advice for travel to India when pregnant?(18 Posts)
Please don't just say "don't do it!!"
I will be 26 wks pregnant when we go to Goa for 2 weeks. We booked it when I was already pregnant as a last hurrah, it's my 7th or 8th trip to the same area (I spent a whole winter working out there a few years ago) and lots of friends if its are converging for the same event so while it's a bit later in my pregnancy than I'd ideally like to do it, it really had to be this 2 weeks!
Just wondering if anyone has any health tips (apart from the usual India tips about ice, salads etc) of how to stay well while I'm there? DP wants me to get preventative antibiotics and other meds from the Dr in case I get sick but I don't even know if they would so that!
Might not be a bad idea to get preventative antibiotics. I got sick in Thailand and the antibiotics I was prescribed made me worse!
Is there a trustworthy medical centre you can use in Goa? Even if you have to pay a lot?
Personally you have been before and know the risks involved I'd go if I felt up to it and just be super careful with food and water
I love India, I'd never say don't do it! Although I accidentally ended up being there about 8 weeks pregnant once, worse weeks of morning sickness ever!
Usual things I guess...
- make sure the seal on bottled water is intact
- liberal use of alcohol gel before eating anything
- only eat veggie is often a neat trick and of course super easy in India
- consider heat and humidity, hand held fans, scarves, wet wipes etc
- think about toilets, can you still squat ok, esp in heat, or would a shewee help?
- pregnancy friendly insect repellent, as you don't want to be using antihistamines etc if you get badly bitten
Is there anything you can plan to make the plane journey more comfortable? Flight socks are a must so buy some good ones.
Have a wonderful time. I'm really envious!
I'd check with airline, travel insurance and if you need a fit to fly note.
I have a high risk pregnancy and just had to cancel a holiday for 28 weeks boo sob.
Pregnancy puts you at higher risk of DVT, so flight stockings and move about on a long haul flight.
Take your notes with you?
I guess I just wouldn't go incase you end up having complications eg premature baby, if that happened the baby would probably have much better care here, for me as soon as I hit 24 weeks I knew I was at a point where the baby could survive if premature and I felt very different about pregnancy. At that point you will be having movements and you might struggle to get help if you have reduced movements. I guess what I mean is that at that stage you might feel quite different than you do now - a lot more like it is your responsibility to make sure you are relatively close to a midwife\hospital, monitor movements and get checked out if you notice reduced movements. Before hitting 24 weeks I felt like any complications were mostly out of my control apart from following nhs guidelines about food etc but afterwards that things were a lot more in my hands in partnership with the nhs. But perhaps I am worrying too much, everyone is different - I would definitely recommend speaking to your GP and midwife about it to get their views. I guess I would be looking at the hospital options in Goa and working out where the nearest big hospital is and how long it would take to get there in an emergency, whether insurance would cover that etc. I've had friends who had a premature baby, a late loss and I had a miscarriage so I guess those things have made me very boring and safe, I'd base my decision on time to major hospital with equivalent to nhs facilities and if that was feasible, decide to make a decision over whether to go nearer the time depending on advice of midwife.
I'm so jealous, I love India and Goa! As others have said, I would make sure water is sealed and maybe stick to veggie foods.
Saying that, I lived in India for a year and have been other times and never really been ill. I'm sure your stomach is used to it by now.
Which part of Goa are you going too?
The big question is anti-malarials. The disease does occur in Goa, but only sporadically and for ordinary travellers it's considered a low risk area.
But pregnancy puts you in a higher risk category (both for catching it, and the severity if you do).
Could you go and get proper advice from a specialist travel advice company such as MASTA?
I've never bothered with malaria tablets in Goa. Apparently someone got in once about 10 years ago which automatically puts it in a high risk category. Not that I'm saying to be blasé.
I would go (I should say, though, that I work with stats quite a lot and as a result, my attitude to risk might be perceived as a bit cavalier, so I wouldn't take my view as typical-you might get some stick from family and friends who are worriers.)
I would take extra precautions to avoid getting gastro-enteritis, and be extra careful re mozzie bites.
Support stockings for the flight?
Assuming you know of a good medical facility to access and you are covered by insurance or have funds aside to cover all eventualities!!!
I had gastroenteritis in third trimester and was living in a tropical country. It did actually restrict baby's growth and put me at risk of premature labour. She's fine now but don't take the risk lightly, as you are an experienced traveller you might be more relaxed about it but I think you are more prone to things like that when pregnant, so just be extra particular about food hygiene!
I also used deet sprays on my clothes in pregnancy for malaria and dengue fever, though I realise it is not recommended.
There are about 1000 cases a year in Goa leading to around 50 deaths. It is low risk if you have no other factors, but as OP is pregnant it would be worth getting an opinion from someone she knows to be qualified.
Is it your first pregnancy? Just wondering really, as I would be v wary now but probably not have been in my first pregnancy.
Good insurance that also covers newborns just in case would be my main priority plus check out in advance a few good clinics with top class medical facilities
Honestly,I wouldnt do it, but that would be my top priority
I love India but personally I wouldn't go.
I'm a high risk pregnancy and had to cancel a trip at 32 weeks. Upset to miss out but there are going to be plenty of opportunities to travel in the future and my baby is my priority at this point in time. Just too many what ifs for me.
Thanks so much everyone for your suggestions!
In terms of seeing how I feel when I get to that point of pregnancy - well, we actually leave a week today I saw my GP today and discussed it and she was totally fine about it, wrote me a letter for the flight just to be on the safe side. I have got good travel insurance that definitely covers me and have never heard of anybody contracting malaria in the exact area I will be in (and after my first trip 8 years ago have never taken anti-malarials) but I am up to date on other vaccinations.
But some good suggestions I hadn't thought of came up here so I'm glad I posted and really appreciate all your thoughts!
And april2013 I'm so sorry for your loss, and I totally understand why that would make you more cautious
I have a friend from London who relocated to Goa 2 years ago and just had her first baby there (after losing twins late on in pregnancy last year) and I know she had excellent care in both pregnancies so I'm going to definitely talk to her too about facilities and any other suggestions.
Thanks again everyone!
Dear OP - I just got back from India and we travelled around extensively for several weeks - I was 14-17 weeks pregnant
It was absolutely fine although
DH I was really worried beforehand too. We were in the south so no malaria risk. I was mega, mega careful with water:
No opening mouth in the shower
Brushed teeth with mineral water
No cut fruits (washed with tap water normally)
No buffet food
No ice in drinks
I had no dodgy tum at all the whole time.
Tons of herbal mossie spray topped up all day and loose covering clothes. It was an amazing trip and I only regret worrying so much. We travelled in tuk-tuks, swam, everything. It was ace.
Hi chilli, thanks so much! And I'm glad to hear you had such an amazing time! DP and I seem to be realising as the trip gets closer that our "usual" activities in Goa will be a bit different and it's most likely we'll be chilling out in the shade more than bombing around the local beaches on a scooter!! We leave in a few days, am feeling the usual pre-holiday stress with extra dimensions (what on EARTH can I wear when I'm already enormous?!) but cannot wait to actually be there now!
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