Concerns about exposure to sunlight have changed greatly over the last 50 years. For pregnant women in particular, there are additional reasons to take extra precautions when enjoying time outdoors and particularly when beach visits are planned. Hormone levels are much higher in pregnant women, which makes for more sensitive skin that is more prone to damage from the sun. The good news is that pregnant women don’t have to miss out on fun in the sun. If you are pregnant, here are some ways you can make the most of spring and summer activities while protecting yourself from harmful UV rays.
Avoid Peak Sun Strength Hours
Between the hours of 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM, the sun is at its absolute strongest. Do your best to avoid or limit your time in the direct sun between these hours.
Stay Hydrated 
Direct sun exposure will make you sweat, which dehydrates you more quickly. Bring a water bottle with you to the beach or pool and be sure to keep drinking it throughout the day. Fill it with cool filtered water and unsweetened herbal teas, steering clear of caffeinated and sweetened (even artificial) beverages. Being dehydrated for a long period of time can cause unnecessary bodily stress that could contribute to birth defects or other problems later on in your pregnancy.
Be Sure to Cover Up and Wear Sunblock 
It is very important to stay protected from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, lightweight clothing to protect your skin and UV protection sunglasses. There are several UV protection apparel companies to choose from and many people prefer wearing skin protection swimsuits and cover-ups rather apply sunscreen. If you use sunscreen, consider opting for an effective natural version as the skin is the body’s largest organ. There are several to choose from in the way of natural and mainstream versions. Your best option is to choose a sunscreen that is SPF 45 and above. Be conscious about reapplying it every couple of hours, and especially after going into the water.
When choosing sunscreen, SPF is not the only thing to consider. Read the ingredients and steer clear of any sunblock that contains Oxybenzone. It is a chemical that is linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that should be avoided at all costs.
Make Sure You Wear Sunglasses 
Sunglasses are sunscreen for your eyes and proper sunglasses, with optimal UV protection, will help prevent headaches, dizziness and eye damage. Reks Optics make stylish sunglasses offering UV protection at affordable prices, $60 and under. Afraid of dropping your sunglasses or sitting on them at the beach? No worries, as Reks sunglasses are unbreakable and their lenses are shatter resistant.
Take Breaks from Direct Sunlight
Try not to stay in the sun for hours on end, but rather, take a breather from the sun every hour or two. You can do this by going into the shade, or bringing an umbrella to the beach. Limiting your sun exposure is a good way to protect yourself and not miss out on the fun!
Sunbathing during pregnancy is somewhat of a risk, but if the proper precautions are taken, you can have a great summer day without worrying about the safety of your pregnancy. Staying hydrated, dressing appropriately, reapplying sunscreen, and limiting time in direct sunlight, especially during peak hours, are all ways to make your day at the beach as safe and fun as possible.