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Is Snorkeling Safe During Pregnancy?

Updated August 3, 2022

Snorkeling is a great way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.

But is snorkeling safe during pregnancy?

Our OB/GYN Doug Penta, MD said this was a pretty common question from pregnant women.

Snorkeling and sport diving have become increasingly popular and many couples want to go snorkeling on their honeymoon or babymoon.


Is Snorkeling Safe During Pregnancy?


So is snorkeling safe during pregnancy?


Yes, Snorkeling is safe during pregnancy. You will have to hold off on scuba diving until after your baby is born (Source). You should clear your snorkeling plans with your doctor or midwife before you go. Most important is to be sure to go snorkeling with someone who is experienced! 


snorkeling during pregnancy


Snorkeling while pregnant first trimester:

It is safe to go snorkeling during your first trimester.

Snorkeling during your first trimester of pregnancy is exciting, but not without its challenges..

It isn’t unusual to have morning sickness and fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Both can make enjoying a snorkeling trip difficult to say the very least.

Be gentle with yourself if you feel nauseous, sit down, sip on some ginger ale or ginger tea, and nibble on some crackers or dry cereal.

The motion of the boat may make your nausea worse.

Sea bands can help prevent nausea and vomiting from morning sickness and motion sickness.

If you are tired, call it a day and head back to your hotel for a well-deserved nap.

Stay well hydrated. It is critical to stay well-hydrated all through pregnancy, but becoming dehydrated during the first trimester can make morning sickness and fatigue worse.

10 things you need to know before you go snorkeling while pregnant:


1. You should always check with your doctor before traveling.

It is important to see your doctor before you go traveling during pregnancy

Some doctors recommend avoiding any water activities during the later stages of pregnancy when labor could ensue.

Also, because maternal mobility is limited near your due date, activities such as snorkeling while pregnant can be too strenuous.


2. Safety precautions for swimming and snorkeling should be followed when pregnant.

This includes wearing a life jacket sized properly for your pregnancy and being aware of your surroundings.

Choose a reputable snorkeling excursion company that is known for following safety protocols.


3. Stay close to the shoreline and avoid deep or rough waters.

This is particularly important when snorkeling as it is very easy to wander away from the shore while submerged.

If you go out on a boat, stay close to the boat while snorkeling in case you have a problem.


4. If you experience any cramping, nausea, or dizziness while in the water, get out immediately and rest.

Get out of the sun and drink some fluids.

If it persists seek medical attention.


5. Don’t let the snorkel mouthpiece come into direct contact with your lips for long periods of time.

This can cause irritation or chafe on sensitive skin areas such as those around your mouth or nose.

You want to avoid developing any sores or open cuts on your lips or nose.


6. Avoid using any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone.

It may cause birth defects in unborn babies when absorbed through their mothers’ bloodstreams during pregnancy (FDA).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there is no safe amount of oxybenzone that should be used while expecting because its effects are unknown at this time; they recommend avoiding all products containing this ingredient completely until further research has been done.

So use pregnancy-safe sunscreen when you are out in the water or on the beach.


7. Remove your snorkeling gear after every use and rinse it off with fresh water to prevent any mold or mildew build-up.

That could irritate sensitive skin areas such as those around the mouth or nose during prolonged contact periods like when you’re underwater.

This is especially important if you are going on vacation in a hot climate where there may be too much enough humidity for proper drying between uses so make sure you pack extra pairs of masks, fins, etc just in case they get wet while swimming before having time to dry out completely.


8. Always go snorkeling with a partner.

Preferably one who is familiar with snorkeling.

Since there is always the chance you may need assistance

If you can go snorkeling with a group that is even better.

Make sure they know you are pregnant.


9. Use quality equipment when you go snorkeling.

Granted, deep diving or scuba diving is where quality equipment is most critical, even snorkeling equipment should be in excellent condition and certified safe for ocean use.


10. Wear protective clothing and footwear.

The places where snorkeling is most popular are also places where there can be sharp rocks and coral.

Wearing protective footwear will prevent you from stepping on sharp objects.

Stepping on an object and getting a cut, can quickly put a damper on your underwater excursion.

FAQ about snorkeling while pregnant


Can you go on a boat when pregnant?

Yes, you can go on a boat during pregnancy.

You do need to follow some simple safety precautions.

Do not go tubing behind a boat during pregnancy.

Always wear a lifejacket.

Avoid riding in a boat if the water is extremely rough or choppy.

Be prepared for motion sickness.


Can you scuba while pregnant?

No. Scuba diving is not safe during pregnancy. (Source)

There is a risk of decompression injury to your baby.

Sport diving is off the table during pregnancy for that reason too.

Another issue to consider is the bodily changes that take place during pregnancy can impact how scuba equipment fits and those changes can impact your balance and mobility.

Making you more prone to injuries.



Final Thoughts

Snorkeling is an excellent form of exercise during pregnancy.

It is safe to enjoy snorkeling while pregnant as long as you follow safety precautions.

Talk to your doctor before you leave on your snorkeling trip, wear a lifejacket, snorkel with a partner, wear sunscreen, and stop if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or fatigued.

Don’t overdo it. Give yourself plenty of time to rest and relax.

Enjoy your snorkeling adventures!




  • Doug Penta MD OB/GYN

    Dr. Doug Penta, MD - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Dr. Doug Penta, is a seasoned Obstetrician and Gynecologist with over 38 years of practice, co-founded Maternity Comfort Solutions to provide evidence-based pregnancy and parenting information. A Boston University alum and former Clinical Professor at Harvard, his articles on Maternity Comfort Solutions offer expectant mothers invaluable nutritional insights.

  • Sue Winters RN

    Sue Winters, RN - Co-Founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions Sue combines 20 years of nursing with a rich background in early childhood education. Co-founder of Maternity Comfort Solutions, her articles provide creative toddler activities and practical tips on pregnancy nutrition and baby shower planning, embodying her commitment to supporting families through early parenthood.

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