As a gal who always loved spending days on the beach in my younger years, I’m even more cautious about the sun now. It’s not that I don’t cherish sitting out by the water with a nice frozen drink in hand, but I religiously protect my skin now.
There’s something about tanning, though, that can make you feel so refreshed and renewed. Indeed, getting proper sun exposure IS good for you. It boosts your mood and helps your body make vitamin D. But, you still need to protect yourself from the dangerous UV rays.
Many women rush to the tanning bed after a c-section, but I’m fully against this over a jaunt in the sun. Why? Because tanning beds emit more UV rays than the sun itself. Yikes.
What about a spray tan after a c-section?
The good news is the experts seem to have no problems with this. However, you should wait until your incision has healed. You don’t want to put anything on it that could antagonize it. My friend Becky wore high-waisted shorts for her spray tan, which covered her incision and that worked for her, and I suppose you could do that too. If in doubt, ask your doctor for their opinion.
As for that sun…
Again, I have to enthuse about the sun. That warming feeling with the wind blowing gently through my hair. It’s pure heaven! And every mama has worked hard to enjoy a little break from her sweet baby.
That being said, if you can slip out to sit by the pool or beach for a little sun, go for it! BUT! You must be careful not to expose your incision. It could become discolored and hence, utterly noticeable. Also, you don’t want anything getting in it (think sand, unclean water, and such).
This is important:
Above all, you want to ensure you are covered with sun protection. Wear a hat that covers your face and don’t skimp on the SPF. Please choose a quality formula and make sure you’re reapplying it every 80 minutes without fail.
But just so you’re aware, even if you do sit under an umbrella and watch your older kids or friend’s kids splash in the pool while you relax in the shade, you don’t need direct sun exposure to get melasma. Hormones post-pregnancy plus the light, and even just the heat can all lead to that pregnancy mask.
It is a HUGE pain to get rid of, believe me. You’ll spend years smoothing on skin brighteners, and spot treatments as your hormones balance out. I got lucky, but my friend Kimmie still bears her pregnancy mask even 6 years later and won’t leave the house without concealer.
Anyway, a little healthy sun does go a long way. Just do it right, stay hydrated, and keep your body feeling cool to avoid any troubles!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.