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Why cant you scuba when pregnant?

(8 Posts)
jellyjelly Thu 25-May-06 08:30:06

Have never known the answer.

Twiglett Thu 25-May-06 08:31:20

water pressure

CarolinaMoose Thu 25-May-06 08:35:55

I remember reading they don't actually know if it's safe or not, so they err on the side of caution by advising against it.

Think the worry is also to do with the way nitrogen bubbles in your system expand as you get nearer the surface - I think in theory the baby could get the bends? (no doubt someone will be along to correct this soon!)

Twiglett Thu 25-May-06 08:37:22

would have thought reduced lung capacity too

CarolinaMoose Thu 25-May-06 08:42:14

But the oxygen is compressed too, so you get the same amount of oxygen in a smaller volume of breath iyswim.

tissy Thu 25-May-06 08:44:38

Iknow a few people who have done, before they knew they were pregnant, without any apparent ill effects.

I think it is just that (as with many areas of medicine)you are not allowed to do research on pregnant women to find out the effects. For a start, most women would not want to take part in a study that may harm their baby. Secondly, the baby is completely unable to consent to the study, and consent of a parent for a child whether in or out of the womb, is a rather thorny issue legally. It is for this reason that many drugs used in paediatrics are not tested as formally as the same drug used in an adult (even though they are clearly effective),and they therefore cannot be licensed in the same way that adult drugs are.

There is a theoretical risk to the foetus from gas bubbles in the mum's circulation- a small bubble may cause more damage in a tiny deveoping brain than in a fully grown one (but to balance that, foetal nervous tissue is better at recovering from damage than adult tissue). I've got a diving medicine book at home- I'll get back later if there is anything else important!

tissy Thu 25-May-06 08:47:00

here is some more info

jellyjelly Thu 25-May-06 09:05:43

thankyou that was very interesting.

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