One of the biggest concerns about being pregnant for me was the building anxiety of what it would be like getting back into the water after birth. I got around lots of my worries by doing the following things:
- Seeking advice from my HSE Doctor about general rules of thumb for returning to the water and when was medically safe. This included C-Section options.
- Staying up to date with PADI updates and webinars.
- Following DAN and their network updates about scuba diving issues for women.
- Joining social media groups like ‘Girls that scuba’ to digitally listen in on other people’s conversations about related worries.
- Staying active whilst pregnant to keep my fitness up.
- Speaking to your Midwife and GP.
Talking to medical professionals was without a doubt the most helpful thing for me to know when it would be ok to start planning dives again. The general advice I got was that every woman is different as is every birth. Follow what your body tells you and just make sure you get the ok from your Doctor before you submerge.
Dive kit for my changed body.
I of course worried that I wouldn’t fit into any of my dive kit anymore and so I started exploring brands and different equipment options. This was the fun bit. I invested in some new kit and I explored the market for new gear. I checked out local dive centres, tried new kit on and found out what was new on the market. This really helped update me on what was available and in turn would help me later to make recommendations to my students. Really useful. I also had forgotten how utterly vital it was to go and actually try dive equipment on and ensure the fit and comfort suited my body shape, height and build.
Renew a love of snorkelling.
I got interested in the ocean after initially going snorkelling. Now I would always choose to dive over it but having a baby gave me the opportunity to renew my love of just being in the water again even just at the surface. Get involved in a Freediving or Snorkelling course, start to enjoy swimming again, first in a pool and then out in the sea. Getting back to the water can be as gradual as you like. Taking small steps can enable you to get your physical fitness back to where you are comfortable and confident.