You have recently discovered that you are pregnant and the emotion is irrepressible. Finally you will have a sweet baby to cheer up the days. Everything is wonderful and you and your partner are in seventh heaven. Congratulations! 

Now, however, after the euphoria of the discovery and, with the arrival of this heatwave, some doubts begin to arise (legitimate) especially if you are at your first pregnancy. First you will have to change your lifestyle and this involves some sacrifices, such as drinking alcohol or giving up smoking which, as everyone knows, these vices seriously affect the health of the unborn child. But, in addition to the exclusion of harmful vices, which there are doubts that you did not care about before becoming pregnant, are for example: Can I sunbathe? Will it be good for the baby? And if so, what are the best times and what does excessive exposure to UV involve?

All the right questions and if, of course, you have doubts about what the right answers may be, we will take care to show you the most appropriate way to go to the beach, how to get a tan and what steps to take before sunbathing. All in respect of your health and that of your baby. Knowing the answers is the first step towards a peaceful and risk-free pregnancy, even on vacation.

Image: Istock Photos

All of us have noticed during the pregnancy that the skin becomes more sensitive. This is due to the hormonal state. This is also part of all the changes we witness during the 9 months of gestation. We must not forget, however, that this greater sensitivity should also be extended to sun exposure. And for this reason we must always take precautions every time we put ourselves in the sun to tan a little.

We all need a little sunshine because it is a source of vitamin D that promotes the absorption of calcium that strengthens bones. However, it is also important to know that exposing yourself excessively to the sun can be dangerous, especially during pregnancy. Therefore, to avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays that are harmful to our health, it is good to follow (especially during pregnancy), some very useful tips for a healthy pregnancy at sea. And then, who is it that in pregnancy has not been told at least once: “Watch out for the sun!”.

Who knows how many times you’ve heard it? Yet in the 9 months the sun is no more harmful compared to all the other moments of life. So why take special precautions in pregnancy? Certainly not for fear that UV rays can harm the baby, which is well protected inside the belly, but because during the nine months the greatest amount of estrogenin circulation it has a photosensitizing action, which can favour the formation of spots, better known as chloasma gravidarum. It is an imperfection, not a pathology, but it is rather annoying because it is difficult to eliminate. It is also true that not all pregnant women are predestined for chloasma and that the skin can become stained even if you are not pregnant, because the mechanisms of skin hyperpigmentation are not yet fully known. However, since it is established that the hormones of pregnancy have a favouring action, it is good to adopt all the strategies to treat yourself to a nice tan and take only the best of the sun. Let’s find out, then, what are these rules to follow…

  • Sun creams: It is necessary to apply high protection sunscreens before each exposure (even when you are already tanned). These products in fact form an invisible barrier that protects against the harmful rays of the sun. If it’s your first time at sea since you discovered to be pregnant, use sunscreen with total UV protection (+50), and this also applies to those who have a tan. Always choose a cream Solar (of good quality, no time to look for bargains) suitable for your skin type and never lower than a protection level 30 , and apply it at least half an hour before sun exposure. An operation that has to be repeated often and that, after relaxing on the beach, should be continued at home using rich moisturising creams or a good after-sun treatment. Even if you go to the beach at sunrise or sunset, it is always advisable to use a sunscreen that contains UVA and UVB filters. For optimal protection, apply the cosmetic even before leaving the house, so as to effectively shield the skin even during the journey to the beach.

  • Drink often and very much: It is always important to be well hydrated especially during pregnancy. If you are in a warm place, try to drink a lot and especially water. This will also help keep the skin cool and reduce swelling and water retention. How much water do you drink? In a normal subject and in optimal environmental conditions (20°C and a constant humidity) the right dose is 30 ml of water per kg of weight. So a 50kg woman should drink at least 1500ml (1.5 liters) of water per day. Obviously in case of high temperatures this quantity increases accordingly. The body with the belly requires greater hydration and it is important to keep it fresh, both to avoid painful swellings and the much-hated water retention. Drink unsweetened or carbonated beverages: the ideal drink is always natural water. Some herbal teas can also be drunk to drink at room temperature, such as fennel tea.

  • Choose the right time:  The ideal time to go to the beach is in the early hours of the morning, and above all it is advisable to take a walk on the shore, to favour the toning and oxygenation of the tissues. The greater amount of iodine absorbed by the body in the early hours of the morning, helps to activate the metabolism and burn fat and protein quickly. For the future mother there is nothing better than bathing in the sea. And if in the morning you just can’t indulge in the sun, the best hours are those in the afternoon but, mind you, late afternoon, after 5pm it’s better.
  • Treat yourself to a bit of shade:  The sun is good, it is well established but relaxing in the shade is good for the pregnant woman. It is important to spend some time in the shade, as the body, then the placenta and the fetus, oxygenates more easily, activating the metabolic processes.
  • What to eat on the beach: Some transgressions do not hurt, even if the future mother should stick to the diet prescribed by the specialist to avoid excessive weight gains. The heat can also be fought with slightly spicy foods, which favour a correct thermo-regulation and help the body maintain its balance with respect to the external environment. At the same time, foods that require prolonged digestion, such as meat and fried foods, should be avoided. The  fish, however, is among the best foods. In mid-morning and in the afternoon, a snack like a yogurt or a fruit is ideal. To avoid alcoholic aperitifs and raw fish, especially seafood for the risk of hepatitis. It would be better to make small and fractioned meals based on vegetables and fruit, avoiding too sugary, such as grapes, bananas, pineapples and figs.

We have mentioned widely that going to the beach and sunbathing is good if certain basic rules are respected. But, we must always pay particular attention to certain behaviors that may arise during the hours we spend on the beach. Never underestimate any alarm bells that may be the spy for something wrong as it should go. If you can understand, if it should happen to you, that you don’t feel too good, you should immediately remedy by following some advice specifically designed for future mothers.