Before I dive into this vital topic, it is important to say that you should not scuba dive when pregnant. Being in or around water is enormously relaxing, but you should absolutely stay at the surface while you’re still pregnant. As a woman pregnant for the third time, I can reassure you that if you love the water and crave it as much as I do, then you should, can and will return to it in time.

My mindset post-birth has always to try to heal quickly. And this means more than just the physical side of things. My emotional state is a whirlwind before and after baby, so I wanted to find my way back to what I loved doing – scuba diving – as quickly as possible. This is because I wanted and needed to maintain my sense of self.

Diving and Pregnancy: Chantelle
The author sitting on the beach while pregnant. Image courtesy of Radoslaw Krol.

My advice is to anyone who is currently pregnant is to stay in touch with the water. Watch The Silent World if you haven’t already, or stream Blue Planet. Visit the beach, attend a beach clean, go swimming. Be as present as you can with the sea.

All of this will set you up nicely for returning to scuba diving after giving birth. But once you get in the groove of life with a baby, what’s the best way to get back in the water after pregnancy? Below, we’ll explore five great activities to start diving again.

a PADI ReActivate class taking place in a swimming pool

1. Take a Scuba Refresher

If you had less than 20 to 50 dives before pregnancy or you’ve been out of the water for more than year (even if you’ve dived extensively), you’ll need to take a scuba refresher before going scuba diving again. The PADI ReActivate program is a great option that combines both online learning and an in-person element with a PADI Instructor to refresh the skills you’ve previously learned. The best part? The PADI ReActivate eLearning is included in a PADI Club membership. Learn more about PADI Club here.

If you don’t want to do a scuba refresher, the alternative is to sign up for the next PADI course and continue your diver education. You can even get started on your next course via PADI eLearning while you’re still pregnant and wait to complete the in-water portion of the course at a later date.

2. Get Inspired Through Film

Even if you aren’t quite ready to get back in the water just yet, you can watch films to get inspired – a great activity to do while cuddling your new baby. I fell in love with Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic and am still always on the edge of my seat every time I watch Jaws. A genuine recommendation is The Deepest Breath. It will have you in tears and feeling connected to others whose passions with water run deep. You can also attend The Ocean Film Festival which screens internationally at various locations and venues throughout the year.

Dive Against Debris Diver

3. Become an Ocean Torchbearer

Get involved with local conservation projects to reconnect with diving and help save the ocean. As someone who lives in a coastal city, I found this easy to do. The PADI AWARE Foundation is an obvious way to connect with other divers wanting to protect marine environments and to share a collective vision to support healthier seas. PADI AWARE’s Dive Against Debris program is a super way to upload data about your underwater clean-ups. Recording what you collect, where and how much is vital to its management and control. Contributing in this way is invaluable.

4. Visit Your Local Dive Shop

Find a PADI Dive Center near you and pay it a visit. The professionals in your area will support your route back into the water and help you get back to scuba diving after pregnancy. Often centers run a variety of scuba diving schedules to suit multiple needs and requirements. Some have been known to offer child care or to recommend trusted locals to babysit while you dive.

long haul travel

5. Book a Dive Trip to a Family-Friendly Resort

It can also be really easy to put off looking for dive trips. Lives are busy, but with children they are even busier. But with most airlines offering free travel for kids under the age of two, it makes sense to travel while they’re young, especially if you are from somewhere with a long maternity leave. And, this is a great way to easily get back to scuba diving after pregnancy. On PADI Travel, a good dive travel agency with information about top dive destinations, you’ll find a collection of family-friendly dive resorts. These resorts welcome children with open arms, and some of them even provide childcare while the parents dive.

Most importantly, stay you, stay a diver.

About the Author

Chantelle Wyatt is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Managing Editor of The Scuba News UK. She’s always looking for the next best dive experience with a passion for the natural world that only grows with every dive. Chantelle was a surrogate for her two best friends and is passionate about opening conversations about diving and pregnancy.

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