Can You Go to Mexico Pregnant? (Here’s What You Should Know)

I’ve traveled to Mexico several times and I always notice at least one pregnant woman on the flight to Mexico. This got me thinking, can pregnant women travel to Mexico? After countless hours of online research and talking to my sister who’s a registered nurse, here’s what I discovered.

Can You Go To Mexico While Pregnant?

You can travel to Mexico until close to your due date (up to 36 weeks) while pregnant, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Women with pregnancy complications, however, are not recommended to travel. Also, avoiding certain destinations with Zika and Malaria is crucial for your and your baby’s health.

Your ob-gyn can provide proof of your due date if the airline requires you to show proof before flying.

Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico While Pregnant?

A woman holding her pregnant belly on an airplane.

Below is a list of concerns to consider before going to Mexico while pregnant.

Zika Virus

The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites and can be harmful or even fatal if it spreads to your unborn child. That said, there is no vaccine or medication to treat the Zika virus. Hence, it’s best to take the proper safety measures to avoid contracting it at all.

Here’s what the CDC currently knows about the Zika virus:

  • It can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
  • Zika is mainly spread by mosquito bites by an infected Aedes species mosquito (these mosquitos are aggressive in the daytime and will also bite at night).
  • There is no vaccine to prevent it or medicine to cure it.
  • Zika can be passed to their partner through sex from a person who has the virus.

Here’s what the CDC still doesn’t know about Zika:

  • When or if there’s a safe time to travel to an area with a risk of Zika while pregnant.
  • How likely it is that Zika will pass to your fetus.
  • Whether or not it causes birth defects.

Zika may often go unnoticed without any symptoms. If symptoms appear, they’re often mild and last a few days to one week. The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle pain

You can view a map of destinations that have a current risk of Zika on the CDC’s website.

The CDC recommends the following steps to help prevent being bit by mosquitoes while traveling:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Where a long sleeve shirt and pants when outdoors.
  • Use screens on doors and windows.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent (Sawyer Premium 30% Deet is a popular choice on Amazon).
  • If traveling to Mexico, try to plan your trip in an area with an elevation of at least 6,500 feet where mosquitoes will be less prevalent.


Malaria is also a great concern, even more so for pregnant women as it’s more severe. Malaria is a disease that’s also contracted from mosquito bites. According to the CDC, Malaria increases the risk for serious pregnancy problems, including premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

If you are traveling to a destination in Mexico with a risk of malaria, talk to your doctor about taking malaria prevention medicine.

Symptoms of malaria can appear several weeks after being infected. Below are some common symptoms of Malaria:

  • Pain in the abdomen or muscles
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats, shivering, or sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache, mental confusion, or pallor

Similar precautions taken for the Zika virus should also be taken to prevent being bitten by a mosquito infected with Malaria. However, unlike Zika, there’s actually medication you can take to prevent Malaria. Make sure to talk to your doctor before going to Mexico to see if the type of medication is right for you.

Pregnancy complications

Besides what you could potentially catch while visiting Mexico, the CDC recommends not traveling if you have any pre-existing pregnancy complications. Below is a list of pregnancy complications you should talk to your health provider about before traveling.

Urinary Trac Infection (UTI)

  • Pain or burning when you use the bathroom.
  • Fever, tiredness, or shakiness.
  • An urge to use the bathroom often.
  • Pressure in your lower belly.
  • Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy or reddish.
  • Nausea or back pain.

Mental Health Conditions

  • Low or sad mood.
  • Loss of interest in fun activities.
  • Changes in appetite, sleep, and energy.
  • Problems thinking, concentrating, and making decisions.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, or guilt.
  • Thoughts that life is not worth living.

If you have any of these symptoms or other symptoms not mentioned, talk to your doctor before deciding to travel.

How to Prepare to Travel to Mexico While Pregnant

A pregnant woman packing her bags before travel.

If you travel to Mexico, make sure to schedule a test with your provider after your trip to ensure you are Zika-free. It’s also recommended to avoid sexual intercourse during your pregnancy to reduce your risk of exposure to the Zika virus.

If you have decided that you will be traveling to Mexico at any point during your pregnancy, follow these steps before traveling.

  1. Visit with your ob-gyn at least 4-6 weeks before your travel date.
  2. Check with your airline to make sure they will allow you to fly at your stage of pregnancy. Your feet may become swollen on long flights, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Try to get up and walk at least every hour. To reduce your risk of blood clots during travel, your doctor may recommend compression stockings and certain leg exercises you can perform while seated on the plane.
  3. Ensure you bring the proper gear to maintain safety and maximum comfort while traveling (check out my recommended travel gear).
  4. Book your trip to Mexico during the cooler seasons to avoid any intense heat. Also, mosquitoes are more active in humid weather above 80 degrees.
  5. Avoid staying near areas where mosquitoes thrive, such as jungles, tall grassy spots, areas with a large concentration of people, and water.
  6. Bring proper clothing to wear including a sunhat and articles that will cover your skin to help prevent sunburn and insect bites.

The CDC recommends looking into supplemental travel health insurance if you plan on getting care overseas (generally your US health insurance will not cover you in Mexico).

Also, if you are traveling to a remote area in Mexico, an insurance policy that covers medical evacuation will pay for your transportation to a high-quality hospital in case of an emergency.

Whether you plan on a routine checkup during your trip or expect to give birth, it’s important you are prepared and consider purchasing supplemental travel health insurance. I highly recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance if you are looking for an affordable plan that will cover all your needs when traveling to Mexico while pregnant.

Taking the appropriate steps and knowing what to be aware of before traveling to Mexico will help you make your trip as safe as can be.

Other Potential Concerns of Traveling To Mexico While Pregnant

Pregnant woman being examined by her doctor before travel to Mexico.

Other concerns you should consider when traveling to Mexico are eating or drinking contaminated food or water which may cause traveler’s diarrhea (I experience traveler’s diarrhea almost every time I visit Mexico). Traveler’s diarrhea may cause dehydration which is even more of a concern for pregnant women.

CDC recommends you follow these food and safety measures to ensure proper health:

  • Only eat food that is cooked and served hot (avoid food that has been sitting at room temperature such as a buffet)
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish
  • Do not drink any tap water or anything that contains ice
  • Drink only beverages such as water, soda, and juices that are factory sealed
  • Do not eat unpasteurized dairy products

If you do happen to get traveler’s diarrhea, make sure you drink plenty of safe liquids while you wait for it to pass on its own. Avoid taking medications containing bismuth, such as Pepto-Bismol. These medications are not recommended for pregnant women.

Check with your provider before traveling for an approved list of medications you can take in case of traveler’s diarrhea.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your doctor to determine if traveling to Mexico while pregnant is safe for you and your baby.

Although there are many potential concerns you should consider before traveling, speaking with your healthcare provider and creating a proper travel plan is an important factors when considering your safety.

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Alex Gomez

Alex Gomez is a professional writer, travel enthusiast, and the creator of Mexico Travel Buddy. His favorite destination is anywhere in Mexico. Having ventured to Mexico numerous times, he enjoys sharing valuable tips, tricks, and insights he's gathered along the way.

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