Is Diving While Pregnant Safe?

diving-while-pregnantFor women who are or may become pregnant, diving is a possibly dangerous activity. Every diver knows the activity can be a dangerous one. However it has particular concerns for pregnant individuals. Simply put, diving can put pressure on the body and on the fetus as well. Because this is unnecessary pressure, it is best to avoid the activity if at all possible. Most well educated instructors of diving do what they can to stop pregnant women from diving. However, it is better if one knows why it may be unsafe for them, rather than simply being told it is dangerous.

Recent studies show that women who are pregnant are prone to DCS (decompression sickness). DCS is a term used for the bubbles that form from solution inside one’s body. When this occurs, there are a myriad of symptoms that can occur such as nausea, pain, rashes, and paralysis. Another worry is that the bubbles in a fetus are possible. For those women who are in their second or third trimester, this is especially worrisome. Within a fetus, these bubbles can become extremely dangerous as they can migrate to vital organs. Damage to the fetus’s brain or organs can cause birth defects or even incite a miscarriage.
Studies have not been wholly conclusive when it comes to humans because in-depth testing cannot be done. No woman wants to chance her potential child to a series of test that could involve death. Because of this, only animal studies have been done in hyperbaric. The studies have shown some adverse effects, but it is not easy to tell if they would translate to human impact. Few studies have been done on women who were pregnant after deep diving. These studies came back inconclusive. While some showed an increased risk of birth defects, another showed no raised likelihood. Until there are particular tests done directly on pregnant females, there is no definitive answer.

There is no real necessity to diving. Even if one dives for work, maternity leave or temporary job migration is standard. This is directly because the possible effects on the pregnant woman’s body. More importantly, since there is no necessity to dive, there is no reason to put a fetus or woman at risk. Why risk your body or your potential child’s when you can simply wait out the terms and return to diving? If diving is simply a hobby you cannot live without, try open-ocean snorkeling. While it certainly will not give you every advantage of deep-water diving, you will still be able to partake in your general hobby. And what is nine months of waiting when afterwards you can teach and share the fun of diving with your child. Again, the risk and reward is simply not worth it. A healthy pregnancy is a responsibility. The fun of diving will still be around when you are done with that responsibility.

Which Rebreather Should I Buy?

which-rebreatherWhen looking for the right rebreather it is important to remember the factors that matter most to a purchaser. Knowing things like what type of rebreather you are purchasing, if the company is reputable, and whether or not you can get the rebreather fixed if a malfunction occurs, are important aspects to consider when buying your rebreather.

What is a Rebreather?

Just in case there are any probable buyers that know they are looking for a rebreather, but are not quite sure what a rebreather does: A rebreather is an apparatus used in scuba diving that recycles air that would otherwise be wasted during the exhaling process during scuba diving. By reusing the air that would be wasted, the rebreather enables one to use a smaller amount of oxygen and thus a lighter overall weight-baring amount while diving. Rebreathers are especially important for shallow diving, where a larger portion of oxygen and nitrogen is wasted by what are known as open-circuit breathers.

Main Types

The first thing anyone should remember is to know what type of rebreather they are using. There are three main types, the closed-circuit rebreather (CCR), the semi-closed circuit rebreather (SCCR). Semi-closed loops are often considered more useful than open-circuit breathing apparatuses because they are lighter and allow for longer durations under water. However, they need to consistently omit gas. This makes the closed-circuit rebreathers the most coveted of the apparatuses as they allow for long dives with no bubbles being omitted.

Primary Features to Look For

When buying your rebreather look for items such as maximum functioning depth as well as information display types. It is of utmost importance that any diver can easily and readily read his or her information when diving so they do not exceed maximum depths or oxygen time. Also, make sure that you keep an eye out for emergency attachments. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Look for available warning systems on the gear as well. Make sure the warning systems and emergency attachments are easily understandable and to your liking.

Other Basic Features

Consider the weight of your rebreather gear. For those who can handle higher weights, it can often mean longer dive times. Weight does not necessarily equate to airtime however, and so it is important to check the actual dive-time limits on the rebreathers you are considering. Also, keep in mind the types of harnesses and straps utilized by any gear that you are interested in.

Double-check The Company

Remember that when buying rebreather equipment, you may need maintenance or additional parts if something is damaged. Finding a reputable company is important. If a company folds or no longer exists, it may become highly expensive or even impossible to retrieve necessary parts.

No matter which style or type of rebreather you are looking for, remember to stick to the basic necessities first. This includes making sure all the most important features are prevalent and accounted for. Only then should you begin to search for specific styles and the bells and whistles you desire.