Using Sunscreens

07.08.2010
Sunscreen is safe to use during pregnancy and it is actually recommended for all women exposed to direct sunlight for more than 20 minutes a day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends for pregnant women to protect their skins from the sun by wearing sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more.
 
Also, approximately 70% of pregnant women develop chloasma or “ mask of pregnancy” which is characterized by dark brown areas around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. In these women, sun exposure will darken these marks. Aside from sunscreen, it is recommended to wear a wide brimmed hat when out in the sun. (1)
 
 
Other ways to protect yourself from the sun include wearing protective clothing. Examples of this include long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Stay out of the sun when the rays are strongest which is typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Finally, remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget to do this even on cloudy days. (2)
 
Topical absorption of sunscreen is minimal and will not cause any untoward effects in breastfeeding women.
 
References:
 
1. Publications A. Available at: www.acog.org.

2. AAD. Available at: www.aad.org/public/sun/smart.html