Post # 1
My hubs & I just booked a trip to an all-inclusive resort in the DR. I’ll be about 20 weeks when we go.
I recently read that malaria is present throughout the DR & that the water is unsafe to drink, which can lead to questionably-prepared food, not to mention the fact that I think most meals will be buffet.
I know I’m being paranoid. I guess I would love to hear from anyone who traveled there or somewhere similar while pregnant and survived to tell the tale… 🙂
Post # 3
My boss went Thanksgiving week and had no problems at the resort. He had a fountain soda in the airport and was out of work another 3 days and his wife was sick for about 5 days. Their kids were fine, they had juice boxes. So I think while you will most likely be fine at the resort, you will want to be very very diligent to only have bottled drinks. I can’t speak to the malaria part.
Post # 4
The resorts all use purified water; you will be safe to eat and drink anything at the resort, bar the tap water (I brush my teeth in it, others use bottled water). Plenty of bottled water will be provided in your room, so you can easily use it for doing your teeth if you choose. Similarly, salads etc will be safe to eat on-resort.
When people get sick, it is rarely due to food poisoning etc: typically it is down to spending too much time in the sun (you should stick to the shade where possible, and try to stay out of the heat completely at the hottest times of the day (perhaps a long lunch in an air-conditioned restuarant might be an idea), and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, excessive alcohol consumption, or excessive food consumption (particularly rich and exotic foods). I would sugget being sensible about what you eat: all the fresh, exotic fruit is very tasty, but can be a sure-fire way to get a bad stomach, so limit your intake. Try to eat as you would at home where possible so you’re not overloading your stomach with new, rich foods.
As far as malaria goes, I believe there’s been something like 8 tourists who have contracted it over the last decade, out of some millions of visitors; basically, the risk is tiny. I took anti-malarials the first time I went, as we are advised to in the UK, but had a horrible reaction, so for our second visit I did lots of research and opted not to take them. I was fine, and won’t be taking them on our third visit next year. However, this is something you should speak to your doctor about.
Post # 5
@barbie86: +1. also, a dodgy stomach can be not only due to diet change and rich food but simply different bacteria.
eg my mexican FSIL gets a bad stomach every time she goes to the US (is like all the americans who get sick in Mexico but in reverse)
people automatically think stomach pain and loose stool=foodpoisoning and its not always the reason.
dont drink tap water oreat street food and should be fine
Post # 6
I lived in DR for a summer. Malaria is not a risk in most parts of the DR but it is in Haiti. Therefore, the only areas of the DR that are ever affected at all by malaria are those that are on the border with Haiti. As far as water and food, the resorts are not a problem at all but you can always be extra careful and drink bottled water. However, if you leave the resort at all, DO NOT drink the water or eat any fresh fruit, uncooked vegetables that might have been washed etc. I did contract Giardia from eating fruit but I was not on a resort (just living in the city). In the resort they are extra extra careful because no one will go stay there if they have to worry about it.
Edited to say that , although malaria is not a risk, there is a chance of Dengue fever from mosquito bites however, as is the case in all tropical areas so wear bug spray. I’ve never heard of anyone actually getting it but better safe than sorry.
Post # 7
Thank you all for the good advice & the comforting words. I am feeling much better about this!
I was feeling a bit hypocritical, because I refused to go on a work trip to a malaria-endemic area earlier in the pregnancy, and now I’m going to one for vacation?! :-S But it sounds like the malaria risk is teensy tiny, and I’ll just be sure to wear bug spray/long clothing.
Post # 8
I vacationed in the DR at a resort and was just fine but made sure to only drink bottled water (even when brushing your teeth) and avoid raw veggies (especially salad/lettuce that may have been washed in tainted water) and fruits I couldn’t peel. Worked for me! I currently live in South American and am pregnant and follow the same rules unless I clean the food myself.
Post # 9
If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, you have little to worry about. It seems like Punta Cana is a super-popular resort destination with people I know, and none have ever had an issue staying at resorts there.
Post # 10
Several friends of mine have gone to punta Cana and bayaribe never to have a problem but they did follow the usual precautions- no tap water, only bottled. No drinks other than bottled. Watch out with ice (ice can be done with tap water and you’ve defeated the whole purpose), limit salads, simple foods, no weird fish. And stick to the pregnancy eating guidelines (no raw, no Brie, no deli meats, no raw yolks etc) and you’ll be fine! Enjoy!
Post # 11
We are also going to DR while I’m pregnant- I’ll be 29 weeks. It’s only for four days, so I am hoping if I stick to all the guidelines above we should be just fine. Also planning on bringing a lot of bugspray- and I have read that DEET is safe to us while pregnant in any trimester and is most effective.
We go in mid- Feb. Let me know if you go first!!