I've read a lot about the dangers/risks of using tanning beds while pregnant. Are the same risks present if I go to the pool for a day and lay out?
Don't get me wrong, I love a tan. But tanning is poison to your skin. You're damaging your dermis, which is the structural support under your epidermis (skin). Even if you weren't pregnant, I'd recommend you avoid too much sun exposure.
During pregnancy, your skin is more easily damaged because it's already stretched out. That said, a suntan isn't going to harm your developing baby.
So if you need some time out in the sun for a little rest and relaxation, keep in mind that you should wear plenty of broad spectrum sunscreen (protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays) with a minimum of SPF 15. You might also consider using a self-tanner—no sunburn required!