Can you scuba dive while you are pregnant? The quick answer is no. In saying that there are a number of factors you need to be aware of such as decompression stress as well as the stage of pregnancy if you are considering going diving while pregnant.
It is always advisable to talk with your doctor for advice if planning to go scuba diving while pregnant and the doctor can explain in more detail of the risks so you are more informed.
It should be noted that there is NO EVIDENCE that diving will affect the fetus while pregnant. This is cause there have not been enough studies and research complete on this.
In this post, we will go through considerations and risks while trying to answer can you scuba dive while pregnant in more detail, so let’s get started!
Read more on common questions asked by divers
Can You Scuba Dive While Pregnant?
It is advised not to go scuba diving for the duration of the pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. And if someone goes diving not knowing that they were pregnant during the first few weeks of their pregnancy should not panic but check with a doctor.
The general consensus is that diving at this early stage should have no serious ramifications on the developing fetus but again there Is no complete supporting evidence to this.
There are a number of reasons why there are concerns about scuba diving while pregnant. These are as follows.
Check With Your Doctor
Just talking with your doctor and let them know that you intend to go scuba diving or you are going to travel and explain the activities you plan to do on the trip.
The doctor will know your medical history and be able to explain the risks of scuba diving while pregnant.
Decompression Stress And Sickness
Anyone diving should know what decompression stress and decompression sickness (DCS) are. Either way decompression stress is the stress on your body when ascending from the dive. If the ascend is not done properly this can lead to decompression sickness.
The side effects of decompression sickness are as follows.
- Extreme fatigue.
- Weakness in arms or legs.
- Tingling or numbness.
The potential to affect a fetus is extremely high with even pool dives and freediving can have an effect.
Decompression stress’s main concern is when the air bubbles in the blood vessels or heart block the supply of blood, it can harm a fetus even if the mother is not experiencing symptoms.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
If a diver gets decompression sickness (DCS) they may require hyperbaric oxygen treatment. What the hyperbaric chambers do is tries to simulate the increased pressure of diving.
This will expose the fetus to decompression stress as well as to varying pressures and depths.
Avoid The Heat
If you are out in the sun or you are scuba diving in warm weather make sure you take plenty of breaks in the shade and drink plenty of water.
Even avoid diving during the hottest parts of the day as dive boats can get hot. Remember an elevated body temperature can be damaging to fetal development, especially in the first few months of pregnancy.
Remember You Are Pregnant
Even if you are the best scuba diver in the world, but being overconfident could get you into trouble.
Remember that pregnancy can sometimes make you feel more dizzy and disoriented than usual, so don’t try to push yourself too hard.
Can You Scuba Dive While Breastfeeding?
Nitrogen does not build up in breast milk, so there is no risk of the baby absorbing dissolved nitrogen through breastfeeding.
Diving can be dehydrating and may affect milk production, so drink plenty of water.
Finally, scuba diving when pregnant is not advised. There are a few considerations to be aware of before you jump into the water such as decompression stress, the heat, and importantly talk to your doctor. By talking to your doctor, they will be able to explain the risks in greater detail.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on can you scuba dive while pregnant has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.