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1st time pregnant. Scared I overheated.

(68 Posts)
Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:09:52

Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and new to the wonders of pregnancy. I am also In a very bad place right now and looking for some reassurance.

I got pregnant a bit unexpectedly, although luckily I was talk prenatals just in case.
At 8 weeks I went for a 2 week long holiday to Cuba, where I sunbathed daily. I tried not to stay to long in the sun at once and cooled of in the sea or shower regularly. Before I went I asked my midwife and GP if there is anything I should know for the holiday, they both just told me to enjoy myself! I am very disappointed because since then I have read a lot of stories about overheating and how sunbathing in early pregnancy should be avoided.

To say I'm scared is an understatement. I am in pieces, panicking and crying that I've harmed my child. I spoke to an obgyn online who scared me further telling me how fetal brain overheats quickly! I don't think I would ever forgive myself if I've done something to this baby.

If there is any of you that sunbathed in the first trimester or overheated by accident and went on to have a healthy baby??

impatienceisavirtue Sun 25-May-14 21:14:02

I spent most of my pregnancy with ds2 curled up in front of an open fire.

I'm surprised he didn't come out toasted! He was absolutely fine.

PotteringAlong Sun 25-May-14 21:16:01

By your reasoning no one who lived in Cuba would ever have a healthy baby! You will not have caused any problems smile

Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:16:14

Sorry about typos, using my phone blush

VJONES1985 Sun 25-May-14 21:17:26

Firstly, think of all the pg women who live fulltime in roasting climates and have successful pregnancies. Secondly, I've learnt over my 28 weeks of being pregnant so far that babies are much tougher than we give them credit for. They survive when mum is ill, they are fine if you eat the 'wrong' food and they cope when we are stressed. I've gone through all those things (including having type 1 diabetes) and all is well. You will be fine.

doodledotmum Sun 25-May-14 21:17:54

I went hiking in heat in lanzarote. How do you think ladies in India / Australia and Africa cope ?

Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:19:18

Thank you girls for your reassurance. I have tried to reason with myself that people in hot countries have healthy babies but it doesn't convince me as i did sunbathe a bit and they normally don't... I have lived in a very hit county for a few years and we mostly spent our days in air conditioning.
My mind is working overtime, I'm sure this isn't good for baby either. Worrying about worrying now.

Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:26:35

This is the reply I received from the obgyn online:

Thanks for writing to with your health concern.
Yes, sunbathing during early pregnancy is discouraged.
A few studies have shown that sunrays break down folic acid in the body, leading to deficiency for the baby, often resulting in certain abnormalities in the baby.
This has not been conclusively proven but suggested.
That said, for your good also, sunbathing in pregnancy is not recommended.
Core temperatures in pregnancy are raised easily, skin is damaged more easily, and the fetal brain is also heated up excessively.
What is done is done, and cannot be undone.
I hope you used proper sunscreens with good SPF and stayed hydrated.
Just take 5 mg per day folic acid for the rest of your pregnancy.
Have regular genetic scans and blood tests.
There is no conclusive link between sunbathing and fetal damage, so it is wise to stay away, but if done inadvertently, there is no reason to assume the worst.
All the best
Please feel free to discuss further.

It did not calm me down in the slightest sad

SomeSunnySunday Sun 25-May-14 21:30:43

I spent the first 9 weeks of this pregnancy living in a very hot (40 degrees some days) African country. It was home, it was unavoidable. Plenty of people there have babies! I think you're overthinking this (although appreciate the first time nerves).

VJONES1985 Sun 25-May-14 21:36:57

If you're absolutely convinced you've damaged your baby, then there is little we can say or you can do. But,seriously, stress is not good and you need to relax. You will be scanned at 12 weeks and, sadly, there are risks involved in the early stages for all women, whether they sunbathe or not. You cannot possibly be the only pregnant woman in history to sunbathe in early pregnancy. And think about all those who drink heavily because they don't realise they are pg!

Heatherbell1978 Sun 25-May-14 21:38:13

Doctor Sounds like you need to stay away from online 'advice'. I know it's been said already but you're worrying needlessly. I went on holiday at 17 weeks purposefully to get some sun! I put a sarong over the bump and used sunscreen but I certainly didn't avoid the sun because I was pregnant.

Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:38:49

I really hope I am overthinking this. It's very hard when there is no way to find out...

I wouldn't be as concerned if I haven't been lying flat on my back sunbathing a few times. Admittedly not for longer than 30 minutes at a time but I read that even 10 minutes of overheating can cause harm to the developing baby. And there is plenty of advise on the internet about not sunbathing in early pregnancy. I wish I have seen that earlier sad Plus the advice from that obgyn I posted earlier.

I hope to hear from a mum who sunbathed and her baby came out healthy. Maybe it's hormones but I can't stop crying over this sad

Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:43:37

Thank you ladies for your kind words.
You are great. Feeling a bit better.

VJONES1985 Sun 25-May-14 21:44:52

I was terrified in the days that something was gonna go wrong - and things do happen that are totally beyond our control. So there is no point in worrying. I know how easy that is to say but you can't control what happens in this pregnancy ultimately - so try to relax and enjoy for now.

I ate rare steak and read that it can harm the baby. Turns out, it was a very small chance and everything was actually fine. I'm afraid worry is just part of pregnancy but you do learn to control it and calm down. There are very small chances of these things harming your baby, so stay positive.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 25-May-14 21:45:17

That online doctor sounds most strange to me. I would talk to your midwife, both about your concerns about sunbathing (and honestly, you will not have done your baby ANY harm by sitting in the sun, I got enormously hot when pregnant by working in unsuitable conditions in heatwaves with no air conditioning and my babies were fine) and your anxiety. I suffer with terrible health related anxiety and this sounds like a classic case to me.

Managua Sun 25-May-14 21:53:50

Humphrey, yes you are right I do suffer from health anxiety and it's just got so much worse in pregnancy!
I did talk to my midwife but she never really heard about it and wasn't able to reassure me in any way. She did refer me for some CBT so hopefully that will come through soon.

Ps. Doctorspring is just the name of the website, there is a few doctors who reply to queries and it's possible to check their profiles. I think i would prefer to see a consultant being pregnant, as opposed to a midwife, just can't fully trust them.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 25-May-14 22:00:51

if you think of this as an anxiety related issue rather than a genuine problem, would that be helpful? I am always strangely reassured when I realise that it is my anxiety talking.

I am honestly flummoxed by the sunbathing advice you have found. I have NEVER heard or read anything saying you shouldn't sit in the sun when pregnant. Thinking about it I remember getting some sun on my bump in the heatwave last year with my now perfectly healthy seven month old baby.

Managua Sun 25-May-14 22:07:05

I have tried to think about it this way. This is how I tackle some of my other little worries eg. Stuff I did before I knew. But this just sounds very logical to me and realistically scary. Overheating-harm to baby, especially that early in pregnancy, this is why hot tubs and saunas are bad for us, which by the way my midwife didn't mention either, luckily i found this out before otherwise who knows I might have enjoyed the hot tub with my friends shock

HumphreyCobbler Sun 25-May-14 22:13:01

ok, I have had a look at the online advice and it seems to me that you followed it! You tried not to stay too long in the sun and you cooled off regularly. That is exactly what you were supposed to do.

Realistically women are going to get hot in early pregnancy, whether it is working in the garden (I did this), going running, living in boiling hot countries. It simply cannot be avoided.

I can sense your anxiety through your posts, it is so horrible to feel like this. I do hope you feel better soon

VJONES1985 Sun 25-May-14 22:13:43

Stop it! Your stress is more dangerous than sunbathing! And midwives don't warn you about every tiny thing that may harm the baby or they would be there all day and you wouldn't leave the house! From one pregnant woman to another - just carry on as normal and avoid excessive stress, drink and drugs. That's all we can all do.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 25-May-14 22:15:09

Also, did you pass out through the heat? Suffer heatstroke that needed medication? If not then you did NOT over heat.

callamia Sun 25-May-14 22:19:07

There's nothing wrong with saunas either - my
Finnish friends take saunas during pregnancy.

It's surprisingly hard to raise your core temperature if you are otherwise well. I discovered this last summer, when I was heavily pregnant and in Southern Spain working. It was fine. Anxiety is something else, and something I really understand and sympathise with. It might not do you any harm, but it can really spoil your experience of pregnancy. I found an antenatal yoga class helpful, but it's definitely worth trying to get that panic under control.

Managua Sun 25-May-14 22:19:57

Humphrey I am so grateful for your understanding, I want to hug you!

I try to convince myself that I did follow those rules but I know that a few times I overdid it. I nearly fell asleep in the sun twice. Normally I am very resistant to the heat and I'm known for falling asleep on the lounger in the scorching midday sun, so my heat judgment is probably a bit impaired. I'll keep reasoning with myself and try to keep calm but I have awful intrusive thoughts about this and keep thinking what ifs.

VJONES1985 Sun 25-May-14 22:21:09

I got so hot in a salon yesterday that I felt faint. Does that mean I overheated? I don't know. Maybe. But my baby is still active today so I'm assuming he's fine. Assuming your baby is fine is more logical than assuming s/he isn't so that's always the best approach, I find!

Managua Sun 25-May-14 22:22:13

Thanks to all of you girls for so patiently dealing with my hysterics blush

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