Skip to Content

Search for
Scuba Diving : Articles : Scuba Diving Safety : Is Diving While Pregnant Safe

Is Diving While Pregnant Safe

Submitted by admin on 2010-04-09

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Vote: 1 | Comment: 1 | Views: 4482

A question many female divers ask at some stage in the course of their lives is whether it is safe to dive while pregnant. The short answer to this question is "no"- and we will address the reasons for this.

To be extremely simple about things, it is not recommended for a pregnant woman to dive because of the risk to the fetus. Educated dive instructors will do what they can to stop a woman from diving while pregnant and try to explain to them the danger that is involved when diving pregnant and get them to understand the possible risks to the fetus.

Studies have shown that despite the fact that the fetus may even be less prone to contracting decompress sickness (DCS) and is certainly not at an elevated risk than the mother, the danger lies in the fact that the fetus does not have developed lungs, lacking the pulmonary filter which is responsible for filtering the bubbles and thus cannot filter out the bubbles which can occur in DCS. This lack of filtering will lead to an increased risk of the bubbles making their way to the fetus's vital organs and essentially increasing the risk of a miscarriage or birth defect.

The topic of diving pregnant is one which is still not fully understood due to the lack of studies in humans. There have been several studies on the effect hyperbarics during pregnancy done on animals, but due to the possible damage to human fetuses there have been no real in-depth tests done on humans. With that said there have been a couple of studies on woman who were pregnant and had already dived. These studies conflicted as the one result showed that there was no increased risk, while the other study which was performed on a diver who had been diving at deeper depths and indeed showed an increase in birth defect likeliness.

In conclusion, while there is no guarantee that you will cause damage to the fetus, it is certainly possible. So essentially, diving while pregnant does increase your chances of causing fetal damage. There is always snorkeling which can be done at depths which are safe for pregnancy, so you need not lose out completely on your diving while pregnant. Before you know it the 9 months will be over and you will soon be able to get back into the waters and enjoy scuba diving again, remember that the ocean will still be there once you've given birth. And one opportunity you do not want to give up is the possibility to share the experience of diving with your children one day.


Delicious  Digg  Reddit  Facebook  StumbleUpon  Technorati

1 Comment CommentAdd a Comment

 More ArticlesArticle RatingsArticle CommentsProfile
Very interesting article !

Add a Comment