Sunbathing While Pregnant? Here’s What You Need To Know
What happens if you have a fabulous beach vacation scheduled and you’ve got a bun in the oven? There’s no need to miss out on the fun! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about sunbathing while pregnant.
9 Things To Know About Sunbathing While Pregnant
Everyone should practice good sun safety!
While the sun is an excellent source of Vitamin D, it also poses a lot of risks to our skin and health. Too much exposure to sunlight greatly increases your chances of developing skin cancer later in life.
Regardless of whether or not you are expecting, you need to be careful and take some precautions when laying out in the sun, but there are a few extra things to keep in mind when you’re pregnant. Below are 9 things you should remember when basking in the sun.
1) Sunscreen Is Crucial
Hopefully, you were already slathering yourself in sunscreen when you sunbathed before you were pregnant. Now more than ever, it is imperative that you wear a generous amount of sunblock. Don’t skimp!
During pregnancy, your skin is often more sensitive and more likely to burn, so take extra care when preparing for a day outdoors. You might also notice changes in skin coloring during your pregnancy, such as darker nipples, linea nigra, or dark spots on your face. Wearing sunscreen can help with this, too.
When sunbathing while pregnant, make sure you wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Look for the term “broad spectrum” on whatever tube you reach for when applying sunblock.
Consider ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens. These ingredients are able to physically block the harmful rays from penetrating your skin, similar to wearing a shirt or hat.
A great option is Mustela’s very own SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, made with skin-safe zinc oxide. This fragrance-free sunscreen is one-stop shopping for the whole family since it’s safe enough for babies and kids but also effective for adults!
It’s made with 93% naturally derived ingredients, including coconut oil, macadamia oil, and vitamin E. This sunscreen will hydrate your skin in addition to protecting it from the damaging rays of the sun.
And, unlike other mineral sunscreens that leave your skin white all over, Mustela’s Mineral Sunscreen Lotion blends easily and does not leave a white cast on your skin. Protecting your skin from the sun has never been easier!
2) Wear Protective Clothing And Avoid Midday
Wearing sunscreen is a given when it comes to sunbathing while pregnant. You should never go without it! But good sun protection goes beyond only wearing sunscreen.
You should wear a wide, floppy hat to protect your face from the sun when spending the day at the beach. Pack an umbrella or tent as well so that you can take shelter from the sun when you need it.
Finally, avoid the most dangerous times of the day, when the sun is directly overhead. Generally, it is best to avoid sunbathing from 10am until 2pm. Your risk of sunburn is much higher at these times.
3) Your Skin May Darken
Be aware that your skin will be more likely to darken and discolor now that you are pregnant. This is due to a hormone called melanocyte-stimulating hormone that your body produces more of when you’re pregnant.
You may notice dark patches forming on your face, called chloasma or melasma, or even a dark line developing along the middle of your belly, called the linea nigra. Sun exposure can make these irregularities more noticeable. Wearing a proper sunblock can help prevent it.
4) Stay Hydrated
Prolonged time spent in the sun can lead to dehydration, which is very dangerous for expecting women. Because water is how important nutrients and vitamins get transported to the fetus, it is critical to make sure your body is getting enough water.
Dehydration also restricts blood flow to the uterus, which can pose a risk to your baby’s development and even cause premature contractions.
Make sure you drink a tall glass of water before going out in the sun, and if you plan on being outside for a long time, pack a big water bottle in your bag. Drink it throughout the day to stay hydrated.
When sunbathing while pregnant, keeping hydrated is the next most important thing you can do for yourself, after applying sunscreen.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you are getting enough fluids, monitor the color of your urine. It should be the color of a very light lemonade. If it is any darker, you are already at risk of dehydration and should chug water immediately.
If you have trouble drinking enough water on a normal day, experiment with different ways of getting the fluids you need. For example, you might find that it helps to mix it up between hot drinks (like herbal tea) and cold ice water.
For the hot summer days, try making delicious fruit- and herb-infused ice water! You can find all sorts of recipes online that use mint, strawberries, lemons, mango, grapes, ginger, watermelon, and more. The possibilities are endless!
5) Avoid Getting Too Hot
When you’re pregnant, it’s important not to let your core temperature get too high. This is why, for example, spending more than 10 minutes in the hot tub is not recommended.
Similarly, it’s OK to catch a few rays while you’re pregnant, but, to play it safe, you should be careful not to get too hot. This is especially important in the first trimester.
If you’re at the beach, the pool, or just spending time outside during the hot months, take special precautions. Here are a few ways to do just that.
1. Spend Time In The Water
Take a wade in the ocean or hop in and out of the pool to stay cool. Floating in the water can also take a load off your back if you’re uncomfortable! More on that later.
2. Find Shade
Spending time in the shade not only protects your skin from the sun, but it also helps you not to get too hot. Find the shade of a tree or umbrella or, if it’s really hot, simply go inside during the midday hours when the sun is strongest.
3. Eat Cold Treats
Staying hydrated is essential, as we mentioned earlier. But make it a cool drink and it will hydrate you and keep you cool at the same time!
This is also a great time to indulge in cool treats like ice cream or popsicles — whatever floats your boat and satisfies your pregnancy cravings. You can stick to a healthy pregnancy diet and still have a treat every now and then!
4. Bring A Fan Or Water Spray
Depending on where you are, it might be feasible to bring along a little fan or a water sprayer, which will both help fight the heat.
6) Protect Your Back
If your belly is quite big, you might find that you have back pain or it’s hard to get comfortable in bed. Lying on the beach might be equally as uncomfortable.
Consider propping up on your side, and think ahead to bring your favorite beach chair — whatever you’ll need to stay comfortable while sticking your toes in the sand.
7) Increase Your Moisturization
The sun dries your skin out, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Dry skin also increases your chance for stretch marks! If you are spending a lot of time in the sun, up your moisturization game.
Apply a rich lotion before and after sun exposure to combat the damaging and drying effects of the sun. Mustela boasts a bevy of wonderful hydrating products made especially for mothers and babies.
For an all-over moisturizer, try Mustela’s Body Firming Gel. This light and refreshing gel is made with avocado peptides to leave your skin feeling soft and supple.
And the good news is that it’s 100% compatible with breastfeeding, so you can continue to use this moisturizer after delivery day. Apply it both morning and night, rolling and massaging the gel into your skin.
Enjoy the moment. Taking care of yourself is important!
Want to hydrate your skin even more and ward off stretch marks at the same time? (Who doesn’t?) Help reduce the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy with Mustela’s stretch mark-specific products.
Our Stretch Marks Oil is a fast-absorbing and nourishing body oil made to deliver hydration. Plus, it simply leaves your skin feeling great as it eases feelings of tightness and leaves your skin smooth, supple, and radiant.
And because our Stretch Marks Oil is formulated with 100% naturally derived ingredients, it’s safe for you and your little one.
If oil isn’t your thing, we also have a fragrance-free Stretch Marks Cream. This is a velvety cream that hydrates your skin, helping to limit the appearance of stretch marks. Just apply it each morning and evening to your abdomen, hips, thighs, and breasts.
8) Consider Alternatives To Sunbathing While Pregnant
Do you enjoy laying out in the sun to achieve a golden tan? Are you after a bronze glow? Good news: you don’t have to rely on spending hours outside sunbathing. There are safer alternatives to tanning your skin than the old-fashioned method of sunning yourself.
You can pick up a self-tanning lotion from any drugstore. They are totally safe to use, and you won’t be at risk of developing dark patches either.
Rather than increase your risk of skin cancer and dehydration, consider going the faux-tan route. Afraid of orange palms? Wear gloves and be sure to wash your hands immediately after application.
Always exfoliate beforehand too so as to ensure the color is even throughout. If you really don’t like the idea of self-tanning application, you could visit a spray tanning salon. You can have an attendant spray your color on and they will get it just right for you.
9) Plan Ahead
If you’re sunbathing while pregnant, you have a few things to keep in mind to take care of your skin. But don’t stop there! Plan ahead for great skin care in your postpartum days, too. Your body will appreciate the TLC.
Continue good skin moisturization habits by applying a moisturizer designed especially for prenatal and postpartum pregnancy. Hydrate and tone your breasts, neck, and neckline with Mustela’s Bust Firming Serum.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to take particular care of your breasts and nipples. A must-have for nursing moms is Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm. Do your best to avoid developing cracked or sore nipples by applying this nipple cream regularly.
Our soothing and restorative nipple cream eases discomfort and helps to replenish and restore skin during and after breastfeeding. The lanolin-free balm moisturizes and protects nipples and is enriched with vitamin E to nourish and protect your skin.
Plus, there’s no need to wait to armor up! Get ahead of the game and start using Nursing Comfort Balm now, during your pregnancy.
Enjoy The Sun, But In Moderation
As with everything in life, the sun is best enjoyed in moderation. You want to be able to have fun playing outdoors with your family or lounging by the pool, without increasing your risks of dehydration, skin cancer, and skin discoloration.
You just need to be smart about sunbathing while pregnant! If you still aren’t keen to risk it in the sun but want that tan, stick to self-tanning products.
On the days that you do soak up the sun, always apply an ample amount of Mineral Sunscreen Lotion and drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Make sure to moisturize your skin with Body Firming Gel both before and after sun exposure as well.
Find what works best to keep you and your little one healthy and happy even while you’re enjoying the summer sun!