Sunbathing during pregnancy: tips for a safe summer

For pregnant women, resisting the heat of the last few days is certainly not easy, but before exposing yourself to the sun, in the hope of finding refreshment at the beach, in the mountains or at the swimming pool, it is a good idea to remember the precautions to be observed for proper photo-exposure

Is sunbathing during pregnancy OK or is it bad? What protection to use and how to expose yourself correctly? How to protect your belly?

Summer and pregnancy: precautions yes, contraindications no

There are no absolute contraindications for pregnant women who wish to expose themselves to the sun, but precautions certainly do, and they apply to everyone.

For those who have been pregnant for less than three months, there are a few extra precautions: in addition to exposing themselves to the sun with due caution, i.e. after having used suitable sunscreens suited to their phototype and at the most recommended times (in the morning until 11-11.30am and in the afternoon no earlier than 4pm), they should wear a one-piece swimming costume and keep a damp cloth handy to use (between breaks in the shade) on the lower abdomen to cool off that specific area of the body.

The baby protected in the mother’s womb maintains a homeostasis independent of external heat.

Of course it is advisable to alternate photo exposure with refreshing baths and breaks in the shade under a parasol.

How to avoid chloasma gravidarum

During pregnancy, it is essential to use maximum sun protection for the face to avoid what is known as chloasma gravidarum, a cosmetic damage that results in the appearance of pigmented spots typical of facial skin and which occurs in pregnant women in the first trimester.

It is the counterpart of melanoma, which appears outside of pregnancy, but unlike the latter tends to resolve spontaneously.

Pregnancy in summer: sunscreens

It is a good idea to choose the most suitable sunscreen for your phototype, although there are general rules that must be respected regardless.

It is a false myth, in fact, to think that dark skin protects us from sun damage compared to light skin: melanoma, unfortunately, affects everyone.

It is clear that the Swede must protect himself more than the dark-skinned person, but in any case great care must be taken to ensure proper photoprotection.

Summer and pregnancy: the new organic sunscreens

On the market today are sunscreens that are much more effective and welcome than those used in the past: the famous physical sunscreens (based on zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) have now also been superseded because, in addition to being less tolerated from a purely aesthetic point of view, they have been shown to pollute the seas by interfering with the DNA of sea creatures.

Today, sunscreens of an organic nature are used: among these, the most widely used are mexoryl and tinosorb, which protect well against both type B ultraviolet rays (the ones referred to when we speak of SPF, Sun Protection Factor) but, above all, also against type A ultraviolet rays, which are more insidious and even more dangerous.

Antioxidants also help

Another useful measure is to take antioxidants (contained in vitamins C, E and B3, in botanical extracts such as green tea, resveratrol found in grapes, beta-carotene, lycopene from tomatoes, lutein) by mouth.

When we apply sun creams, in fact, our organism produces free radicals, i.e. unstable molecules that damage cells: for this reason, regular intake of this type of supplement prevents oxidative stress in cells.

Polypodium leucotomos, a tropical fern native to the central American states and South America, is the product that provides excellent protection and helps in the treatment of diseases caused by photo-exposure.

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