Being In Sun During Pregnancy: Can UV Rays Harm The Baby?

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Being pregnant means that you must follow an entirely new lifestyle. Gone are your cigarette smoking, wine and coffee drinking, sushi eating, and high heel wearing days. Well, the list just seems to go on and on.

I mean how many sacrifices must a mother make for the sake of her child? And on top of all that, just when you feel like heading out for a morning walk, someone interrupts you and asks, “Should you really be out in the sun?”

Is it really safe to be out in the sun when you are pregnant? Can the UV rays of the sun harm you and your baby? If you are willing to live for the next nine months inside your house, good luck with that. However, if you’ve always wondered as to the answer to this question, then worry not, we got your back!

Not only do experts state that it is completely safe for a pregnant woman to be out in the sun, they actually encourage them to do so. Why, do you ask? Women are supposed to increase their intake of vitamin D during pregnancy because the vitamin is helps in absorbing calcium from our food (1).

There are several vitamin pills that you can consume in order to help increase the levels of vitamin D in your body. However, the American Pregnancy Association states that the average pill consists less than 500IU of vitamin D (2). This amount is far below the daily requirement of nearly 4000IU that a pregnant woman must intake.

Along with consuming foods that are rich in vitamin D, it is essential for pregnant women to expose their arms and legs to the rays of the sun for 5-10 minutes every day in order to soak up some vitamin D.

In recent times, with the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, people are being exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. These rays are responsible for premature aging in people as well as one of the worst types of skin cancers: malignant melanoma. There is a strong possibility that you may start developing symptoms of melanoma during your pregnancy itself.

However, this does not mean that you are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer when you are pregnant as compared to other people. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “It’s just that this skin cancer develops during a woman’s child-bearing years. Today, more women between the ages of 20 and 40 are getting melanoma (3).”

It is best for you to take in sunlight during the early hours of the day since you are under no harm of being exposed to UV light at this time of the day. Even if you do start showing signs of developing melanoma, you should not panic. Go and visit a dermatologist. You can start your treatment even during your pregnancy.

Are the rays of the sun harmful for a pregnant woman?

The answer is both yes and no.

It is important for you to soak up sunlight in order to gain vitamin D. However, you should not do it to the point where you get sunburned or dehydrated. You should always take protective measures such as applying sunscreen and wearing a hat to provide you with shade from the sunlight. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. You should not feel disheartened by the relation between pregnant women and melanoma. One should always remember that correlation does not mean causation.