it, everyone who regularly tanned (outside or inside) would be cooked inside.
For the comfort and your own safety, you should get to your tanning salon early in the morning when all the beds will still be cool.
Your skin during pregnancy will probably be more sensitive so limit your time in the tanning bed, and make sure you keep a fan on in the room.
Spray tans have advantages in that you become tanned quicker than in a bed. However, the chemicals which are used in the spray will reach your baby if you have breathed them in, so perhaps avoid this method while you are pregnant.
Tanning in a controlled environment is safer than spending a day outside in 100 degrees or over, and then finding yourself burned to a crisp.
Because pregnancy will make your skin more sensitive, you may find that spending prolonged time in the sun will cause you to come out in a heat rash or hives.
It may be better for you to alternate between sun and shade through the day, with more time being spent in the shade. This is the same whether you are pregnant or not.
Make sure you drink plenty of water. It is also important that you use a good-quality sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, and that you wear a hat.
If you find that you feel dizzy or nauseous at any time, you should move to an air-conditioned area and stay hydrated there.
The Best Sunscreens of 2018
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF30
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF45
Neutrogena Ultra SheerSPF70
If you are pregnant this is probably the best option for you. You’ll be avoiding UV rays so there is less chance of developing hives and rashes. Your risk of skin cancer will also have been reduced.
There are dozens of types of sunless tanning lotions available. They come in creams, lotions, and foams. Some are odourless, some are perfumed, and all of them provide colour almost immediately.
Sunless tanning lotions are good value for money when you consider how many tanning sessions you need to buy to get a reasonable tan.
The downside of sunless tanning lotion is the concern that the active ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA) can penetrate your skin. While no studies have shown to do this, some healthcare providers may discourage you from this tanning option, particularly in the first trimester.
If you choose this option when you become pregnant, then you should try a patch test first. Even if you have uses this method of tanning before, when you are pregnant your skin will be more sensitive and easily irritated.
The Best Tanning Lotions For Sensitive Skin
Millennium Tanning Paint It Black 50X
Tan Overnight Tanning Lotion
Millenium Tanning Black Storm
Sun exposure and Chloasma
Chloasma is a condition which some women develop during their pregnancies. You may notice that your skin develops dark patches.
Any exposure to sunlight normally makes this condition worse, and in this case, it really does not matter if you tan inside or out, your skin will be ultra-sensitive, and Chloasma will worsen and the dark patches are likely to increase.
If this is the case with you, you may want to stay away from the sun and the tanning bed until after the arrival of your baby.
While we all want to look and feel our best – and this definitely includes pregnant women – there are certain precautions which we should take. Whichever method you choose to increase your colour, you should do it in moderation at all times, so that there is never any harm to yourself or your unborn baby.
Each method of tanning has its pros and cons, and each pregnant woman is different in how she reacts to tanning.
It is up to you whether you decide to turn bronze or stay your own natural colour through your pregnancy.
- http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/tanning-during-pregnancy/ – Folic acid and tanning
- http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/19/can-you-sunbathe-when-you-are-pregnant-what-precautions-should-i-take-6790487/ – Precautions While Sunbathing
- https://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-use-self-tanning-lotions-or-tanning-beds-durin_1127909.bc – sunless tanning
- https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/955.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=131 – spray tans
- https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/melasma-chloasma.html – sunlight and Chloasma