Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Tue June 30 2015

How Sunscreen Could Save Your Unborn Child's Life

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | June 30, 2015

How Sunscreen Could Save Your Unborn Child's Life

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Self magazine ran an article recently about how the simple act of applying sunscreen while pregnant could have a huge impact on your child's future health.  The Norwegian University of Science and Technology did an amazing amount of research and compared the solar cycles with church records from the, get this, 1750s to 1900 and,  found that, “on average, the lifespan of children born in years that had a great deal of solar activity (i.e., heavily concentrated UV rays) was 5.2 years shorter than other children.”

The researchers believe that there are other factors that have to be considered but the one that they are closely looking at is this: “UV radiation can have positive effects on our vitamin D levels, it can also result in a degradation of vitamin B9—aka, folate, which is required for DNA synthesis, rapid cell division and cell growth during pregnancy.”

“Our results indicate that too much sunbathing while pregnant may have detrimental effects on the fetus’ survival and subsequent reproductive performance,” says study co-author Gine Roll Skjærvø, a biologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. In other words, women who are sunbathing a lot during the beginnings of pregnancy could be causing the fetus and themselves future damage.

The researchers and authors of the report say quite clearly in their findings that women should not sunbathe if they are pregnant. However, if they choose to sunbathe, broad-spectrum UV protection may help negate the effects. 

So stay out of the sun if you are newly pregnant. Or for 100 other reasons, please wear sunscreen.


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