I’ve traveled to Mexico a few times and I always notice at least a couple pregnant women either on the flight or when I arrive in Mexico, this got me thinking; should pregnant women travel to Mexico? After reading up on the matter, here’s what I learned.
Can You Travel To Mexico While Pregnant
Pregnant women are generally safe to travel until close to their due date, however, The American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest not flying if you have any pregnancy or medical conditions that may be made worse by flying. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, talk with you ob-gyn.
Mexico, including the Caribbean; is known to present a risk of the Zika virus. Zika virus can be a huge concern if you are traveling to Mexico while pregnant. The Zika virus, which can be transmitted by 2 types of infected mosquitoes, as well as through sexual contact, can cause severe birth defects. Unfortunately at this time, there is no vaccination for the Zika virus.
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 already planned your trip to Mexico and discovered that you are pregnant, there are steps that need to be taken to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
The CDC recommends the following steps to help prevent being bit by mosquitoes while traveling:
- Staying indoors as much as possible
- 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 less prevalent
Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico While Pregnant
There are many potential concerns when traveling to Mexico while pregnant, you need to be well aware of these concerns before deciding if traveling to Mexico is safe for you.
Traveling to Mexico while pregnant is overall safe, but you should take into consideration any medical or pregnant conditions you may have. As well, always talk with your obstetrician-gynecologist before making any travel plans.
According to ACOG, flying is considered safe up until about 36 weeks of your pregnancy, your ob-gyn can provide proof of your due date if thee airline requires you to show proof before flying.
If you’re traveling to Mexico while pregnant, there are steps and other considerations you should prepare for, prior to your trip.
Steps To Take Before Traveling To Mexico While Pregnant
If you have decided that you will be traveling to Mexico at any point during your pregnancy, follow these steps before traveling:
- Visit with your ob-gyn at least 4-6 weeks before your travel date.
- Check with you 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 or blood clots during travel, your doctor may recommend compression stockings and certain leg exercises you can perform while seated on the plane.
- Ensure your bring the proper gear to maintain safety and maximum comfort while traveling (check out my recommended travel gear).
- 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.
- Avoid staying near in areas where mosquitoes thrive, such as; jungle, tall grassy spots, areas with a large concentration of people, and water.
- Bring proper clothing to wear including a sunhat and articles that will cover your skin to help prevent against sunburn and insect bites.
The CDC recommends looking into supplemental travel health insurance if you need plan on getting care overseas (generally your US health insurance will not cover you in Mexico). As well, 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.
Concerns With Traveling To Mexico While Pregnant
Other concerns you should consider when traveling to Mexico are eating or drinking contaminated food or water which may cause traveler’s diarrhea (I’ve experienced 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 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 factor when considering your safety.
Checkout My Recommended Travel Gear
Looking For More Mexico Travel Tips?
- Everything You Need To Know About Drinking Water In Cabo San Lucas.
- Things Every Tourist Must Know About Tulum Nightlife.
- 6 Fun Things To Do In Cabo When It Rains.
- Why You’re Paying Too Much For Flights To Cabo: Top Tips For Cheaper Flights.
- Is Tulum Overrated? A Traveler’s Opinion.