Postpartum Diving

After vaginal delivery, diving can be resumed after released by the obstetrician. This is usually after the cervix closes, about 21 days. In another week, most muscle tone has returned, depending upon the level of activity of the mother. Barring any pregnancy related complications, such as anemia and poorly healed episiotomy return to diving is usually advised at 4 weeks.

Most obstetricians advise a wait of 4-6 weeks before returning to full activity after caesarian delivery. Couple this with the need for conditioning, complete wound healing and the possibility of need for blood regeneration – a period of 8 weeks would be advised before diving. A post partum hemoglobin determination should be performed and anything below 10 Gm Hgb should be corrected before allowing diving.

Multiple births, medically complicated pregnancies with underlying medical conditions, complications of both vaginal and caesarian births all have to be individually assessed in the decision as to approval for return to diving.


Ernest S. Campbell, M.D., FACS

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