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Hey girls!! Northcutt2Be's question about having your hair dyed while pregnant has made me think about another thing you girls might be stopping yourselves from doing right now...Tanning!! I know ppl have some pretty strong opinons about indoor/outdoor tanning while pregnant, so I thought I might just offer some perhaps interesting facts about it. I worked at a tanning salon for quite some time and will probably be going back to it once Little Miss Fiona's here, and just wanted to advise that I'm not making up this information because of any biases. I have all my "Indoor Tanning Salon Consultant" certifications.
So here's the scoop! Did you know that indoor tanning IS considered to be safe? This is true as long as you TAN SMART because if you're not careful, you can actually hurt not only you but the baby.
The myth about how "tanning can burn the baby" is absolutely FALSE! For one, UV rays don't penetrate more than a few layers of skin (and your skin has MANY) so it's impossible for the baby to get a sunburn. What can be potentially dangerous is the heat. Getting over heated while pregnant will increase your blood pressure and if it gets too high, it can have some negative effects on the baby. Also, when hot, (I know you all know this!!) we sweat! And if you've ever tanned indoors, you'll know you can sweat a heck of a lot!!! This can cause some dehydration, which can make you very dizzy and can cause you to faint (and of course we all know this is no good for the baby).
So this is how you can still tan, and not run into these problems: First, you'll want to book your tanning appointment at a time when the bed you'll be using won't be hot from a previous tanner. Best time to book is the first slot of the day, or at least during a slow time in the day. Make SURE to ask the consultant when the bed was used last, and if you can feel it to make sure it's not too hot. (If they say no, get the heck out of there! They obviously don't care about your health!!). Next, make sure you don't tan for a long period of time. For example, if you're a veteran at tanning you can probably handle about 20 minutes in a bed (of course depending on what sort of bed you're using). If that's the case, then only go for about 12 minutes. If you're a beginner, don't exceed more than 6-7 minutes. And at ANY TIME, if you feel like you're getting too hot (like to the point where you're breaking a sweat), get out. It's as simple as that! Also, make absolute sure you drink plenty of fluids before and after your session. This will help make sure you don't get dehydrated.
Do not use a tingly lotion (this is a lotion that, using vitamine E and other stuff, brings your blood cells closer to the surface of the skin which allows for a darker tan) because, if you've ever used the stuff, you'll know it can feel really hot! And this is something you want to avoid. Also, avoid a lotion with a bronzer because, being preggers, who the heck know how your skin will react to it! You may end up with orange skin! Yikes!!! So try using a regular indoor tanning lotion (they can vary according to the tanning level you're at) that has hemp in it because it'll help keep your skin really nice and moisturized which not only helps with those pesky stretch marks, but also will provide for a darker and longer lasting tan. And you can use that lotion on a regular daily basis too.
And as we all know, summer is coming!! woohooo! It's all fun and stuff, but this can pose some health risks too while preggers. Same sort of thing with the heat and dehydration, but you must know that outdoor tanning is actually more dangerous than indoor tanning. I know this sounds crazy! Reason being is that outdoor tanning is less controled than indoor tanning. Some days, UV rays are stronger than other days, so it's hard to judge (while in a salon, the UV rays are contant). Also, if you're not "tanning" per say, but just hanging out outside, you may not feel the heat as much, especially because there's usually some wind or at least a light breeze. ALways make sure to drink lots of cold fluids when chilling out outside, and keep your head covered and face shaded (yup, you got it!! With a hat!!). If your head gets too hot, you can get sun/heat-stroke. Use lotion for the skin to provide a barrier from burning, because if you burn, your body temperature stays high, even if you go inside where there's air conditioning. If you're planning to spend a lot of time outside, the main idea is to keep cool and comfortable. Don't let yourself get too hot ladies!! Remember, it's not good for the baby. And being preggers, you know better than anyone that you get hot faster than before and you feel the heat a lot more!
So if you're like me, and can't stand being pale as a ghost, you can do some indoor tanning. Just make sure you do it smart. And be sure you let the consultant know about your condition. They may want a doctor's note saying it's ok for you to tan to prevent any liability stuff. Plus I'm not too sure how the tanning laws and reglulations work out in the US. Just make sure you have a consultation first.
Thanks for the info; that was really well written and taught me a lot.
I don't specifically tan myself....I'm half philippino so I'm naturally brown skinned. I do love to work out in the sun in the summer time.....especially in my garden.
I've always wondered about indoor tanning....whether is was truely safe or not. Though I will probably never do it, I do know quite a few people who use the tanning salons all the time....and I sometimes worry about them.
I always try to use a sunscreen when outside but I'm not big on hats.....now I know that I should...especially since I have very dark brown hair that soaks up the sun easily.
Thanks again for the info!
I love my 3 girls and little boy:
Mom to Jessica - 19 yrs old, Amber - 18 yrs old, Sebastian - 2 months
No prob! Honestly, I'm not big on hats either...I just make sure that I keep in the shade if it gets too hot. Hats look SOOOOOOOOOOO dumb on me!!! lol You could probably even get away with working something really cool out with a light scarf or bandana...
Just popping in... I tanned a few times during this pregnancy - Dr. told me it was fine, just do NOT get overheated - as the author of this post advised. I also wanted to say that when my belly got too big for the booth I switched and spray tanned a couple of times (like before my shower and stuff) to make me feel better. The spray tan was awesome and I felt like a new person after stepping out. So if you are someone who likes to have a nice glow but is afraid of tanning - try the professional spray ones occasionally. They're great!