(Closed) Travel to Asia if 2-3 mo pregnant?

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Backpacking or not, food poisoning, tainted food/other product, unregulated pollution, and tropical diseases are real threats there. I just spent almost 8 months traveling throughout Asia, and I wouldn’t do it pregnant. My husband ended up with dysentary and we were extraordinarily careful. Just not worth the risk during pregnancy (but very much worth the risk otherwise!!)

Post # 4
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

What part of Asia?  I’d be mostly concerned with areas were malaria or dengue fever are issues… If you are in urban areas, you should be ok (generally speaking)

Post # 5
561 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’d consider your fatigue level, too – first trimester is pretty exhausting for many people. We were on vacation in California when I was 11 weeks. Oh, what a gorgeous sunset on the beach! Who’s ready for bed?

Post # 6
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think it’s really important to consider where in Asia you are going and where you plan on eating and staying. For example, Hong Kong is generally quite nice and clean, so I wouldn’t worry about diseases and food-bourne illnesses there, any more than I would worry about that here in the US, assuming you are eating in nicer places and staying at high-end hotels. However, something to consider would be the flight there and back. It’s quite a long trip and if you have morning sickness, then it will be an extremely miserable flight, unless you do first class.

Post # 8
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I personally wouldn’t plan to be pregnant during a trip overseas.  Too many variables.

Post # 9
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I wouldn’t recommend it just because there’s SOO much great food in Asia. Also, if you’re smell sensitive; lots of places in Asia are um… how to put it in a nice way: “tends to smell differently as the states.” Everytime I’m in Taiwan, each corner would smell different… depending on if it was a food vendor of if its a corner selling asian herbal medicines… or a bakery.

Post # 10
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I will be 10 weeks pregnant at the start of an 18 day trip to China and Thailand. I’m not worried about it at all, and my doctor isn’t either.

It depends on your level of comfort. I’m an avid traveler and am quite comfortable in new situations. We’re not doing anything too physically gruesome, the biggest challenge will probably be trying to move around every 3 hours on the long plane rides over and back.

Climbing Mt. Everest wouldn’t be a good idea while you’re pregnant. Just regular travel though? I’m no more uncomfortable in most Asian metropolitan areas than I am in NYC.

Post # 11
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

The other thing to keep in mind is how much harder it will be to travel once you have young children. Seize the day and travel while you can! 🙂

Post # 12
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Don’t forget that you will have no idea how you will feel during your first trimester. Some people are fine, while others, like myself, have it rough. I dropped 18lbs by 16 weeks and threw up all day, every day, even on medication. There was no way I could have traveled (and enjoyed it) during that time period.

For me, I’d wait. I would hate to be miserable the entire time I’m on such a great trip.

Post # 13
607 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I was going to say go for it, but then reading the responses made me remember sprinting through Hong Kong looking for a bathroom… I wasn’t pregnant, we were very careful with what we ate and drank, but something still got me. It sucked because the rest of the time I was there, I was afraid to try anything interesting and I was SO looking forward to that part of it. Unless you are worried about your age and TTC, I would try to hold off until you are there and then toss the condoms 🙂

Post # 14
5011 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

Even in Singapore, which has better food hygiene than most of American and Europe, both my husband and I ended up spending 24 hours each (not at the same time) firing from both ends. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t food poisoning, but rather IBS (which we both have) severely exacerbated by heat exaustion. So whilst I love Asia, I wouldn’t want to be pregnant whilst travelling there.

Post # 16
4659 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@unraveledstar:  THIS. I’d be flexible about travel in case you succeed in getting pregnant and end up feeling awful, but who knows? Ask your mom/female relatives how they felt in their first trimester. It’s not guaranteed you’ll be the same of course but it’s a good start.

As for Asia:

I live in Asia now.

There is approximately ZERO risk if you travel to Japan or most of South Korea — they’re 100% first world nations. Japan is mostly very clean. Obviously you won’t get to eat sushi (though honestly, I’m sure most doctors would say a little bit once is OK, and if you pick the right place once will be enough… also I’d like to note, Japanese women do not stop eating sushi when they are pregnant, and are often advised that a moderate intake of sushi is a good part of a healthy pregnancy diet) Anyway there’s SO much more to Japanese food than that, most of it fully cooked and pregnancy-OK. South Korea a bit less clean, a bit more pollution, still better than China. Avoid Daegu, but see Seoul and especially Busan. 

Do China if you’ve got money to burn to ensure your safety — if you come off as wealthy, you will be well treated and well protected. Don’t try to fit in or do backwater Andrew Zimmerman type of stuff. Be unabashedly touristy and there’s little to fear.

Same thing goes but even moreso for Thailand, though you’ll have to spend less money to hit that point. Touristy beach resorts are perfect. Thai food is also amazing. 

If I were pregnant, I probably would skip Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos, and might skip Philippines and Malaysia, but it depends on how adventurious and healthy and monied you are. I know you can’t SCUBA dive pregnant, but you can probably snorkel a bit, it’s really not strenuous. If you go to Thailand, Philippines, or Malaysia, you MUST do that. 

And if you are pregnant when you go, take a million pictures to show the kid when they get older where they went in your belly!


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