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Have a Safe Beach Outing While Pregnant

Katlyn Joy |10, July 2014


Heading to the beach this summer? There is no reason you shouldn't as long as you remember a few health precautions.

1. Use sunscreen.

Nothing will ruin a beach trip faster than a nasty sunburn. Most people make the same sunscreen mistake; they forget to reapply, especially when around water. Read the directions on the tube and follow them; if they say reapply every 20 minutes, then that is what is required. Remember, skin problems, such as melasma, are greatly affected by sun exposure. For better protection, add a nice floppy beach hat with a wide brim.

2. Stay hydrated.

Pregnancy makes you more prone to dehydration, so be sure to bring plenty of cool water to drink. Relying on a stand or grocery nearby is not a good enough plan. Juice can be a good choice as well, but water is the best. Don't wait until you're thirsty to get a drink. That means you've let yourself get too dry or depleted of liquids.

3. Is this water safe?

Check out safety ratings for your body of water. Dirty beaches with contaminated water are not rare by any means. Swimming in water that contains microbes or other undesirable ingredients can make you sick, and those types of illnesses can lead to miscarriage. Never swallow water! Take a shower immediately after swimming at the beach, or the pool for that matter.

4. If heading into the water, find out what else may be there.

Yes, we've all seen Jaws, and that may be enough to keep you out of the water. However, I was referring to creatures such as jellyfish. Heed any warnings about these, as a sting can be quite painful and possibly dangerous.

5. Never swim alone.

This is always good advice, but never more so than when pregnant. You are prone to cramping, and may become fatigued much sooner than you are used to. Keep it safe and close to the shore.

6. Skip the beach toys.

Pail and shovel are fine; wave runners, jet skis, parasailing and the like, definitely not. Snorkeling in shallows is good, scuba is absolutely out. Any activity with a likelihood of falls or impact is a no-no for expectant moms.

7. Bring a healthy snack.

Don't get to the beach and let yourself get famished. Chances are everyone else will get busy having fun and not want to take time to head to a nice grocery or restaurant. If you rely on beach vendors, you may end up with a greasy burger or worse. Instead, bring snacks that will stay fresh or tote a cooler. Veggie stick and sliced fruit are great options. Remember some crackers, hummus or peanut butter and bottles of water. If you'll be gone for the day, pack a sandwich or two as well.

8. Don't forget your feet.

Bring or wear a pair of sandals or flip flops at minimum. To be safe, bring some tennis shoes, too. Not all beaches boast soft sandy beaches, and you don't want to get splinters or a hot foot. Also remember to slather those piggies with sunscreen as well. You don't want a painful burn on feet you can barely reach!

9. Stay cool.

This may be one of the most difficult tasks of the day at the beach. However, elevated body temps are not good for you or your baby. Bring a mister bottle or fan to help stay cool. Even better, stow an umbrella or small tent/cabana. If you forget, then find some shade periodically. It's not enough to avoid a burn; you must keep yourself at a comfortable body temperature. Make plans to be elsewhere if possible during the hottest point of the day.

10. If at any point you feel unwell, don't be a trooper.

It's not wise to be a trooper and stick it out if something doesn't feel right. If you get cramps, bloody discharge, become dizzy or sick, it's time to go home. Bring your doctor's number, your insurance info, and know the location of the nearest emergency room. If the beach is far off from home, get your doctor's approval before the trip.

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