Her mum frowns on it. Cancer experts once all warned against it. But these days you’ll find Vandana Verma, a 29-year-old secretary in Melbourne, Australia, sitting outside at lunch wearing no hat, no sunscreen, her arms and legs exposed because her doctor told her to. Her physician prescribed daily sunshine (along with vitamin D supplements) after a blood test in her first trimester came back highly deficient for vitamin D, the crucial hormone that the body creates when ultraviolet (UV) light hits the skin.
“I was told if it didn’t improve, it would affect mine and my baby’s bones,” says Verma.