pregnant woman in a bikini swimming in a sunny pool
Is It Safe?

Is Tanning During Pregnancy Safe?

By Amy Morrison

With warm, sunny days on the horizon, you might be tempted to get some Vitamin D (and a glowing tan) while pregnant. However, you may be wondering, is tanning during pregnancy safe?

As most of us know, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to dehydration, overheating, and sunburn. This isn't good for anyone's health so it's not surprising that this heightens the concerns for anyone growing a person from scratch.

However, experts agree that moderate sun exposure is generally safe. You should be fine as long as you protect yourself from excessive sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, staying in the shade, or wearing a hat and sunglasses. And, of course, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated (the catch all phrase for everything that ails you during pregnancy.)

Also keep an eye out for patches of skin that darken unevenly, though – pregnancy can do some weird stuff with your hormones that cause a temporary increase in your body’s production of melanin.

As for spray tanning, you’re safe there too. The main ingredient in self-tanners is a non-toxic color additive called DHA, which reacts with amino acids in the outer layers of the skin to create a tan. It is only absorbed by the upper layers of the skin, so it has been deemed safe in pregnancy.

Most sites recommend creams, foams, etc., over a tanning booth because of the chances of inhaling the tanning spray, and, as with most things, they aren’t exactly sure if that’s a good thing or not. As with traditional tanning, your hormones may be doing crazy things, so do a trial run before you bronze it up the day before your sister’s wedding in case you end up looking like moldy raisin.

Lastly, do NOT take tanning pills or get tanning injections. I didn’t even know either existed but they sound like something that’s smuggled into the country and sold in Flea Markets next to the Shamwow knockoffs, so I’d steer clear of those pregnant or not.

In summary, moderate sun exposure is generally safe during pregnancy, as long as you follow some common sense safety measures like wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated. If you're craving a deep tan, it may be best to go for a self-tanner or spray tan instead of basking in the sun or using tanning beds to avoid overheating your already hot pregnant bod.

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