This is the first of many posts we’ll be adding about being pregnant on Maui.
For the most part, snorkeling while pregnant can be done without danger and can be a great way to get some exercise while increasing the mother’s happiness (both very important for a healthy pregnancy.)
There are a few things you should consider before snorkeling while pregnant. When in your 3rd trimester, it’s a bit more risky since you’ll have less energy and dexterity.
1. Reef Cuts and Infection
Upon entry and exit of the water, you’ll often find yourself in shallow water. Shallows are also prevalent around reef outcroppings. If you touch the reef at anytime, you’ll likely be cut. Cuts lead to infections, which are bad news when pregnant. We suggest going out at calm beaches and staying a clear distance from any reef.
2. Pressure Issues
When snorkeling when pregnant, it’s imperative that you stay on the surface. Diving below causes pressure issues which can cause harm to the baby. Scuba diving is out of the question because of this.
The 1st trimester and 3rd are the most exhausting. It’s suggested that you never overexert yourself with exercise at anytime during your pregnancy. When you’re out in the ocean, you can’t take breaks. Stay close to the shore and don’t stay out any longer than you’re comfortable with.
On the same lines as #3, currents can put you in positions that would necessitate you’re pushing harder than you should. Research the spot you want to go to for regular currents. Always start against a current if present. That way if you get tired, going back is the easy part.
I’ve seen a pregnant woman in her 3rd trimester swimming out at a heavy beach break (Big Beach). Unfortunately, I only realized her condition after she’d struggled to come in. That baby had a hell of a ride. Thankfully they both are OK, but it could have been much worse. Even if the water looks calm, watch it for a while before entering. The ocean can do some scary things even if you’re not pregnant.
6. Holding Your Breath
Some snorkelers find themselves involuntarily holding their breath. This is fine, but when pregnant, it’s a danger. Don’t hold your breath ever while pregnant especially when over-exerted.
We hope these tips have helped you snorkel while pregnant more safely (if we didn’t completely discourage you!) We think snorkeling in Maui is a great thing to do when pregnant, but we strongly urge you to take precautions and limit your activity to light exertion.
Maui Goodness and Hawaii Web Group LLC are not responsible for your safety and we are not liable for any injury or loss that occurs to our readers. Please use your own judgement before doing anything potentially dangerous to you or your child.
All of the photos were taken on a recent snorkeling session with my wife on the south side of Maui. She is in her first trimester of pregnancy and doing great!