The short answer—not quite. Sizzling in the rays is not actually recommended for anybody, but especially not those expecting. Here’s why.
“Whether you’re pregnant or not pregnant, sunbathing – as lying in the sun in order to get a tan – is not advocated,” says Dr Sweta Rai of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD).
Basking in the sunshine leads to chronic low-grade sun exposure—sunburn, for short—and this prematurely ages your skin. More importantly, it heightens your risk of non-melanoma skin cancers.
When it comes to pregnancy, the hormonal fluctuations can ramp up the effects of sun exposure; moles get darker, and also, the immune-suppression typical to pregnancy means you’re less protected against sun-induced problems.
There is no conclusive evidence that sunbathing harms unborn babies—but only because creating such a study is impossible.
“We have no way of knowing whether it’ll harm your baby or not,” Dr Rai explains. “We don’t think it will, but it’s still not advocated.”
Even if you don’t plan to soak up some solar energy—at least it directly—still ensure you use SPF30 sunscreen or higher when going outside. Reapply every two hours, and choose the shady spots, especially between 11am to 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest.