Pregnancy, Holidays and Sun

Holidays mean relaxation and well-being when spent in the proper conditions. Particularly during pregnancy the existence of these conditions is considered necessary so that the pregnant woman is safe and enjoys her holidays.

Writen by
Petros Polymenakos
Obstetrician – Gynaecologist
Scientific Collaborator of MITERA Obstetrics clinic

During the summer, high temperatures cause sweetsing and loss of liquids. Given that the cardiovascular system is already having a hard time because of pregnancy, this may lead to fainting episodes. Therefore, consumption of great quantities of non-alcoholic and non-sugared liquids, dressing with comfortable and light-coloured cloths made by cotton or linen and staying in cool areas is recommended. Swimming is a beneficial exercise; however, diving, plunging and staying in the water during high sun radiation is not allowed. Pregnancy favours the development of mucoses, which combined with sea water and humidity make the problem worse. For this reason, we recommend to pregnant women to change their swimming suit after swimming, use their own individual towels and dry their body to avoid humidity. Swimming pools should also be avoided.

Sun exposure

Skin is the greatest of the organs of the body as far as surface is concerned. During pregnancy the skin suffers important alterations due to metabolic, endrocrine and immunological changes. Some of these normal changes are hyperpigmentation, rhagades, hair, nail and mucous alterations, hypervascularisation and hyperactivity of the glands. Pigmentation (chloasma), in particular, appears on the face of the pregnant woman in form of brown spots (freckles). It also appears on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, the nose and the chin. It is more acute during the second term of pregnancy and is aggravated by exposure to sun. Furthermore, negative effects of solar radiation are cumulative; in other words the harm caused on our skin is not eliminated, but worsens every year.

All the aforementioned combined with the fact that the pregnant woman’s skin is more sensitive increase the risk of skin diseases such as psoriasis, acne, eczema as well as the risk of skin cancer. So, staying in the shade, minimizing the time of sun exposure, avoiding sunbathing between 11:00 – 15:00, wearing a hat and sunglasses, all these contribute to a healthy skin. You should use sunscreen lotion half an hour before exposing yourself to the sun for better absorbance. Thirty degrees are recommended to be the minimum Sun Protection Factor. The sun tan lotion should be refreshed frequently, every two hours, and after every time you go into the water.


Holidays and travelling are two well-connected concepts. Certainly, pregnant women should take into consideration the fact that long-distance trips by car aggravate the state of the venous system, which is already charged because of the pregnancy. Therefore, if you travel by car, it is necessary to make frequent stops (every one hour) in order to ease the congestion of the lower extremities venous network. You should anyway avoid unnecessary travelling under high temperatures. You should also prefer travelling by aeroplane, ship and car in order of priority. When on summer holiday, try to carefully follow the above recommendations in order to enjoy the water and the sun without any risks for you and your child.