Last update July 9, 2014
Very Low Risk
Diving on whatever modality (free, apnea, or autonomous with a Scuba mask) is compatible with continuation of breastfeeding.
Body tissues load of Nitrogen and other gases that can occur while diving does not affect the quality of the milk. It is unlikely a significant occurrence of Nitrogen bubbles into the milk while decompression process. On the other hand, it would not represent any risk for the child since the intestine normally contains swallowed air which is formed by 79% of Nitrogen that is a harmless inert gas.
Prolactin levels decrease transiently during diving with no risk of milk production impairment.
On obstetrical grounds is recommended to delay diving for 3 to 4 weeks after vaginal delivery and 4 to 8 weeks after C-section.
Given the high pressure generated by diving suits (Neoprene and other material) and pressure increase during immersion, it would be convenient get the breast as empty as possible prior to diving (by suckling or pumping). Consider to put a cotton pad between the nipple and the diving suit in case of excessive friction.
There are many successful documented cases of mothers who practice diving without problems except those derived from timely schedule for breastfeeding (nursing on demand), especially in early months of life and inconvenience of getting the infant far away into the sea. Under such conditions, it would be appropriate to collect enough milk to feed the baby in the meanwhile.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.
Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM