Summer is here, and that means picnics and pool parties. But is it safe to use sunscreen and bug spray if you're pregnant? Should expectant moms take extra precautions at picnics? Jessica Pittman, MD, an Ob-Gyn at University of Utah Health explains what's safe—and what's not—for you and your unborn child.
"Pregnant women can and should use insect repellant when they are outdoors. Ticks and mosquitoes can carry disease, which is higher risk to pregnant women than using bug spray," Pittman says. Apply according to the label's instructions.
What's a summer picnic without burgers and steaks on the grill? "Just be sure yours is cooked well," Pittman warns. "Undercooked meat may cause foodborne illnesses that could harm you and baby." Hot dogs and lunchmeat are prone to listeria, bacteria that may cause a miscarriage or serious health problems. It's a good idea to steer clear of processed meats altogether.
During pregnancy, your body produces high levels of melanin which makes your skin extra sensitive to the sun. Protection is essential. Pittman suggests using sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 and limiting sun exposure.