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Traveling to Thailand in 1 week - & pregnant!

Traveling to Thailand in 1 week - & pregnant!

Nov 15th, 2008, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Traveling to Thailand in 1 week - & pregnant!

Hey everyone... we are getting ready to leave to Thailand next week and I'll be about 24 weeks pregnant at that time, so wanted to see if anyone had any tips or advice on what to look out for.

Also, in a non-pregnant state, I would have tried to get clothing made in Bangkok, but since I didn't get my measurements before I started "growing", do I have any options? Bring some pants/jacket with me? Is it worth it?

We'll be going to Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Lanta, and Chiang Mai. I really want to go on an elephant ride and a bamboo boat trip, as well as maybe some kayaking... no windsurfing or rock climbing though!

Thanks in advance if anyone has been in a similar situation or has any thoughts!

cindynyc1 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2008, 06:50 AM
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Do any of these areas have malaria?
Jed is offline  
Nov 15th, 2008, 08:01 AM
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I assume you've spoken with your obstetrician about this and are following his/her recommendations.

All of the areas you are visiting are low risk for malaria, but all of Thailand is a risk area for dengue. You'll want to be meticulous about preventing mosquito bites.

You'll also want to be meticulous about following food and water precautions. See wwwn.cdc.gov/travel

You are visiting 4 places in Thailand. I don't know how much time you have total, but it sounds like you'll be pretty busy. I'd suggest you forget having clothing made since all you could do would be to have garments duplicated. You don't have the advantage of designing exactly what you want and having it tailored for you.

By the way the elephant rides and bamboo raft trips booked by every tourist agency in Chiang Mai are very touristy. If you are interested in elephants, you might want to go to one of the two reputable elephant conservation camps in the CM area instead.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Thanks Katie! Yes, I talked to my OB, and the only thing she mentioned was the water, and be careful of the food. I had heard though that most of the street food was great, if you saw they cook it in front of you - thoughts? Not worth it?

The one thing I hadn't considered though was uncooked veggies at a restaurant... I'd love to try some of the salads, what are the nicer restaurants like?

I've been lurking on this post and have read so much of your advice, I appreciate all your help!

I have to get together a more cohesive travel question post to discuss some of the other issues I'm struggling with

cindynyc1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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Cindy, only you can decide what you are/aren't willing to eat in terms of risk. But to follow food and water precautions to the letter, you could eat street food blazing hot from the grill (and not touched after cooking by hands that have handled raw foods) but no other (especially cut fruit and juices in a bag) and absolutely no uncooked foods anywhere. You also need to brush your teeth with purified water, not tap water.

I've been traveling to Thailand for a couple of decades, and have never gotten sick from food in Thailand. I do eat salads at places I know (which doesn't help you much). I eat salads at 5* hotels and at very good restaurants in Bangkok (Face, for instance). I would be more cautious about restaurants in CM and at the beach areas.

Remember that there are a number of different kinds of organisms you are trying to guard against. One is simply "unfamiliar flora and fauna" meaning that these are not pathogenic, per se, but may cause you GI distress because they are not what you are accustomed to. Then there are specific viral and bacterial diseases such as Hep A and typhoid (I hope you had vaccines before you got pregnant). These are diseases of sanitation. You want the people preparing the food you are eating to have washed their hands meticulously after using the bathroom and after handling any uncooked foods (You can see what some of the issues are about street food). The third organism you are guarding against is e. coli. Recent research has found (contrary to expectations) that the vast majority of cases of TD are caused by e. coli. Obviously, this is a sanitation issue as well, but can also be introduced into raw fruits and vegetables via growing conditions (the use of manure for fertilization).

One other things that can make a difference in not getting sick is washing your hands often.

Be aware of what you are eating, pause and think about each food you are offered. Soon it will become "second nature" to monitor the foods.

Also, if you have had problems with morning sickness or a sensitive stomach during your pregnancy, you may have minor reactions to unfamiliar foods (spicy, or more fruit than usual, etc.). So take it slow, try out new foods but don't overdo.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 03:50 PM
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cindy, I travelled extensively in Thailand when I was at about the same point in my pregancy. This was over two decades ago (!) but most of the common sense advice still applies.

The most important point to remember is that you will be more tired than usual. You're probably used to a high pressure, multi-tasked, fast paced life. SLOW DOWN. Listen to your body. If it's telling you to have a massage and read a book on the balcony instead of kayaking, do as advised. Don't push yourself. Take a raincheck. Do some yoga.

Same for the food. Be conservative this time. Personally, I don't think there's a big difference between the sanitation at street stalls and in touristy places. In the tropics uncooked food or food that's been sitting around is suspect, anywhere. Avoid it. Rice, noodles and tea are mainstays.

It's HOT in Thailand, especially in the cities. Don't underestimate the effects of heat and humidity -- especially on top of jetlag. Go slowly, start early, take a nap, drink a whole lot of water.

Plan your agenda around access to toilet facilities. You will be grateful that you know where to find them quickly.

Thailand will be there. You can go back with your bambina/o in a backpack and do all the adventure stuff. For now, concentrate on the spiritual, introspective, pampering aspects. As a person on the verge of a life altering event, I found the positive energy calming and benenficial, even though I'm not a Buddhist.
marmot is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 10:00 PM
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I lived in Thailand for the last 6 years (just moved to KL). I had by third child in BKK and to be honest, you really need not worry. Watch your footing in BKK if you are walking as the side walks are not so even. My OB in BKK told me to avoid the following: Street food and foot massages. If you are at all showing, most massage places will not touch you. They think it will induce labor. As for the street food, it is about sanitation. I would spend the extra money and eat safe. I did eat the salads from well known restaurants (there are many), but I had lived there for a while and maybe my tummy used to it. Take hand wipes with you and kleenex. The bathrooms in Thailand are not that lovely. The elephant ride might not be that comfortable as it rocks bath and forth a lot. You might want to take a short one first to make sure. Lastly, you might want to get a list of medicine (prescription and over the counter) that your OB recommends in case you do get sick. Most US prescriptions are available over the counter in Thailand.
Wmccawley is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 04:05 AM
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Thanks everyone for your great advice! I had never even heard of the foot massage issue, I had been looking forward to those since the full-on thai massage is not possible I definitely have seen myself slowing down recently, I'm so used to go-go-go, it has been humbling to realize I can't do what I'm used to anymore... but good to realize it and know I have to rest!

Thanks again!
cindynyc1 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Don't risk your vacation- stay away from street food- its just not worth the risk.
BillT is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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Cindy - I will be traveling to Thailand next week as well and I'm about 10 weeks pregnant. I am glad that you posted this question!

I talked to my OB and she wasn't thrilled with the idea of me going to Thailand at all (she probably never travels anywhere), but she did give me good advice about the flight. Since pregnant women have an increased risk of developing blood clots, you should be even more careful to walk around during the flight, stretch your legs, and stay hydrated. Pretty common sense, but it doesn't hurt to be a little more vigilant.
marsfelder is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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If something happens where you might need to go to a hospital get yourself to Bumrungrad International Hospital Sukhumvit, Soi 1. They are "the best!"
RonJon2U is offline  
Oct 5th, 2009, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Cindynyc1 - did you end up going to Thailand! I may be in your boat (~21 weeks...). Just planning to do Bangkok and Krabi though. Would love to talk to you...
puttakka is offline  

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