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Can You Snorkel While Pregnant?

Can You Snorkel While Pregnant? (FAQs and Details)

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When you’re pregnant, it’s easy to think about all the things you can’t do. Eating sushi, drinking alcohol, or consuming large amounts of caffeine, just to name a few. But one of the things you may not have thought about is snorkeling while pregnant.

It is safe for women to snorkel while pregnant. Swimming by itself is a safe way for pregnant women to exercise, and unlike scuba diving, snorkeling doesn’t involve any change in pressure or breathing in any gasses. 

When you’re going on vacation sometime during your pregnancy, you might look for an answer to the question can you snorkel while pregnant? Read on to find out when snorkeling is safe for pregnant women and if there are any benefits to snorkeling during your pregnancy.

Can you snorkel while pregnant?

Snorkeling during pregnancy can be a safe and fun way to stay active. Studies have shown that aquatic exercises during pregnancy can prevent excessive weight gain and gestational depression.

Although there are benefits to exercise during each stage of pregnancy, your energy levels and physical wellness may vary in each trimester.

woman snorkeling in life jacket

Is it safe to snorkel while pregnant in the second trimester?

The second trimester would be ideal for most pregnant women to snorkel. While your body has physically changed the least during the first trimester, most women experience tiredness and frequent nausea during the first 12 weeks.

Many women report a burst of energy and a decrease in morning sickness during the second trimester. There’s no reason you can’t snorkel in the first trimester, but to make sure you’re comfortable during your snorkeling excursion, you may want to wait until you’re feeling well physically. 

Is it safe to snorkel while pregnant in the third trimester?

For most pregnant women, it will be safe to continue snorkeling until the third trimester since vigorous exercise is safe for those with healthy pregnancies.

However, when you get past the middle of the third trimester, it’s important for you to rest and prepare for birth. You also will likely experience a decrease in your energy levels as you approach your due date.

If you’re planning on snorkeling in the third trimester, try to make it during the beginning rather than closer to your birth window. 

Can I swim in the ocean while pregnant?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, swimming is one of the best exercises for pregnant women.

Since the water supports your weight, it can prevent you from injuring yourself during pregnancy, and swimming as a form of physical exercise already has many benefits such as increased physical strength.

However, swimming in a pool is different from swimming in the ocean, and you might wonder about the risks involved when you go for a dip in the ocean.  

The biggest concern pregnant women should have while swimming in the ocean is bacteria. Certain bacteria do exist in ocean water, and in some cases, exposure to these bacteria can lead to water-related illness.

It’s rare for people with healthy immune systems to get sick from swimming in the ocean but being pregnant puts you more at risk. To prevent water-related illness, avoid swallowing the water, and be sure to shower and wash your hands as soon as possible after getting out of the water.

Is snorkeling safer than scuba diving?

While snorkeling during pregnancy can be safe, scuba diving is a more involved and potentially dangerous activity. So what is the difference between snorkeling and scuba diving?

Scuba diving is an activity that requires experience and certification. When you become scuba certified, you’re taught how to dive underwater using breathing equipment, which usually involves breathing gas known as nitrox. 

woman and man scuba diving

Snorkeling keeps you much closer to the surface and doesn’t require any certification. Instead, it involves using a snorkel to breathe air from the surface of the water while you swim just below the surface.

Typically, the only skill you need to snorkel is the ability to swim, but you can choose to use a life vest while you snorkel.

While scuba diving fatalities are rare, they do occur in about one out of every 200,000 divers. There are risks involved in scuba diving, such as nitrogen narcosis, and scuba diving isn’t safe for pregnant women or their babies.

On the other hand, there are few risks involved in snorkeling, especially when swimming is an optimal exercise for pregnant women, and it is safe to continue snorkeling while pregnant.

Tips for snorkeling while pregnant

If you’re choosing to snorkel while pregnant, it can be a great experience for you as you continue to grow your baby. Here are some tips for keeping yourself and your baby safe if you’re snorkeling while pregnant:

Don’t overdo it!

Like any activity, especially one that involves physical exertion, it’s important to take it easy when you’re pregnant. You don’t want to overdo it, especially in an activity that you don’t frequently participate in or have never done before. 

Ask your doctor first

Like any new activity, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions. Just because an activity is safe for most women doesn’t mean it’s safe for all pregnant women.

Even though there are some pre-existing conditions that may limit your ability to exercise, in many cases, exercise can improve the outcomes of women with conditions such as diabetes. If you’re unsure at all, always talk to your doctor first.

Don’t forget sun protection

Especially while pregnant, it’s important to protect yourself and your baby from sunburns and overheating. In most cases, sun exposure won’t impact your baby, but being in the sun for long periods of time without protection can lead to certain conditions in otherwise healthy women.

Stay near the surface

Unlike scuba diving, snorkeling is safe because you stay near the surface of the water and there’s no change in pressure. To make sure you and your baby have enough oxygen, avoid holding your breath for long periods or diving below the surface.

Snorkeling can be an exciting activity during pregnancy, and the water can take a lot of the strain off your body. If you snorkel while pregnant, be sure to take the proper precautions to keep you and your baby safe.

Things to watch out for when snorkeling while pregnant

Snorkeling can be a relaxing way to spend your time outdoors. If you are pregnant and planning on snorkeling, here are some things to watch out for. 


Your body temperature can rise quickly on a warm day, even if you’re in the water. When you’re moving around and exercising, you can raise your body temperature by several degrees. Try to take breaks when you can and avoid overexerting yourself.

Holding your breath

It may not always be intentional, but to keep oxygen flowing for you and your baby, don’t hold your breath. The good thing about snorkeling is you can breathe through your snorkel. Avoid free diving or diving too far below the surface of the water to keep yourself and your baby safe.


Dehydration can happen quickly when your body temperature is rising and you’re out in the hot sun. Be sure to stay hydrated during the activity. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, your body still needs hydration and you don’t want to wait until you’re dehydrated to drink water.


When you’re pregnant, fatigue can hit you out of nowhere. Be aware of this and take a break or call it a day if you’re feeling worn out. It’s also important to make sure someone is with you in case you get tired and you’re far from the shore.

If you’re prepared for your excursion ahead of time, snorkeling can be a positive experience, even during your pregnancy.

woman snorkeling under water

Benefits of snorkeling while pregnant

Snorkeling might be a fun activity if you’re visiting the Bahamas or even just hanging out at the beach. But did you know there are also many benefits to snorkeling while pregnant?

Here are some of the benefits of snorkeling while pregnant:

If you have any questions or concerns about snorkeling while pregnant, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Every woman’s body is different and especially if you have any pre-existing conditions, your doctor may advise you to take certain precautions while snorkeling. 

Tips for snorkeling while pregnant

I have just a few last tips for making your snorkeling excursion enjoyable with your baby on board.

First, wear a life vest, even if you’re a strong swimmer. Your body is under a lot of strain producing another human, and it may not perform the way you’d like it to.

Plus, pregnancy leg cramps can come out of nowhere and be crippling.

Second, if you’re working with a tour operator, make sure they’ll still allow you even if you’re visibly pregnant. There’s no reason for them not to other than their own liability concerns and pregnancy bias.

Finally, if you’re taking a boat to your location, bring a bucket. You might have the seasoned stomach of a sailor most of the time, but that baby can do some terrible things to your stomach on a boat.


Snorkeling is a great way to stay active, and fortunately, there are no contraindications with pregnancy! Enjoy your time in the water and stay safe in the sun.

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!