Traveling While Pregnant

Going Abroad

International travel is usually okay, but do your homework first by checking out your destination at the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov/travel). While popular tourist destinations like the Caribbean are generally safe, others require precautions to avoid illnesses like traveler's diarrhea, listeriosis, or malaria. Considering Mexico? Pregnancy makes you more vulnerable to tainted water, says Dr. Long Sharps, so drink bottled water only and remember to use it to brush your teeth. Avoid destinations like Africa and South America, where contagious diseases such as malaria and typhoid fever are more common and require preventive drugs and vaccines that could be harmful to you and your baby.

No matter where you're headed, clear your trip with your obstetrician first. She may advise you to avoid local foods, such as dairy products that may contain unpasteurized milk and foods sold by street vendors. Certain activities may also be off-limits. Avoid anything with a high risk of falling, including hiking, skiing, and horseback riding. Steer clear of scuba diving, which can cause decompression syndrome in a developing fetus. A prenatal massage from a licensed therapist at the spa is safe as long as you're lying on your side, says Dr. Chhutani, but skip the hot tub, steam room, and sauna.

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