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Travel Pregnant – Beach Holiday

Living in Dubai and the UAE means that there are nice and exotic beach holiday destinations close by. Taking a holiday when you are pregnant can be a great idea. If it is your first baby it’s likely to be a while before you will get another chance to lie on a beach and really relax, and if you’ve got other children, this could be an opportunity to spend quality time with them before the new arrival.

But there are things you need to consider before you go, like when you can fly, travel insurance, your health, vaccination and hygiene, and safety on your planned destination. Remember to always consult your medical provider before you go ahead with your holiday plans.

A few important keywords to bear in mind are: comfort, safety, rest and hygiene. By safety we mean everything from health care system, to traffic at your destination.

When is the best time to go?
The second trimester will, for most women, be the best time to travel. You will most likely feel your best during the second trimester and also have good levels of energy. In the first trimester there is always a risk of miscarriage, and you also might not feel well if you experience morning sickness. In the third trimester you might be overcome with tiredness and after the seventh month, the risk of premature birth will increase.

General advice for traveling
* See your doctor before you travel to check that you are fit to go on the type of holiday you are planning
* Always drink lots of (bottled) water
* Only eat food that’s thoroughly cooked
* Avoid bathing in natural, fresh water
* Make sure you do not overheat
* Avoid mosquitoes
* Make the plane trip the most comfortable
* Check that your travel insurance covers pregnancy related issues

Beach holiday – be careful with the sun and heat
Relaxing on the beach and exercising in nice warm, salt water will most likely be good for you, even though you are pregnant, but you have to take some precautions.

First of all, don’t overheat or dehydrate. That is dangerous for both you and your unborn baby. Pregnant women are advised to avoid direct sunlight, and if spending time in the sun use high factor sunscreen (30-50 SPF sun screen). This is because when you are pregnant hormones, mainly estrogen, can actually increase the risk of chloasma or “mask of pregnancy” when exposed to the sun. These are darkened spots, usually seen on the forehead and across the nose, and they may not retreat after pregnancy. You may also find that during pregnancy your skin is more sensitive and that you sunburn more easily. This is because the levels of a hormone (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) that make your skin react to the sun by going darker, are higher during pregnancy.

So, stay at the beach on the cooler parts of the day, use sunscreen, stay under and umbrella and enjoy your book and a fresh juice or mocktail.

Is it safe to have travel vaccinations during pregnancy?
Always check if your planned beach destination demands vaccination and if you have already taken them. It might be an idea to consult your medical provider. If you can choose a different holiday destination, where no vaccinations are needed or where you are already protected (vaccinated), it makes sense to do that. Most medical experts advise against having vaccinations during pregnancy if they can be avoided.

There are some vaccinations which the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists identify as being safe for use during pregnancy, such as polio injections, measles, and hepatitis A and B, but others, such as polio (oral), typhoid (oral) and yellow fever, are known to be unsafe for pregnant women. Some vaccinations considered unsafe in the first trimester may be safer later in pregnancy, so again discuss with your medical provider.

Is it safe to take anti-malarial medication?
Some of the exotic beach destinations unfortunately have an increased risk of malaria. The best and safest thing is to avoid going to areas with malaria while pregnant. Malaria can be dangerous (even fatal) for both mother and baby. Be aware that the risk of getting malaria is actually increased in pregnancy.

Article Courtesy of Pregnant in Dubai

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