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Pregnancy & Diving

Can you dive when pregnant? The short answer is, unfortunately, no. Along with smoking and drinking, women should stop scuba diving for the term of their pregnancy.

While this may be disappointing news for dedicated female scuba divers (such as myself), it is the best advice, given what research is available.

Medical research into this topic is somewhat limited, with not too many Mums-to-be very keen to become test subjects. However, what human research does exist, combined with research undertaken on sheep, which have the closest placenta to humans, suggests scuba diving can cause harm to your developing child and possibly result in miscarriage or birth defects.

This makes it a no-brainer. Put scuba diving behind you for a while and focus on some land based activities instead.

I suppose for most women, like myself, this does not come up until you are actually planning a family. I read a lot of material on the internet and then asked my obstetrician for advice. He told me that scuba diving was strictly off limits for the duration of my pregnancy.

Snorkelling was acceptable, as long as I stuck to floating on the surface with strictly no diving down to any depth at all. I accept this advice and follow it to the letter, as at no point in time do I want to endanger my baby and its development.

12 weeks pregnant

12 weeks pregnant

32 weeks pregnant

32 weeks pregnant

28 weeks pregnant

28 weeks pregnant


Note: For anyone like me who suffers from sea sickness, another thing to take into consideration is pregnancy and medication. I cannot take my usual sea sickness preventative medication (Kwells) whilst pregnant. This means for me, I am now totally out of the water for the duration of my pregnancy, unless it is a really calm day.

So why is pregnancy and diving a no go? There are a few different reasons, as follows:

  1. The risk to a fetus if it suffers from decompression sickness is high and can be fatal.
  2. The fetus does not have lungs to filter nitrogen. If the mother gets decompression illness and passes it on to her fetus, the fetus does not have any way to expel any bubbles that may form.

Studies have shown that women who dive while pregnant may suffer from miscarriage, or their babies may suffer from birth defects, including neonatal respiratory difficulties and heart abnormalities.

How long do I need to wait to scuba dive after my baby has arrived?

This will vary from woman to woman, pending your general health, labour, delivery and baby.

Generally speaking, women who have had a natural birth should not scuba dive for at least four weeks after the arrival of their baby. For women who have had a caesarean, it may be longer.

I hope this page is of some assistance for expectant mothers. Pregnancy is a journey and something we all want to complete safely, being able to make informed decisions regarding our actions and their possible impacts on our unborn children.

This information has been gathered from my own online research and by speaking to my doctors. The best advice is to seek your own advice from a medical professional on all and any matters pertaining to safety and your pregnancy.

Congratulations and just think, you and your water baby will be blowing bubbles together before you know it.

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Selected Tours

Tusa Dive T6

Tusa Dive provide quality Great Barrier Reef snorkel / dive day tours on one of Cairns' newest reef day boats, T6. Up to 5 hours on the reef, visiting 2 locations. Great service - all meals included.
$200
Tusa at the Reef


Quicksilver Outer Great Barrier Reef Cruises

The Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Cruise - Quicksilver Cruises provides the only Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef pontoon tour, departing Marina Mirage daily. Can snorkel and dive, Semi-Submarines & Underwater Observatory.
$232


Great Adventures: Green Island – Full Day

Great Adventures offer two departure (8.30am - 10.30am) and return times (2.30pm - 4.30pm) for their full day tours. Flexible option, suitable for families.
$90.00


Fitzroy Island Ferries

Fitzroy Island Ferries have three (3) convenient departure and return times from Cairns to Fitzroy Island, making this great for half day or full day tours.
$95


M.V. Reef Kist – Cairns Dive Centre

Great value one of Cairns cheapest day boats to the Great Barrier Reef. Full day snorkeling visiting 2 x Reef Locations. Includes lunch and all snorkel gear.
$150
Cairns Dive Centre


Frankland Islands

This dive and snorkel reef day tour departs from Deeral, which is 40-minutes south of Cairns, and visits the Frankland Islands group which is surrounded by fringing reefs.
$159
The Frankland Islands Group of Islands.


Deep Sea Divers Den: Sea Quest

Value for money Great Barrier Reef day tour. Visits 2 reef sites. Perfect for snorkellers, certified divers and those wanting to try an introductory dive. Buffet lunch included.
$165


Passions Of Paradise

Australian Tourism Award Winner. Daily dive / snorkel trips to Michaelmas Cay & Paradise Reef on 25m sailing catamaran. Free scuba demonstration & guided snorkel tour. Hot / cold buffet lunch.
$169
The Passions of Paradise boat Cairns Australia


Down Under Dive: Evolution

Well priced Great Barrier Reef day tour, including BBQ lunch. 5 hours on the reef at 2 reef sites. Free guided snorkelling tours, introductory and certified diving. Brand new boat (December 2015).
$169
Down Under Dive Evolution


Magic 2 – Day Snorkel Cruise

Magic 2 offers a great value for money option for people to join a large stable boat that spends 5 hours at a beautiful reef location. Free guided snorkel tour, glass bottom boat tour and marine presentation.
$178


Deep Sea Divers Den: Reef Quest

Value for money Great Barrier Reef day tour. Visits 2 reef sites. Perfect for snorkellers, certified divers and those wanting to try an introductory dive. Buffet lunch included. New boat (Dec 2015).
$180
ReefQuest


Ocean Spirit Cruises – Michaelmas Cay

Ocean Spirit Cruises provide a luxury sailing catamaran to Michaelmas Cay. This trip is suited to swimmers, snorkelers and families. Often Sea Turtles are seen from the beach. All meals included.
$194


Ocean Freedom

Locally owned & operated. 5 star service. Up to 6 hours snorkel / dive time at 2 Great Barrier Reef locations. Best reef tour lunch in town. Friendly crew, glass bottom boat tour & much more.
$195
Ocean Freedom the quickest Great Barrier Reef day tour dive in Cairns


Ocean Free

Unique Cairns to Green Island sailing day tour. Max number of guests = 35. Snorkelling & diving plus time on Green Island. Buffet lunch + morning and afternoon tea included. Friendly crew.
$195
Scuba diving Green Island


Reef Experience

Cairns' only fully inclusive day tour, including: city transfers, trip to Great Barrier Reef, 6 hours on reef, 2 reef locations, meals, free scuba dive, marine biologist presentation & equipment.
$195
Fully inclusive Great Barrier Reef day tours with Reef Experience


Seastar Cruises

Seastar provides daily dive and snorkel tours to Michaelmas Cay and Hastings Reef. Up to 5 hours at the reef and 2 guided snorkel tours included.
$195


Reef Magic – Marine World

Up to 5 hours at the reef. Outer Great Barrier Reef pontoon with fabulous coral gardens. Meet Wally! Lots of inclusions: snorkelling, glass bottom boat, semi-sub, underwater observatory and more.
$199
Reef Magic Outer Reef Scuba Diving


Sunlover Cruises

Great day tour for people of all ages. Visit Outer Reef Pontoon at Moore Reef, with lots of inclusions: snorkelling, glass bottom boat and semi-sub tours, underwater observatory and more.
$199
Lady enjoying the water-slide at Moore Reef.


Silverswift Dive & Snorkel

Only Cairns Great Barrier Reef day tour to visit 3 different reef sites in one day! Part of the Quicksilver Cruises fleet. Comfortable, high speed catamaran. Up to 5 hours at the reef.
$210
Silverswift At The Reef


Great Adventures: Outer Reef

Leaves later than most (10am) and provides up to 3 hours at their outer reef pontoon. Enjoy the sun deck, underwater observatory, semi-submersible and many optional extras.
$224
Great Adventures


Silversonic

Silversonic provides daily reef tours departing from Port Douglas and visiting the ribbon reefs at Agincourt Reef. 5 hours at reef and up to 3 dives.
$230


Poseidon Snorkel and Dive

Poseidon provides daily tours from Port Douglas to the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs, visiting three (3) separate reef sites. Suitable for divers and snorkelers.
$236


Great Adventures: Green Island & Great Barrier Reef

This is the only Cairns day tour to combine time on Green Island with a visit to a Great Barrier Reef pontoon. Best of both worlds. Suitable for snorkellers and divers.
$244
Great Adventures Green Island & Reef Package


Do you need help choosing?

Can't decide? We have personally been on every Cairns reef and diving trip. We can help you choose the best tour, to suit your experience and budget.

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