Diving in early pregnancy ?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by davezwife, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. davezwife

    davezwife Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest
    There's a chance I could find out I'm pregnant between now and our scuba trip in a couple weeks. (we want more kids, so we've been....lol) At the point of our trip, I'll be "5-6 weeks" pregnant. (which, for the layperson, is actually only about 3-4 weeks of actually having a embryo growing, it's just how they count it)

    Of course, everything I read says don't dive when pregnant. Duh. Yet I read time and time again how women DO dive, and then find out a few later they were knocked up at the time. It's sooooo early on, the baby does not even attach until about that time...

    I guess I'm putting this up for discussion, more than trying to get someone make my decision. As much as it would crush me to miss the dives, I would be much more hurt to miscarry and spend forever wondering if it was something *I* did.

    What would you do if you knowingly were early in a pregnancy? (and guys, what would you want your partner to do?) Dive or snorkel ?
  2. El Orans

    El Orans ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Netherlands
  3. Walter

    Walter Scuba Instructor

    Don't even consider it. The enjoyment you'll get from diving is not even close to being worth the possibility of injury to your baby.
  4. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kentucky

    I agree 110%. The risk is not worth it. Just think of it as an extra long SI.
  5. Coldwater_Canuck

    Coldwater_Canuck Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Seattle or Ontario
    Same thing can be said about smoking, drinking, etc, yet I still don't think you'll find people telling you it's okay to drink because "some girl who didn't know she was pregnant did it and her kid turned out fine".

    You could dive, and things would probably be okay. I don't know that there's any definite proof it is harmful (nor is there ever likely to be), but there is enough out there that I wouldn't want to play that game of Russian Roulette. You'll have to miss your diving trip, that sucks, but it seems insignificant in comparison with not only risking your life, but risking both death and the possibility of disabilities once born to your next child.

    If diving ever became that important to me, I'd seriously start to question where my priorities lie.
  6. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    It's not miscarriage that would worry me . . . It's birth defects.

    As you can imagine, a study comparing the incidence of birth defects in women who do and do not dive would never get past an instutional review board. Therefore, there is not a lot of data on the topic, but there are small series and reports that suggest that there may be significant risks. With most things, the most delicate time is the first trimester, so your thought that you're only a "little bit pregnant" is actually faulty.

    I would either advise birth control until after the trip, or, if you discover you ARE pregnant, just snorkel.

    If you are interested in what the actual papers available have to say, use the link in my sig line to go to the Rubicon Research Archives, and search on diving and pregnancy.
  7. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    Just sit back and enjoy the vacation watching the Cabana Boys. Besides the kid will be diving for you and the next nine months. :)

    Gary D.
  8. ditch-diver

    ditch-diver Scuba Instructor

    My wife did several dives with me and then we found out she was expecting.* I had a contact that is a hyperbaric Doctor about what we may have done.* His advice for diving while pregnant was the best I ever heard....** "There is not evidence it is doing any harm...., but FOR SURE it is not doing any good.., so go into drydock until the baby is here"

    Sit back and enjoy being a bubble-watcher....,** diving will still be there nine months from now
  9. ArcticDiver

    ArcticDiver Loggerhead Turtle

    I see by your profile you are a Nurse. From that I take it that you have all the medical information available to you and that you probably are aquainted with professionals who can give you all the facts as they are currently known.

    And therein is the key: What do you Know vs. what do you Suspect Might Happen? From your post you don't Know, you only think you might discover you are pregnant.

    So, if you were my relative I'd ask you to live generally like you might become pregnant at any time. In short make yourself as mentally and physically healthy as possible to promote a good environment to conceive and produce a healthy child.

    Then, to make any other decisions based on what you know, not on what you might suspect. To do anything else makes it impossible for any woman of child bearing years who is not engaging in 100% reliable contraception to dive.

    Those principles applied to this situation would say to proceed with your dive trip. But, if you turn positive on the trip stop diving right then and there.

    (Oh, and to take a good supply of testing supplies so you can test often.)
  10. luckydays

    luckydays Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Pedro CA

    I have very little experience on which to offer an opinion about diving while pregnant (new diver, no kids) but given what I do know, I would say that if you think you are pregnant and the general consensus is not to dive for the risk that could be caused, you should not do it. If you are trying to get pregnant, why risk any chance to not have a baby or lose the one that you created/given? That is my .02 worth.

    However, instead of posting the question here, as you already know what the populus opinoin is, you may want to have this discussion with your husband and/or your doctor. It is would remiss of anyone to say "just dive, no harm can happen to an embryo at that stage" and I doubt anyone would seriously offer such advice.

    Take a pregnanacy test before your trip to confirm your situation so you can make an informed decision vs a hypothetical one.

    If I were you, and I thought I were pregnant and I knowingly dove with that information, I would spend the next 9 months worrying if the baby were ok. If the baby was fine, I would breathe a sign of relief and swear not to do that again. If the baby were not ok, I would regret a rash decision to dive for the rest of my life.

    You and your husband should be deciding together if you should dive. His opinion counts more than anyone here since it is half his effort to get you pregnant in the first place.

    I say snorkel, lay around on the beach, look at the cute cabana boys, see silly men in speedo's, and relax instead of dive. Basically you can do what I normally did on vacation before I got certified. :)
  11. awall54308

    awall54308 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lake Forest, ca
    Is it really worth taking a chance? Have you considered how you would react if for some reason your baby was born with a birth defect?

    A little over two years ago my wife and I went on a scuba trip of a lifetime to Indonesia. We found out 1 month before we left she was pregnant. We decided we would still go but she would not dive. She ended up snorkeling for the 2 weeks we there. Two years later we have a healthy baby boy. Ask her now if she has any regrets and I'll bet anything she doesn't. It just wasn't worth the chance!!!
  12. davezwife

    davezwife Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest
    Well, like I said, I couldn't live with the guilt IF anything were to happen. I am just curious what others have to say. A couple people have PM'd me saying they would go. hahaha. shhhh! ;-)

    I have actually scheduled a blood test right before we go, since I could be cutting it close and want to know for sure.
    And FWIW, obviously my husband would have a say in this, but it's a moot point.
    A 9 month SI... lol...
  13. Bratface

    Bratface Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: St Thomas, VI
    I agree. It's certainly not worth the risk to your suspected unborn child. If you can't determine if you actually are pregnant, snorkel and enjoy the view.
  14. BabyDuck

    BabyDuck Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Winterville, NC
    the theoretical risks include loss of limbs or digits from microbubble formations. that would be a pretty heavy thing to think every time you looked at your baby.

    then again, i dove not knowing i was pregnant. jameson's been further back in caves than most folks, and his issues aren't dive related. (he was very premature due to my severe pre-eclampsia.)
  15. Garrobo

    Garrobo Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
    Maybe DAN has your answer.
  16. ahava

    ahava Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    I think you answer your own question right here. Its a tough dilemma but you will make the right decision.
  17. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boulder, CO
    This past year my daughter-in-law was planning to have me certify her in preparation for a family trip to Cozumel. Because she was also thinking about getting pregnant, she asked me to look into this question, so I did a lot of research. The conclusion I drew from that research was pretty clear--either try to get pregnant or learn to dive. The risks are just too great to do both. She opted for pregnancy. She had a wonderful time snorkeling on the trip, and we are looking forward to a healthy grandaughter in February.

    I have a friend who has so far had two children while working as an instructor. In each case, as soon as she decided to try to become pregnant, she limited all her instruction to the classroom. She would not even do the pool work.
  18. Nismo

    Nismo Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: DE
    My wife had become pregnant just before our trip to Bonaire last year. Her OB said NO DIVING. There is not much out there in research, but realisticly, who would be willing to volunteer to be in that study. She did a lot of snorkling and got to see things the rest of us missed that I would have liked to have seen, since she was on land excursions. It definitely sucks, but certainly not worth the risk.
  19. Ice Mike

    Ice Mike Angel Fish


    I would like my wife to stick to just Snorkel.

    For me the key lies in the unknown.

    Imagine something is wrong with the child, which might even show up in later life, how will you handle the "what if question". What if you hadn't made those dives...

    My approach would be.. find out if your pregenant well in advance, if so, congratulations if not choose between birth control and diving.

    All purely hypothetical ofcourse, my wife doesn't go near the water.
  20. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Look at it this way. You can wear your husband out on the trip since you won't be tired from diving. He may not even mind missing a few dives for some extra "surface activity"!

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