It’s no secret that the whole world changes once you get pregnant. There are many things you can no longer do, and many you’re still wondering about. For example, can you snorkel while pregnant or not?
My friend used to rack her brain because of this one. She had always been a snorkel aficionado and was no stranger to scuba diving too.
So, once she found out she was pregnant, she was worried for so long because she thought she would have to give up snorkeling and diving.
I’m guessing she was overly emotional because of the hormones, but the sheer possibility of refraining from her favorite water activities shook her to the core.
Luckily for my friend, a few google searches and reassurances from her doctor have painted an entirely different picture.
Let’s just say that she enjoyed her nine months still doing her favorite activities. In moderation, though.
During that time, I remember her always saying how special it was for her to do the things she loves with a person growing inside her belly.
If you want to experience something fun while on your vacation and want to share it with your new bestie that’s growing under your heart, snorkeling can be the way to go.
So, can you snorkel while pregnant? I think we already know the answer. I hope I didn’t spoil the ending for you.
However, there’s more to the story! Let’s see what this fun water activity has in stock for all our lovely pregnant ladies.
How to get to your snorkeling destination?
It should be noted that not all women have the privilege of going snorkeling in their backyard. Unfortunately, many are not blessed to live in beautiful tropical places and have to reside in the very center of a concrete jungle.
Therefore, most people are doomed to book a flight, go on a long trip, and enjoy all the summer activities.
But the question arises: should pregnant women even go on a plane?
In general, pregnant women are not advised to take a flight after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Many airline companies even have a policy of not boarding pregnant women after the 35th week, unless their doctor thinks otherwise.
Going on a flight in the third trimester can provoke premature labor, or even result in some complications. So, it’s best to avoid planes in this period.
However, it’s not just flying by plane that should be avoided. Going on long-distance car rides can also be detrimental for pregnant women. Bumpy roads, fast rides, and uncomfortable seats can be very hard to handle when you’re pregnant.
Many women avoid long car rides in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy not only because of nausea and vomiting but also because the risk of miscarriage is extremely high during this period.
The third trimester is critical because of all the extra weight, excessive tiredness, and fatigue. So, if the car trip cannot be avoided, it’s best to travel during the second trimester, since in that period women feel pretty much okay.
Just make sure that you consult your doctor about the trip and research if there are any healthcare facilities at your destination in case you need urgent medical attention.
Can you snorkel while pregnant?
Let’s put your mind at ease – yes! You absolutely can snorkel while pregnant. If this is something you generally like doing, then I’m sure you’re relieved now.
For pregnant ladies, many things, and activities are off the table. However, activities like water aerobics and snorkeling are in fact approved by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Snorkeling can be a great activity to enjoy while pregnant, and it can have many benefits for your body. Here are some of them:
- it is a great way to maintain your fitness levels which is important for both you and your baby
- it helps take pressure from your body because the water can do wonders for your hard-working muscles whose job is to support this new pregnant belly
- it is an extremely relaxing activity; it takes away the stress and helps you stay calm, which is so important while pregnant.
This activity is a great alternative to diving. So, if you’re someone who loves to dive into the depths of the ocean, but that’s not something you can do while pregnant, bear in mind that snorkeling is a decent substitution for it.
Just make sure you consult your doctor first. If he confirms you and your baby are in a good condition, you’re free to enjoy this fun water activity.
Now that you know you can snorkel while pregnant, it’s time to talk about the ways how you should do it. What should you pay special attention to? What do you need to consider in order to enjoy it as much as you possibly can?
Below, you’ll find 10 amazing and useful tips on how to have the best snorkel time ever in your life! If you follow these, I’m sure you and your baby will love snorkeling with you. So without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
10 useful snorkeling tips and precautions you need to follow
Dear momma-to-be, hate to break it to you, but you have to consider how far along are you in your pregnancy!
This is important because those 9 months you’ll be going through will be so unbelievably different from one another. Let me explain it in more detail.
Every pregnancy is a story of its own. Each woman goes through her own journey, experiencing both plenty of stress and even more blessings.
However, this experience of many discoveries and surprises is the same for everyone in a general sense, i.e., the longevity of this period.
Every pregnancy is counted from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period, even though most pregnancies aren’t conceived until two weeks later. Therefore, as a whole, each pregnancy includes 40 weeks, that is 280 days.
This period is divided into three trimesters. Each trimester is about 12 to 14 weeks long. The breakdown isn’t exact since only about 30 percent of pregnancies will reach precisely 40 weeks.
During the first trimester (1-12 weeks), which is the crucial period in a baby’s development, most women usually experience tiredness. In the second trimester (13–26 weeks) that fatigue either decreases or diminishes completely.
However, during the third and the last trimester (27th week till the end), the tiredness comes back, and women often experience shortness of breath and even have problems sleeping.
This information is important because you’ll be able to determine when’s the best time to enjoy some fun activities, like snorkeling, depending on what stage of your pregnancy.
By all accounts, the best time to go is in the second trimester when the pregnancy symptoms are tolerable, and the fatigue has subsided.
1. Research the area where you’ll be snorkeling
Before you do anything in the water, first do your research! This might sound silly and unnecessary to you, but it is actually very important. I’m sure you want to know where you are going and what you are getting yourself into.
By researching the area, you can prepare yourself for basically anything. You can find out if the beach is full of sharp rocks, if there are a lot of jellyfish that can sting you, or what the currents are like.
If you come prepared, nothing can surprise you and you can fully enjoy your trip!
2. It’s important not to hold your breath for too long
It would be great if you had prior experience in breathing through a snorkel. But, if your snorkeling skills are low or non-existent, please don’t go snorkeling in the ocean.
People who are not experienced in snorkeling tend to hold their breath for too long, which is something a pregnant woman should never do. Holding your breath can seriously harm your baby because it needs a constant oxygen flow.
So, if you don’t normally snorkel, then you shouldn’t choose to try it for the first time while you’re pregnant. Rather postpone it until after the birth.
Instead, indulge in light swimming as it can be very beneficial for pregnant ladies.
3. Make sure you don’t overheat
Of course, you’re going to go snorkeling in the summertime when the temperatures tend to be really high. However, you have to make sure you don’t overheat your body.
Pregnant women have a slightly higher core body temperature than the average. Because of the increased blood flow, their body temperature can be around 100 °F, and the average temperature is generally between 97 and 98 °F.
If the body temperature increases up to 102 °F and stays like that for more than 10 minutes, there’s a high risk of neural tube defect, dehydration in the mother, or even miscarriage.
This doesn’t mean you have to stay in your hotel room for the rest of your trip. You can enjoy the sun as it provides you with precious vitamin D, but just make sure you don’t overheat.
Find a spot on the beach with enough shade, so you can retrieve to your hiding place whenever you’re feeling too warm.
4. Drink plenty of water and eat enough yummy food
Water is important not only to stay hydrated but also to ensure your body temperature is regulated. So, how much water should you drink?
Well, it would be best to consult your doctor. The standard recommended amount is 8–10 glasses or around 3 liters of water. However, that number might change, depending on your activity levels and overall personal needs.
And when it comes to food, again, eat whatever your doctor advises. Make sure it is light (since you are on a vacation) and packed with all the nutrients you need.
A nice fresh fruit bowl can be just the thing you need. It’s a perfect snack for the beach, and it can be something your little one enjoys, too. Yummy salads are also a great option.
Fish can also make for a great meal. However, it is recommended that pregnant women consume fish which has low levels of mercury. Too much mercury in your bloodstream can damage your baby’s brain and nerve development.
5. Relax, take it easy!
Can you snorkel while pregnant? Sure you can, but you also have to find some time for yourself and take a break every now and then.
Relaxation during pregnancy is of high importance and it can be very therapeutic.
Of course, for some people snorkeling is very relaxing, too. However, you must remember you’re sharing that body of yours with another human who might not appreciate you constantly being on the go.
So, it’s important for both of you to simply lie on the beach under the sunshade, with an interesting book and a cold beverage of choice (of course, a non-alcoholic one).
Remember, saving your energy is the key! Don’t overexert yourself. Listen to your body and your needs. And take a break whenever you feel like it.
6. Keep reapplying that sunscreen!
SPF is a must! That’s one of the beauty rules that simply have to be followed. Products containing high SPF should be applied throughout the whole year, not only over the summer. They should especially be used when you find yourself on the beach, in direct sunlight.
Professionals suggest that pregnant women should use mineral sunscreen when they are under sun exposure. According to them, certain chemical ingredients in everyday sunscreen can be extremely harmful to the baby’s development.
I’m guessing that checking the back side of your sunscreen and reading ingredients wasn’t something you thought would be important to do, but it is actually crucial.
Look for sunscreens that are based on titanium oxide or zinc oxide. These sunscreens are usually non-comedogenic and extremely gentle on the skin.
Our suggestions include CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Evereden Sheer Botanical Face Sunscreen, and Pipette Mineral Sunscreen.
7. Consider getting some equipment to avoid injuries and have a safer experience
Apart from having a snorkel, you should also have other useful items which will ensure you have a safer and easier snorkeling experience and avoid any potential and unwanted injuries.
Before we continue, let’s just get one thing straight: if possible, make sure these items are yours. I know it can be a tad bit too expensive to buy every single thing you need and that some things are just easier to rent.
However, you never know how well-disinfected those items are. You don’t want to risk any unnecessary rashes, nail fungus, or similar skin conditions on your vacation, do you? Better to be safe, than sorry.
So if possible, buy your own stuff. Or if you can’t, buy your own disinfectant just to be one hundred percent sure everything is sanitized and ready for you to use.
Now that we got that out of our way, let’s move on to the things you’ll actually need so you can snorkel while pregnant.
First thighs first, get water shoes. A high-quality pair is usually not that expensive. You can find them for around $30, and they will make walking out of the water over sharp rocks a much more pleasant experience.
Find a pair that has durable rubber soles as this will ensure you have enough traction and grip, and will also add another layer of protection. You are pregnant and stepping awkwardly over sharp stones and falling over is surely not something you want to do.
Next, consider getting a snorkel vest or a rash guard. By doing so, you will cover your back and your belly and add a layer of protection against any potential bites, sunburns, or stings.
Also, they provide some floating assistance. So you can relax and rely on them in moments when you feel extra tired.
And if you want some assistance while swimming, use your fins. They ensure you move faster and with them, you can snorkel while pregnant a lot easier. Another bonus is that they are great energy savers, as well.
Lastly, consider using a diving flag. I know, I know, they are definitely not among pretty beachy accessories. But if you know you will be a nosy parker and explore unprotected areas, this little thing can save your and your baby’s life.
They usually come in red and white, so lifeguards are trained to keep an eye on them. And, they are also noticeable to others. Therefore, if you get yourself in a situation where you cannot get out on your own, your diving flag will come in handy.
8. Bring a first-aid kit
It’s never a bad idea to come prepared. Of course, if you are careful enough and take care not to injure yourself, there is a high probability that no injury will occur. But who is so careful on vacation, anyway?
Therefore, it’s best to play it safe and bring your first-aid kit. It doesn’t have to be the big one since nobody has that much free space in their bag. But, a mini first-aid kit will surely suffice.
9. Never snorkel alone
This is the most important rule of snorkeling, whether you are pregnant or not.
Make sure that you obey this rule and don’t break it under any circumstances. If you are on your vacation with your partner or your friends, let them know how important it is to stay together when snorkeling.
You can snorkel while pregnant without any worry, as long as you have someone who keeps an eye on you. That special someone will be the one to help you in case of any emergency or to call lifeguards if the situation gets out of control.
Also, make sure to do everything at your own pace. If you’re snorkeling with someone, and you feel you’re getting tired, dizzy, or sick, get out of the water and go rest on the beach.
Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of emotions and states, so you have to listen to your body. Trust me, nobody will mind if you decide to skip snorkeling for that day or simply take some time to relax.
10. Consider going for a light walk
Walking during pregnancy has many benefits. This light exercise reduces backaches, bloating, constipation, and swelling. It boosts your mood and energy levels, improves your sleep, and lowers the risk of gestational diabetes.
Walking is also said to reduce the risk of having a C-section and to shorten labor. It can also distract your mind from snorkeling, in case your doctor said you shouldn’t do it.
So, if you have nothing better to do on your vacation, wear a comfy pair of walking shoes, bring some water, and pick a location full of shade, like a forest for example.
Also, bring a friend or your significant other with whom you will be able to explore other natural beauties, rather they relying solely on the seaside.
Can pregnant women dive? Are there any potential risks?
Now that we’ve established that you can snorkel while pregnant, there’s one similar dilemma we want to solve. Can pregnant women dive?
Well, as we have previously briefly mentioned, it is not recommended for pregnant women to dive. Diving while pregnant increases the risk of some serious conditions, such as decompression sickness (DCI) which can harm the fetus as well.
Decompression sickness is caused by surfacing too quickly and can result in the expansion of nitrogen bubbles. If those bubbles cannot be properly diffused, that expansion can cause the baby a lot of distress and lead to severe birth defects.
As scary as it may be to hear, repeated decompression can result in the death of the baby.
So, it’s safe to say that it would be best to stay away from diving. You’re not going to be pregnant forever. It’s better to leave the diving to the next year, and this vacation to enjoy other activities, like snorkeling.