GETTING a tan can either mean spending time in the garden, going on holiday, applying some fake bake, booking spray tan or hitting a sunbed.
But falling pregnant can mean a host of changes and new rules to follow.
Is sunbathing when pregnant safe?
The NHS doesn’t advise pregnant women not to sunbathe and there are no proven risks to an unborn baby from sunbathing.
But you don't want to get sunburned, dehydrated or overheat – so need to take extra precautions in a heatwave.
These aren’t good for a developing baby, so take extra precautions when pregnant.
Try not to sit directly in the hot sun for hours, and it is best to avoid the hottest part of the day and drink lots of water.
Tanning on a sunbed is not recommended by the NHS, as your skin is more sensitive you have a higher chance of burning.
The NHS website adds: “If you use a sunbed when you're pregnant, this means your skin may be more likely to burn.
“Getting a tan using a sunbed is not safer than tanning in the sun.
“In some cases, sunbed use can be more harmful.
“For example, many sunbeds give out greater doses of UV rays than the midday Mediterranean sun.”
It has also been suggested there is a link between increased UV rays and a folic acid deficiency.
Is my skin more sensitive when pregnant?
Yes, when you are pregnant your skin is more sensitive and more likely to change colour.
This is due to higher amounts of the hormone which makes your skin go darker in the sun, known as the melanocyte-stimulating hormone.
It can cause dark patches on the face, or a line appearing down the middle of your belly.
Sunbathing can make both of these more noticeable.
What factor sunscreen should I wear when pregnant?
If you are going to be in the sun, the NHS recommends to use a high-factor sunscreen as your skin is more sensitive.
Their website says: “If you sunbathe while pregnant, you may find you burn more easily.
“Protect your skin with a high-factor sunscreen and don't stay in the sun for a long time.”
Fake tans are not thought to pose a risk to an unborn baby, but avoid spray tans as you inhale chemicals which could affect your baby.
For more information visit the NHS website.
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