The Risks of Tanning Beds For an Unborn Baby
According to the American Pregnancy Association, no research shows that there is a link between tanning beds and pregnancy complications or birth defects. That said, most medical professionals advise women against tanning during pregnancy. There are a few reasons why tanning at the salon is not considered the safest thing to do during pregnancy.
Overheating is one of the biggest concerns associated with tanning at either salons or outdoors while you are pregnant, as it can lead to spinal malformations in the unborn baby, according to the American Pregnancy Association. UV rays can also break down folic acid, which is essential for brain and spinal cord development, according to the March of Dimes.
How Tanning Beds Affect Expectant Mothers
It is a well known fact that UV ray exposure increases the risk of various types of skin cancer, including melanoma, which is the deadliest form. Getting bad sunburn drastically increases the risk of skin cancer. One of the things that expectant mothers will want to keep in mind is that they are more prone to sunburn, as the skin is more sensitive during this time.
Making Safe Tanning Choices During Pregnancy
The best thing that any woman can do during pregnancy is avoid tanning bed use in general. Self-tanning lotions are a much healthier option. Though spray tanning is generally considered safer than tanning bed use for pregnant women, there are some concerns about the fumes that one inhales while in the machine.
Any woman who cannot avoid tanning in a salon or outdoors during pregnancy should limit UV ray exposure. Avoid staying in a tanning bed for the whole 20 minutes, and consider opting for a seven minute session instead. To prevent overheating, also be sure to aim a fan directly at your face. To prevent dehydration, be sure to drink lots of water before and after tanning indoors or outdoors. Note that there are many tanning salons that do not allow customers to tan while they are pregnant, however.
Though there is no evidence which directly links tanning beds to pregnancy complications, it is best to avoid using them during pregnancy. Overheating and exposure to UV rays are not considered all that safe for the development of an unborn baby. Opting for a self tanning lotion can be the safest alternative for women who want to maintain a sun-kissed look during pregnancy.