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Thread: Pregnancy and Overseas?

  1. #1

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    Question Pregnancy and Overseas?

    I would like to know if anyone thinks it is irresponsible or inadvisible to travel overseas while between 1-3 months pregnant. DH and I are going on a 6 week trip to Europe (hire car, staying in nice hostel, normal sightseeing activities). Orginal plan was to TTC when we get back in late May but we are now considering TTC before we go, as early as next month.



    What issues can you foresee if we do concieve before going on our trip? Would I miss any important scan dates or tests? What about hospitals in Europe - would they be okay? (My impression was that if you were going to miscarry there is nothing the hospital can do anyway?) Would I be too tired or sick to sightsee?

    We are technically in no rush so could wait till we get back, but we are both keen to be parents and I have a "feeling" that I might take a while to conceive...

    TIA

  2. #2

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    Ruth, i really think you should go for it if that is what you want. Travelling around Europe is a whole lot different than travelling to somewhere like Vietnam or Thailand or somewhere that you will have to watch what you eat, have vaccinations etc etc.
    I am sure that if you can keep an eye on your cycle whilst you are away, and you think you might be pregnant, then you can have a blood test to check for pregnancy at a GP over there. It might just cost you a little more because you wont have medicare. Some people have dating scans at 6-8 weeks, many dont. The only other important scan is at 11-13.5 weeks which is to check for Downs Syndrome and other abnormalities. If you are really worried, find out about health insurance when you are travelling. Also with m/c, and if that unfortunately did happen whilst you were away, you would only be early in preg if you came home late May, and TBH, there wouldnt be much that they could do like you said. A lot of the time its just waiting to bleed, rest and the emotional upset that it causes. But you have to think positive!!!! And the sooner you start to try to conceive the better in my opinion!!! But then im lucky we started pretty early and then went through ivf, but thats a whole nother story!!
    I wish you all the best, try not worry to much, have a great holiday and let nature take its course. Yes, you might be tired, but also, how exciting!!!
    Mel

  3. #3

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    I personally wouldn't recommend a big trip like that when pregnant (if it were to occur). If you get m/s it would ruin your trip (and most women do get it). The tiredness is the other thing.... most women get very tired early on.

    I haven't suffered any morning sickness with this pregnancy but the tiredness sure hit me. If I'd been travelling it would have completely wrecked me and the trip as I would've missed out on a lot of sightseeing as I just wouldn't have managed it. I've done heaps of travelling including to Europe but I know I would not have coped well. A European trip can be exhausting as it is, every couple of days being in a new country, new language, new food without adding pregnancy to the mix.

    Food could also be an issue. Even though I had no m/s I did go off some food and would feel ravenous then start to eat then not want what I was eating, then either eat something else or try again later on in the night. With food being so expensive in Europe you would have to increase your food budget somewhat to accomodate for that type of thing happening as it's very common. I also found that what I wanted to eat narrowed significantly and many of those things I wanted to eat I would not have found in Europe.

    The risk of listeria would also be something worth thinking about. You would not be able to prepare any of your own food whilst travelling so you would be relying on everywhere you eat having prepared things properly. For instance you might feel like eating salads whilst pregnant but how do you know if they washed the vegies properly or if they put raw egg in the dressing? How would you know if a soft or blue cheese had been used in a pizza or pasta dish you ate? Because of the language barrier it could be quite difficult to find out what ingredients are in the food you are eating and your baby could be put at risk.

    Personally I'd put off TTCing until you get back, or at least until the last two weeks of your trip so it wouldn't interfere with such a fantastic holiday. I always remember a trip to Bali I had as an 18 year old where there was a woman who was in the first tri staying at our hotel. Her husband spent most of his time hanging out with us because she was always sleeping, throwing up or thinking she was going to throw up.... certainly not a holiday to remember for her!!!!

    As for testing - depending on timing you could miss out on having an NT test. Getting OB appointments in a foreign country would not be easy (due to waiting times, just like here) and you'd have to have one to get a referral for the scan. It would probably also be more expensive than here as well. You'd also want to check your travel insurance regarding what they cover with pregnancy in case something goes really badly - for instance an ectopic one where you need an operation. I think hospitals in most European countries would be fine, but having not had to visit one I don't really know.

    On miscarriages - it probably wouldn't matter where you were in the world - if you are going to have one you will have one, but having suffered 3 myself I would not want to be having one in another country. The stress you are under when going through that horrible process is humungous and to have to deal with that in a country where many people will not speak English would be very difficult to say the very least.

    You mentioned that you think it may take a while to conceive. Regardless of what your circumstances are there's no way of telling how long it will take you to conceive. My cousin was told she had very little hope of conceiving at the age of 19 due to heaps of cysts and scarring from the ops she'd had but conceived the first month she tried and same thing happened with her second child. I on the other hand who had a regular cycle and no issues of any kind took many years to do it, even though docs said there was no problem.... you just never know when it will happen.

    Whatever you choose to do have a great trip.

  4. #4

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    If there's no reason to be in a hurry to TTC, I'd also recommend holding off. The tiredness is a real killer in the first trimester. I would hate to think of you and your DH spending all that money for a fabbo trip, to find you are so tired you need to be in bed for an afternoon nap each day and then in bed early each night. Even if you're lucky enough to miss out on morning sickness/food aversions, just the tiredness and need to eat carefully would make harder to travel while pregnant than not pregnant. Maybe you could TTC while you're away instead, so that you're very very newly pregnant while away.

  5. #5

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    My sil went to Britain and France over christmas when she was 10-15 wks and was fine. That said, I'd side with the others who have posted and would urge you to consider ms and exhaustion. You might be just fine, you might be wretched, more likely you'll be somewhere between the two. I was adjusting to living in Oz, planning a wedding, juggling new rellies and ones from overseas in my first tri and it half killed me.

  6. #6

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    How do you tour around France without wanting to try their wines and bad for preganancy cheeses?
    Same thing for Salami in Italy... Beer in Germany...

    Personally, unless it is urgent that you get started, I would wait and enjoy your holiday to the max.

  7. #7

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    I would say go for it. Europe is the otherside of the world but you will find it has standards the same as Australia in most countries. You may have to take it a little easier as you could be tired and maybe suffer m/s. Just check your travel insurance covers you. Most in the UK do but not sure what the australian policies are like.

    I am planning on moving back to Oz when I will be 32wks pregnant with my second in July from the UK. We were planning to do the move before I found out I was pregnant and it certainly has not pu us off. The midwives here are fine with it.

    Any doubts talk it over with your doctor as they are more likely to have a balanced informed opinion

    Jo

    Wish you well whatever your decision

  8. #8

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    Hi Ruth,

    I'd probably recommend waiting or start TTC just as you go. We went on a 6 week holiday to USA/Canada/Dubai/Maldives in September - October last year and were TTC on the trip. We came back pregnant, finding out on the last day of our holiday. And I'm glad it turned out that way. I'd say it would be hard travelling around and really being able to enjoy everything with the thought of not being able to eat certain things / drink a glass of wine. We had a couple of TWW whilst we were away and during that time I was happy to be more cautious and 'act' as if I was pregnant, but then when AF came it was a chance to relax a bit, have a couple of drinks and not have to think too much. Knowing now how many things there are to think about when newly pregnant, I'm kind of glad I didn't have all that to worry about overseas. I also found that when AF came, I didn't feel as dissappointed as I would have if I were at home, cause (and this may sound awful), getting AF allowed me to enjoy aspects of the holiday I was purposely staying away from.

    I'd say wait - when you do fall pregnant and have a family, life will change and we look back now and are so glad we had that time of just the two of us, and created some great memories. It ended up being a great way to celebrate time together and enjoy so many different experiences together as a couple. Enjoy it. In the scheme of things, 6 weeks or however long you're going for isn't a huge amount of time, and you'll be glad to have had such a great time.

    Yep - my suggestion - wait for TTC untill either you're on your holiday or just about to come home. You might have a great story to tell of which country you conceived in!

    Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  9. #9

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    Thanks everyone for all your input! What a variety of opinion! I'm going to print this thread out to show to DH and I've also got to chat about it with 2 doctor friends and my actual Dr. At this stage I'm leaning towards starting TTC 1 month before we come home ( so 2 weeks into trip). I'm not a big drinker at all so the alcohol won't worry me at all. Cheese though is another matter!

    Meanwhile it's been 1 month and 4 days since my implanon removal and still not AF, so who knows, it might not be back until after we get back from O/S! (Hope not though).

  10. #10

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    I m/c our first baby just after a trip to Canada. I (to date) blame this trip for losing or baby, however reality is that the pregnancy wouldn't have gone to term if I had stayed home and wrapped myself up in cotton wool! Good luck whatever you decide, what ever will be will be. My best wishes to you.

  11. #11

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    I would compromise and try while you're away. How romantic to conceive a baby in Europe. But I honestly don't think there's any huge dramas about going away if you are pregnant. Most women work even if they have morning sickness and working is harder than being on holiday - I think it's pretty rare for morning sickness to be so debilitating that it would really interfere with your holiday.

    As you said, there's not a lot they can do if you miscarry so early but they would need to check that the womb had properly expelled the foetus (sorry to be so yeuky) so you might need a medical procedure.

    So on balance, I think just try while you're away and potentially have fun trying to work out which city your baby was conceived in.

  12. #12
    Chalalan Guest

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    You cannot be in Europe and not stop in Epernay or Reims and drink at least a glass of real French Champagne...not eat the gooey, smelly cheeses from the wierd & wonderful fromageries....travel through Belgium and not have a Trappist beer, belgium chocolate and the almost national dish of mussels and frites....say no to sangria, tapas & paella in Spain....oh, the list goes on... I travel on my stomach and couldn't go to Europe with a bun in the oven if I couldn't eat all the exciting foods out there without fear!!

    Having said that, I had my Implanon removed in Bolivia in September and travelled through the Amazon, Peru, Argentina and even a side trip to the Antarctic until we came home for Christmas and I was TTC all the while. Finally got knocked up 2 days before we came home so perfect timing.

    I'm still spewing that I missed out on all those fantastic Chilean wines though and fresh Lake Titicaca trout because I was TTCing for 3 months.......spewing!

    Have a wonderful adventure and do what feels right to you!!

  13. #13

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    If you are pregnant while overseas, or think you might be, there are a few things to look out for in Europe. When it comes to food, make sure what you eat is cooked thoroughly and served hot. This will mean it doesn't matter what it's got in it, it will be safe to eat (except some cheap fish). If you want to try to French Cheeses made from un-pasteurised milk then try things like baked brie - if it's cooked, it's safe. Steer clear of cold or uncooked foods, like salads (esp as the dressing often contains raw egg), fresh fruit, salami etc.

    The only thing that the others haven't mentioned re travelling in Europe is the water. In some areas the tap water is not safe to drink. I would drink only bottled water (including using it to brush your teeth).

    Personally I found travelling in first trimester pregnancy quite hard. It was hard to find stuff to eat that was both safe and healthy for a reasonable price. And I was so sick that I didn't want to eat a lot. But then we were travelling for work, not for pleasure, so we weren't trying new things and eating in restaurants if we could avoid it. We did some sightseeing while we were there and I'm really glad I was able to share that experience with my new bubs as well as my husband though.



    Oh, and be sure to get some travel insurance, it can cover medical expenses while you're away and can cover unexpectedly having to come home if need be. I miscarried my first in between two overseas trips (we were travelling a lot, and we were in Aus for only a week) and my travel insurance meant that I could cancel our second trip (because I was in hospital) and we got ALL our money back.

  14. #14

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    So just thought I would let you know that DH and I have decided to start trying on the first day of the trip. So most likely I will not be pg overseas but if I am it will be very early in the pregnancy. We were very very tempted to start now (even BD once without protection). However I think the thing that sealed it for me was the fact that if I am more than 7 weeks and miscarry I might need a D&C. The thought of such a procedure overseas and maybe getting a general anaesthetic (sp!) is too much.

    I will have to be careful with what I eat and drink, unless I'm having my period! But that's fine, i'd rather a baby than brie! :

  15. #15

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    Good luck Ruth, i hope you have a great holiday and great fun making babies!!

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