Can you snorkel while pregnant?
- Can you snorkel while pregnant?
- Is snorkeling okay for pregnant women?
- Safe snorkeling during pregnancy
- Can you snorkel while pregnant: Final Thoughts
Low impact exercises are very beneficial during pregnancy. Snorkeling is not only low impact, but also is in a comfortable weightless state. Can or should women snorkel while pregnant?
Absolutely. You can snorkel safely during pregnancy until the middle of your third trimester. Pregnant snorkelers should not free dive or hold their breath for more than a few seconds.
Women with a history of previous pregnancy complications or current health problems must get clearance from a doctor.
If you’ve been itching to jump in the water and see firsthand the beautiful marine life that swims just below the surface, but don’t want to jeopardize your health during pregnancy, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll ‘dive in’ (hah!) to all the important tips and tricks for safe snorkeling during pregnancy.
Is snorkeling okay for pregnant women?
Yes, snorkeling has been deemed safe by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as other medical organizations.
Of course, there are certain safety precautions that pregnant women must follow to ensure their safety while snorkeling.
Safe snorkeling during pregnancy
There are a few different things to keep in mind when snorkel while pregnant . The good news is, there aren’t too many things to be overly concerned about, and for the most part, you can be confident in the health of you and your baby.
If you are new to snorkeling, you can read this beginner’s guide. Here are the most important things to keep in mind when snorkeling during pregnancy:
1. Stay near the surface / Do not dive.
You are an undisputed fan of scuba diving and you have just realized that you are pregnant. Wondering if you can practice pregnant diving on your next trip? Knowing that your body is connected to your fetus by your placenta, which allows numerous transfers between the two of you, practicing pregnant diving is considered a risky activity.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when snorkeling as a pregnant woman is: Never dive. Diving can have negative consequences for the baby (DAN) because the compressed air affects how much air your growing baby receives.
Diving can also cause decompression sickness, which occurs when you come to the surface quickly and nitrogen bubbles automatically expand. This sudden expansion of nitrogen causes plenty of stress for your unborn baby, and repeated decompressions can eventually be fatal to the baby.
Therefore, don’t dive. While there hasn’t been much research on humans, animals have been exposed to hyperbaric oxygen in chambers. Animal studies have shown the risk of spontaneous abortions, birth defects and low birth weight.
Exposing a fetus to pressurized oxygen and nitrogen during the first trimester can prevent the fetal heart from properly plunging into its proper left and right separation.
Stay snorkeling and avoid scuba diving.
What are the dangers of scuba diving when pregnant without realizing it?
Have you recently returned from a trip where you practiced scuba diving and discovered that you are expecting a child? Do not be alarmed; instead, notify your doctor and request additional medical and ultrasound monitoring.
Although diving is not suggested during pregnancy, some of you nevertheless want to keep doing your favorite physical activity. Here are some pointers to get you started:
- You can dive without hurting your fetus up to 6 weeks of pregnancy if you follow the decompression pauses and stay at a maximum depth of 20
- From the sixth to the thirteenth week of pregnancy, you must pay particular attention to the dive profiles. Medically, you should be closely watched, particularly through the use of morphological ultrasonography.
- If you are pregnant after the 13th week, it is strongly advised that you do not go diving.
2. Stay hydrated and cool
As a pregnant woman, you know how important it is to stay hydrated for your baby. You should also be concerned if your internal body temperature rises too high, as this can be potentially harmful to your baby.
It’s best to make sure you take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
And don’t think just because you are in cold water that you are safe from warming your body temperature. Swimming in any type of water will heat up your body and burn a lot of calories, even without you knowing it.
So breaks are ideal and it’s also a good idea to stay away from snorkeling during the hottest parts of the day. Dehydration often goes unrecognized during swimming.
3. Don’t overdo it
During your first and third trimesters, you can easily feel completely exhausted. After all, there are so many changes during these few months, and your body is working tirelessly to keep your baby warm, healthy and strong.
That’s why it’s important not to overexert yourself while snorkeling – especially during the first and third trimester.
Again, it’s important to take regular breaks while snorkeling. If you still feel tired after the break, you may want to call it a day.
Don’t push yourself – even if that means ending your snorkeling session 15 or 20 minutes early. Your baby’s health is more important.
Snorkeling is more exhausting than you might imagine.
4. Check the weather / currents
Another thing to worry about is the weather and currents in the area you are snorkeling. Could you imagine being swept into a current when you are 7 or 8 months pregnant?
It sounds like a disastrous situation – not just because it would be scary, but all that chaos could harm the baby.
To much cold or hot weather will be also dangerous for pregnant women.
Even though the sea may seem calm, some areas can be prone to sudden changes and end up with wild waves or currents that you don’t want to deal during snorkel while pregnant.
5. Check the area where you snorkel
The key to successful snorkeling during pregnancy is to remain diligent and alert at all times, as there are some sea creatures and plants in the underwater world that can harm you. Some of these include the following:
- Watch out for sharp plants or rocks. It is important to be careful when you step into the water so you don’t end up with a cut that could eventually lead to an infection.
- Be on the lookout for jellyfish. A jellyfish sting is horrible no matter what, but being pregnant with one of these horrible stings would be a bit much and can have negative effects on both mother and baby.
- Be on the lookout for sea urchins, stingrays, or anything else that can cut or sting you.
6. Never hold your breath
Hold your breath while pregnant – whether you are pregnant or not, this can be harmful to your unborn child.
However, the problem with snorkeling is that you may be holding your breath because it feels like you should be.
After all, you’re underwater – isn’t holding your breath everyone’s first reaction, even with a snorkel?
Well, you ne ed to be on top when you snorkel, you need constant supply of oxygen. Don’t hold your breath. Stay close to the surface.
This will keep you from holding your breath because you won’t feel like oxygen is too far away from you. Just read my advices how to buy a quality snorkel mask. You can buy also one of the many different types of fins.
7. Bring someone with you
Did your significant other want to go on a romantic vacation before the baby was born and he wanted to go on a romantic snorkeling adventure with you?
Well, you’re in luck. Not only is snorkeling a fun, safe and relaxing activity during pregnancy, but it’s also necessary to bring someone along.
Snorkeling alone is not advisable for anyone, pregnant or not. But even more so if you are pregnant. Don’t go snorkeling alone.
You never know what can happen, and it’s better to have a partner with you than to venture the seas alone.
Have an emergency whistle on hand, as I recommend in this post.
8. Check with your doctor before snorkeling.
If you’re not sure if you should snorkel while pregnant, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before snorkeling.
He or she will be able to give you the A-Okay so you can feel safe while having the time of your life.
This is especially important for pregnant woman who struggle with anemia or high blood pressure or for woman with a history of preterm labor.
Your doctor may need to take extra precautions before your snorkeling adventure and may suggest a specific time during your pregnancy that is safest.
Can you snorkel while pregnant: Final Thoughts
Snorkeling isn’t typically thought of as a strenuous activity, but keep in mind your fitness level, whether you’ll be wearing an inflatable vest and fins and your location. Even if you’re not used to a lot of activity, water aerobics are safe during pregnancy.
Snorkeling during pregnancy is a great way to get outside, swim in the water, see incredible sea life and have the time of your life.
It also acts as a great form of low-impact exercise, which is ideal for pregnant women.
The most important thing is to skip diving and freediving, never hold your breath and check the currents/weather conditions as well as your surroundings when snorkeling.