Diving while pregnant.

Questions relating to medical issues and treatment. Where possible and appropriate, we will request comment from qualified and reputable NZ-based diving doctors. If your query relates to a personal medical issue, we recommend you contact your GP or relevant medical specialist.

If you were going to dive, how far into the prgnancy would you dive?

1-3 months
1
50%
3-6 months
0
No votes
6-9 months
0
No votes
I wouldn't! How dare you even ask!
1
50%
 
Total votes : 2

Diving while pregnant.

Postby diveclass-101 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:14 am

Q: I've just found out I'm pregnant. When do I have to stop diving?

A: Fitness and Diving Issue
There is little scientific data available regarding diving while pregnant. Much of the available evidence is anecdotal. Laboratory studies are confined to animal research and the results are conflicting. Some retrospective survey type questionnaires have been performed but are limited by data interpretation.

An issue to keep in mind is the risk of decompression illness to the mother due to the physiological changes which occur while pregnant. During pregnancy, maternal body fluid distribution is altered and this redistribution decreases the exchange of dissolved gases in the central circulation. Theoretically, this fluid may be a site of nitrogen retention. Fluid retention during pregnancy may also cause nasopharyngeal swelling, which can lead to nose and ear stuffiness. In regards to diving, these may increase a pregnant women
Non ut edam vivo, sed vivam edo.
I do not live to eat, but eat to live.
- Quintilianus, Instituitio oratoria
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Postby DiveDiva » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:31 am

Hi DC!

Are you pregnant? :shock:

Basically, if I knew I was, I wouldn't dive. They (powers that be) know so little about diving and the foetus that there is very little info about it. Many women dive in the early stages of pregnancy (my friend got PG on her diving honeymoon in the Maldives!) and I did hear once of a 'maternity wetsuit'!!!! But I think I wouldn't take the risk....

Consider this tho: another mate who had a baby last year was a heavy smoker. As soon as she found out she was expecting, she assumed the doctor would tell her to stop immediately. But in fact, the doctor said don't stop just try to cut down because stopping completely will cause your body stress. So it diving calms you down, maybe it's safe to do some shallow diving while pregnant.... :)

Good question DC!

DD
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Postby diveclass-101 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:40 am

No i'm not pregnant but the previous posts got me thinking...
Non ut edam vivo, sed vivam edo.
I do not live to eat, but eat to live.
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Postby Catfish » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:49 am

I stopped as soon as a test confirmed it. I had read a few things and I just didnt want to risk it. I dont think I could have continued anyway because of the morning sickness...and there I was thinking I was hungover! alot! oops
then of cousre there is the wetsuit getting very tight!
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Postby chickdiver » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:38 am

A quick search of the Rubicon Foundation archive turned up 2 pages worth of related articles. Though no one (obviously) is doing actual hyperbaric research on pregnant humans, quite a bit of information is available due to hyperbaric treatment for other conditions (ie CO poisoning) and fetal animal research.

Rubicon is a great repository of diving medical info- it can be found at

http://www/rubicon-foundation.org

Rubicon is a non-profit run by a friend of mine, Gene Hobbs, who works in Hyperbarics and the Human Similation Lab at Duke University (home of DAN).
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Postby DiveDiva » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:43 am

Hi Heather,

Thanks for the URL. Are we able to get access to your thesis on diving and pregnancy?

It is a subject that has always interested me.

DD
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Postby chickdiver » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:02 am

What I wrote was nowhere near a "thesis"! It was just a lecture for my Instructor Course. It isn't published anywhere- I *think* I still have the notes stashed away somewhere.

In reading through this thread, the studies cited comprised the bulk of the information I had as well. A few other items I recall (though I don't recall the sources) are that there are large concerns with:

- embolism of the mother- in the few published cases (none diving related) it has led to fetal death.

- exposure of the fetus to hyperbaric O2 affects the development of vision, and can cause blindness.

- no one knows how DCS in the mother will affect the fetus. Obviously if the mother is "bent" so is the fetus, however we cannot accurately predict how effective treatment is for the fetus.
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Postby KtL » Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:24 am

I had assumed that diving should be treated like drinking and smoking those things you wouldn't do if you were trying to get pregnant or were. I plan to stop diving once we start trying.

Though I have heard and read that the first 10 days of conception prior to implant the foetus is cells dividing, so would wonder what effect diving would have really. As at that stage there is no exchange between mother and foetus. So I guess there is that window in the case of unplanned ones. But if you were monitoring yourself re getting pregnant then why would you risk it.

Hey welcome Chickdiver, Azza said he was inviting you over and that you had some excellent thoughts on pregnancy and diving.
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Postby chickdiver » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:21 am

KtL wrote:I had assumed that diving should be treated like drinking and smoking those things you wouldn't do if you were trying to get pregnant or were. I plan to stop diving once we start trying.

Though I have heard and read that the first 10 days of conception prior to implant the foetus is cells dividing, so would wonder what effect diving would have really. As at that stage there is no exchange between mother and foetus. So I guess there is that window in the case of unplanned ones. But if you were monitoring yourself re getting pregnant then why would you risk it.

Hey welcome Chickdiver, Azza said he was inviting you over and that you had some excellent thoughts on pregnancy and diving.


I have to agree with you. If I had designes on getting pregnant I think I would stop diving rather than take any chances. It's the most prudent course of action.

Fortunately for me all my children have 4 legs and fur, so no worries!

Thanks for the welcome!
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Postby Ristari » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:53 pm

KtL wrote:
Though I have heard and read that the first 10 days of conception prior to implant the foetus is cells dividing, so would wonder what effect diving would have really. As at that stage there is no exchange between mother and foetus. So I guess there is that window in the case of unplanned ones. But if you were monitoring yourself re getting pregnant then why would you risk it.



Just a random thought from someone who knows little on the subject - even if there was no exchange between the mother and the embryo in that first 10 days, could diving affect the embryo's chances of implanting successfully?

I agree with everyone else, I'd give up diving if I was trying to get pregnant or in the event I was, ahem, surprised - stop diving immediately.

All this baby talk has reminded me my own biological clock is ticking. :(
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Postby chickdiver » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:11 pm

Do you guys get Alert Diver (DAN's publication)? In the latest issue over here there is an article on pregnancy and diving. It includes a nice review of the current literature.

If you guys don't get it, let me know and I will see if I can get it as a PDF.

-H
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Postby KtL » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:15 am

That would be great thank Heather.

Katie
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