fake baking any worse for unborn baby??

  1. everyone knows tanning beds are a bad idea. that's old news. something i haven't researched yet: what are, if any, the adverse effects to the unborn? appreciate your input!
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    About extremebean

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 54; Likes: 1
    ED RN


  3. by   bagladyrn
    I've never tried a tanning bed (I live in 40+ sunscreen) so I don't know - do they get extremely warm in them? If so, might be a bad idea as is anything that raises your core body temp. for a prolonged period.
  4. by   Lausana
    Interesting Extremebean! I don't think I could stand it for reasons baglady mentioned-I get too hot but here's a couple things I could find...I think the main thing is they don't know what the effects could be & it's out of concern for mom's health so it's a no no!


    According to a National Institute of Health (NIH) document Solar Radiation and Exposure to Sunlamps and Sunbeds: "Most tanning bulbs sold in the United States for use in sunbeds emit 'substantial doses of both UVB and UVA'(Swerdlow and Weinstock, 1998, citing 'personal communication from industry sources.' Many of the home and salon devices in the 1980s emitted both UVA and UVB radiation, but current devices emit predominantly UVA (FTC,1997; Sikes,1998)."

    Some authorities are studying a potential connection between neural tube defects and ultraviolet radiation. They site evidence that shows that the radiation breaks down folate and puts preconceptional and early pregnant women at higher risk for giving birth to a baby with spinal bifida or other types of neural tube defects. One such article, published in 1999 by Jablonski in Medical Hypothesis, concluded that "intense or prolonged periconceptual exposure of women to UV light for recreational or therapeutic reasons should be avoided."

    The British Medical Journal in 1997 (Volume 314(7089) published an article by Wright et al. which stated "there can be no doubt that sunbeds are widely used and that they carry a risk of inducing skin cancer. Clearly the higher the ultraviolet light output the greater the risk."

    There have been no controlled studies of the direct effects of tanning or tanning beds on pregnant women or their unborn child. In view of the evidence of damage from ultraviolet radiation to the skin of the mother, however, it makes sense to me to avoid this type of activity for the duration of pregnancy.


    Few things may make you look or feel healthier then a glowing tan. And with the invention of tanning beds, bronzing your skin can now be done in half the time. However, Bill Wolff, a nutritionist and tanning salon owner from Atlanta, Ga., says a woman in her first two trimesters of pregnancy should not use tanning beds as they can be dangerous to both her and her unborn baby.

    "Just as there are advisories for people taking certain medications or with certain medical conditions, warning them against the affects of tanning beds, there are also advisories for pregnant women," says Wolff. "UV rays can affect the skin in many ways. And with the skin of the abdomen stretched due to pregnancy, this area is prone to severe burning and damage. Also, with the hormone changes a woman's body is going through during pregnancy, there is no way to tell how the tanning bed will affect her. It could be anything from nausea and severe headaches to sun sickness, sun poisoning and skin damage. It is best to wait until after the baby is born before visiting the tanning bed."
  5. by   kcsunshyn8
    I actually used to work a mother who would tan in the winter and said she even tanned while pregnant w/ all 3 children....the doctor gave her the OK to do so. The kids are older and there were no apparent side effects. Just thought I'd share.

  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I agree w/Lausana's post wholeheartedly. The danger, if there is any to an unborn baby, comes from increasing one's core body temp more than anything else. The same danger exists when one uses a hottub or sauna. THIS can harm a fetus. I think like smoking, "fake-baking" can be forgone for a few precious months while a baby is "baking" in there. Better safe than sorry, really. NO tan is a safe one, anyhow. But that is a another thread, I realize.
    I can't say that I've seen any conclusive research on the topic, but some excellent points have been brought up.

    It does raise your core body temp, just like a sauna or hot tub, which was still being advised against last time I heard.

    The point is, we do not know 100% either way whether it is harmful or not, so why take the chance?

    I guess that's just my line in the sand about vices, when they're no longer about harming just your own health, but the health of people that have no choice in the matter.

  8. by   Jolie
    As a melanoma survivor, I will implore you not to tan, either naturally or in a tanning bed. A tan is an indication that your skin is attempting to protect itself from injury caused by UVA and UVB rays. There simply is no such thing as a "healthy" tan. Melanoma was once a disease of old age, usually in men who had worked outdoors most of their lives. It is now claiming the lives of patients as young as their teens, due to our fascination with the sun.

    25% of all melanoma patients are women of child-bearing age, and melanoma is typically more advanced at the time of diagnosis in these women, possibly due to the effects of estrogen on tumor growth. Please protect your skin, and set a good example for your young children, who will get most of their lifetime sun exposure before the age of 18. I can tell you first hand just how terrifying it is to be holding a newborn infant in your arms as the doctor tells you that you have (a preventable) cancer.

    OK, I'll step down from my soapbox now.
  9. by   extremebean
    thanks for your responses! they have been helpful- esp. the links! my best girlfriend just called last night to tell me she is about 10 weeks pregnant. as we were talking she brought up the question, and i had to admit that i didn't know much- but i did know where to start looking for answers. go allnurses! she very seldom tans herself, but occas likes to go during winter. i was leaning towards "of course you shouldn't go!", but didn't have any hard facts. i appreciate the help. once again you've proven this an excellent resource/search starter/support!