Can you Scuba Dive While Pregnant? What are the risks?


Pregnancy is an amazing thing that changes lives. It also brings a lengthy “terms and conditions” list with it. These are most widely known: we all understand that during breastfeeding, for instance, alcohol and smoking are bad, so where do diving fit in?Analysis on the topic is low, owing in response to the fact that performing an extremely harmful test on pregnant women is improper. We look at some of the theoretical threats for mother and baby in this write-up, and the proof that exists to justify them.

Water force is focused on all organs and fluids throughout a dive. There is also a significant rise in relative depth pressures for oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide. The body, nevertheless, has its features. Consequently, the gaseous forces imposed on the placenta regarding the large variations in pressure relating to the depth of the water on the mother and the fetus cannot be precisely identified.

Animal studies

Hyperbaric chambers were found to test various types of animals, which can mimic the elevated pressure of diving.

Sheep decompression experiments have shown that a fetus can produce bubbles before the mother shows signs or symptoms of oxygen deprivation. The signs were much more pronounced in the fetus as mothers displayed signs of decompression. The symptoms of decompression in the offspring frequently occur as life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, damaged limbs, and spinal defects. Since the baby does not depend on its lungs to remove bubbles from its blood, the innocent fetus may probably trigger fatal arterial gas embolisms, including silent gases that are non – toxic in mothers. Though scientists may not be entirely confident of the reliability of animal studies, sheep research is persuasive satisfactorily to suggest that the probability of harm to the human fetus is likely higher than that of their diving mother.

In emerging conditions, women in pregnancy have been subjected to hyperbaric oxygen therapy on several levels, but there have been zero reports of adverse impacts on the baby. This, along with the evidence obtained from animal research indicates that hyperbaric oxygen is of less fetal risk than mother decompression that is not managed. Therefore, if the pregnant woman continues to dive and experiences decompression, she should be managed just like any non-pregnant diver would be managed by recompression treatment.


Surveys questioning females about their diving encounters while pregnant was rather unsatisfactory. In certain cases, no harmful effects have been documented, while in some stillbirths or serious deformation have taken place, but this could or could not have been due to diving. In 1980, a study entitled “Scuba diving and fetal well-being” was published by the Undersea Biomedical Research Journal, which examined 208 women, including 109 who had dived while pregnant. Of these, people who did not dive recorded zero birth problems while among those pregnant women who had dived, there was an approximately 6% occurrence of complications. It is important to note, nonetheless, that diving can not be definitively said to be accountable for the problems which might have arisen from any variety of unknown causes.

The possible harmful consequences of diving when pregnant are believed to mostly harm unborn babies during the 1st and 3rd trimesters The effects of pressure-concentrated oxygen may cause abnormalities in the growing embryo in the first few weeks of pregnancy, particularly reduced size, irregular skull growth, deformed limbs, and irregular heart formation. There is decompression illness in the woman at any moment, but especially in the 3rd trimester may cause serious complications for the fetus because of its weakness to flush out nitrogen gases from the lungs, as the blood of a fetus avoids the lungs and oxygenates directly via the placenta.

Danger on mother

Decompression is probably the most frequent and most feared incident. This incident typically occurs if someone does not dive in the direction with the safety or decompression tips guidelines. The existence of pathogenic nitrogen gases in the bloodstream characterizes decompression and possesses less or more serious effects on health. also be mindful that any defect in the brain of the embryo in the event of decompression will cause severe brain injury that will not only be impacted at birth but also after.

Danger on child

There are two key worries among researchers and health professionals about the impact of diving on a fetus. The first is related to the reactions of a fetus to pressure-concentrated hyperbaric oxygen or oxygen. This form of reaction is believed to have the ability to change the stimuli that tell fetal cells how or when to grow, possibly leading to changes in the perception of those stimuli. This may cause some unique complications including irregular growth of the heart, brain, or jaws, leg fatigue, early birth, or even stillbirth, based on the point at which the exposure takes place.

General danger

While diving, other factors can affect pregnancy:

Pungent or stimulating hives by plants and animals.

The modified combination can have an impact as well.

The dive is a lengthy physical activity involving high muscle effort, oxygen intake, and so on., which may disrupt the pregnancy’s healthy outcome.

By reducing the power of gas transfers, the cold induces vascular constriction of the vessels encourages fatigue.

When can I go back to diving?

Depending on the form of delivery, the advice concerning when to return to driving after childbirth differs and must also be spoken about with one’s doctor. Nevertheless, many females can return to dive in around three weeks if they have had a regular, simple vaginal birth or eight to twelve weeks in the event of an unthreatening cesarean. Owing to risks, if a patient is put on hospital admission, staying longer than 3 months is advisable due to glycogen depletion and loss of aerobic fitness and muscular strength. When the doctor clears her for a complete, unlimited operation, a woman will resume diving after a miscarriage.


As for every exercise throughout pregnancy consulting the doctor before any overwhelming activity is the best recommendation.