Scuba diving and breastfeeding

This may be an unusual question: Is there any effect on breastmilk when scuba diving (due to changes in pressure)? I plan to breastfeed my baby until 12 months (at least), and we are planning a Caribbean vacation this summer with family. Also, are there any problems associated with sun tanning lotion?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

A very interesting question! Actually, when I called the Diver's Alert Network, they told me that this was a quite common question, though it's one that I have never been asked before. According to the professional I spoke with, the main concern with scuba diving while nursing, is maintaining proper hydration. Dehydration is a major factor in decompression sickness. There is a minute amount of dissolved nitrogen secreted in the breastmilk, but this is no cause for concern.

Reference: Diver's Alert Network, a non-profit organization based at Duke University Medical Center, specifically for diving medicine information, 919-684-2948

In regard to use of tanning lotions, there is no research showing any problem with their use while breastfeeding. Wishing you and your family a great vacation!

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