How Tanning Affects Baby?

Looking great while pregnant is a norm these days, but while cutting your hair, putting on make up, painting your nails and wearing great clothes will only make you feel good about yourself, getting a tan is a whole new story.

There have not been any in depth studies carried out about effects of mother’s tanning on the foetus however; there is sufficient evidence to feel alarmed about some aspects of it. Let’s look at those.

Beach tanning: While some limited sun exposure won’t be harmful, the big danger is overheating. There is evidence that excessive temperatures can lead to very serious spinal malformations in the baby such as spina bifida. It is especially important to avoid excessive temperatures during the first trimester (I guess it eliminates saunas as well). In later stages of pregnancy dehydration can increase risk of premature labour.

Additionally, pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it can increase your chance of rashes and chloasma (dark patches on the face that often accompany pregnancy).

Sun beds: Sun beds have the same effect as the sun – they increase body temperature and can lead to overheating and dehydration. Except they can do it on much deeper level, so carry even higher risk. Such concentrated radiation in short amount of time can break down folate much quicker and put the baby in danger of different neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) or premature labour.

Fake tanning:Apart from ”dirty little secret” of fake tanning industry this is said to be the only real option open to an expectant mother. However, it is recommended that if spray tanning, avoid contact with the mucous membranes i.e. wear nose plugs and panties, also keep your eyes closed or wear goggles. You see, although spray tanning solution is advertised to be “safe” on the skin, we do not know what it will do on the inside.

Applying self tanners where there is no danger of inhaling might be a much better solution during pregnancy. Before you do that however, read about ”dirty little secret of the fake tanning industry” In conclusion – There is enough evidence to believe that sun tanning and sun beds can cause huge damage to your unborn child. The first trimester seems to be the most at risk, but as the pregnancy progresses I imagine that you will find it increasingly uncomfortable to stay out in a hot sun or solarium anyway. That really rules UV tanning out.

When it comes to fake tanning, which is publicised as the only “safe” alternative, be careful. Do not let the solution come in contact with any of your mucous membranes.My personal recommendation would be to at least abstain from fake tanning during the first trimester as well.There is so much work with a healthy baby, its better to eliminate any danger of things going wrong. It is very small sacrifice for a lifetime of joy, don’t you think?


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