Things to remember if travelling in India while pregnant?

#1 Sep 28th, 2009, 01:08
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  • lumikk is offline
#1
I would like to make a list about things one should know if visiting (or living in) India while pregnant. We're leaving to India for 4 months next May and we're thinking about trying for a baby while we are there. Ofcourse there are pretty slim chances of getting pregnant so soon, but better to be prepared anyway! We've been to India last winter so it's not completely new for us.

I've already got vaccinations against polio, diphteria+tetanus, MPR, hep A&B and typhoid and I'm still thinking about getting one against the Japanese encephalitis just to be sure. Do you know any other vaccinations I should get? When we're going it's going to be monsoon time so I'm not sure whether I should take some medication for malaria (I think some of them are considered to be relatively safe even during pregnancy). Anyway I have to have a little chat about that with my doctor. Is there anyone here who decided to use/not to use malaria drugs during pregnancy and how did it work out?

I'm getting a lot of mixed information about mosquito repellents. Some studies claim that it is safe to use mosquito repellents with DEET or ones with Icaridin (like Autan) when you're pregnant but some say that you should only use natural stuff like citronella if you're pregnant. What should I believe? Maybe it's again best to ask from my doc.

Which (veg) foods would you recommend for someone who is pregnant? I assume paneer-cheese is out of the question because of the risk of listeriosis. No salads or icecream I think, only something well-cooked. Which fruits and vegetables from the market would be good? Is chai safe?

Have you used the services of a maternity clinic in India? What was it like?



Things to remember

- Take all the vaccinations you need before you're pregnant!
- Keep all your baby-related documents (like prenatal record) with you
- Talk to your doctor about malaria medication
- Make sure you have a good travel insurance
- Use flight socks
- Travel to altitudes lower than 4000 meters is considered harmless
- Take your pregnancy vitamins with you (if you are taking them)
- Use some kind of mosquito repellent to keep the mosquitoes away
- Wear white clothes when it's dark outside so the mosquitoes won't see you so easily
- Sleep under a mosquito net
- Drink lots of (bottled) water
- Chai is safe to drink
- Eat fruits and vegetables that you can peel yourself
- Take it easy, don't exhaust youself
- Wash your hands as often as you can and use antibacterial hand gel


I would love to hear all about your experiences! And sorry for my poor English, hope you could undertand it anyway!
Last edited by lumikk; Sep 28th, 2009 at 16:42..
#2 Sep 28th, 2009, 01:17
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  • capt_mahajan is offline
#2
lumikk, welcome.

If you search for

pregnant

in the search box top right, the first six or seven hits look promising.
#3 Sep 28th, 2009, 01:28
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--- So that's how it's done?

Obviously, this explains why the Captain has children, and I don't




lumikk; welcome to the site. An unusal first post, but onw with many points of discussion in it
~

Currently mobile browsing... have turned off pics, etc. Will try to catch up with all the birds, food, etc, in a week or two!
#4 Sep 28th, 2009, 01:44
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#4


Wish it were so simple.
#5 Sep 28th, 2009, 03:36
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There's what looks to be a decent site (and forum, I think) on pregnancy & travel here: http://www.pregnanttraveler.com/.

It's arrived at through the (Canadian) ITHVC link on travel health in my signature btw, which I likewise find not half-bad, from what I've seen of it.

For any serious or in-depth questions, do please consult any local professionals at your disposal, of course; preferably those specialized in (tropical) travel (travel health clinic if you have one; or doctor specialized in the same). Any self-study, whether on the web or otherwise, can only serve as preliminary preparation.
#6 Sep 28th, 2009, 09:21
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If you do not eat paneer, what will you do for protein? The curd (yoghurt) is often sugared. How many eggs can you eat per day?

Chai is safe; the milk is boiled with the tea dust.

Fruits & veg? What ever you can peel with your pocket knife. I had lovely fresh English peas (straight out of the pod) last year, and mandarins are in season in the autumn. Bananas are safe. Avoid the apples; they are terrible and expensive -- just not good enough to justify the expense.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#7 Sep 28th, 2009, 16:36
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post lumikk, welcome.

If you search for

pregnant

in the search box top right, the first six or seven hits look promising.
Thank you, I did have a look at them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post lumikk; welcome to the site. An unusal first post, but onw with many points of discussion in it
Haha, thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post There's what looks to be a decent site (and forum, I think) on pregnancy & travel here: http://www.pregnanttraveler.com/.

It's arrived at through the (Canadian) ITHVC link on travel health in my signature btw, which I likewise find not half-bad, from what I've seen of it.

For any serious or in-depth questions, do please consult any local professionals at your disposal, of course; preferably those specialized in (tropical) travel (travel health clinic if you have one; or doctor specialized in the same). Any self-study, whether on the web or otherwise, can only serve as preliminary preparation.
Pregnant travaler was pretty informative, there were many good points. Thanks! The forum also had some experiences about traveling while pregnant. In the end I will have a good chat with my doctor about all of these questions - and get all the advice, vaccinations and medication I still need.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderwomanusa View Post If you do not eat paneer, what will you do for protein? The curd (yoghurt) is often sugared. How many eggs can you eat per day?

Chai is safe; the milk is boiled with the tea dust.

Fruits & veg? What ever you can peel with your pocket knife. I had lovely fresh English peas (straight out of the pod) last year, and mandarins are in season in the autumn. Bananas are safe. Avoid the apples; they are terrible and expensive -- just not good enough to justify the expense.
Thanks for all the advice! If I didn't eat paneer I think I'd get my protein from beans, lentils (dal), nuts, seeds, almonds etc.
#8 Sep 28th, 2009, 16:52
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#8
All of the basic health stuff is well covered on this site, and is the same for all. What we should consider is what additional care (if any) should be taken by a pregnant ex-pat resident.
#9 Sep 28th, 2009, 21:52
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Quote:
polio, diphteria+tetanus, MPR, hep A&B and typhoid and I'm still thinking about getting one against the Japanese encephalitis just to be sure.
Menningitis, remember that there are diseases not covered by vaccines..
#10 Sep 30th, 2009, 02:05
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderwomanusa View Post If you do not eat paneer, what will you do for protein?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lumikk View Post If I didn't eat paneer I think I'd get my protein from beans, lentils (dal), nuts, seeds, almonds etc.
That's correct yes; grains themselves are richer in proteins than some of us might think, btw. Whole grains (many Indian breads, such as chapati, roti, naan, and puris, are traditionally made from whole wheat flour, or atta) & pulses (beans; any of countless sorts of dhal), excellent combination. (The combination makes the proteins in either combine better and more easily extracted, even when eaten within a few hours from another. It works even with white grains btw [white rice; noodles or pasta], just whole grains are better.)

Indians who call themselves vegetarians (and as we all know, there are many) will often be strictly so btw, so what in the West would be called vegan, i.e., no dairy products nor eggs. They've sure managed for ages. It helps explain why some of the stricter ones won't even eat veg. food in a non-veg restaurant.

Nuts & seeds make for a welcome addition yes, in terms of unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals as well. (Not that grains and beans are devoid of these.) Several forms of chaat also probably make for pretty healthy snacks in this way (often consisting of puffed grains & beans in pre-packaged form, with or without some herbs & vegetables when served fresh).

In short, the Indian vegetarian kitchen and as long as you eat a little variedly like you should is really a wonderfully clever & complete one, as tasty as it is healthy in all its yummy little combinations.
#11 Oct 8th, 2009, 17:14
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post Indians who call themselves vegetarians (and as we all know, there are many) will often be strictly so btw, so what in the West would be called vegan, i.e., no dairy products nor eggs. They've sure managed for ages. It helps explain why some of the stricter ones won't even eat veg. food in a non-veg restaurant.
Mach - agree with your post in general - BUT - strict vegetarian Indians do eat dairy. I donot know any Indian vegetarian community who donot eat dairy. Paneer, dahi(yogurt), ghee, milk etc are important component of vegetarian Indian diet.

The reason strict vegetarians donot eat in non veg restaurants - they think that the kitchen being the same there will be contamination with non-veg food.
#12 Oct 8th, 2009, 18:17
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Mach, if I give an invitation to any friend to visit my house, and I know they are fairly orthodox (or would 'observant' be a better word?) Brahmins, I make the point of telling them that meat is eaten in the house. I know that there are those who would avoid entering a place where meat is eaten, let alone eating food from the same kitchen. Usually they say, it's fine, some of their friends are non-veg --- but, whatever I may think of their beliefs, I should let them know. They don't force their codes of life on me, and I shouldn't force my meat vibes on them!
#13 Oct 9th, 2009, 21:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayan View Post Mach - agree with your post in general - BUT - strict vegetarian Indians do eat dairy. I donot know any Indian vegetarian community who donot eat dairy. Paneer, dahi(yogurt), ghee, milk etc are important component of vegetarian Indian diet.
Yes, thanks for the correction; I was reading up some on it just the other day, and found that you are right. Guess I was mistaken with eggs, which I think many of them don't eat? (And the ghee should have been a give-away, indeed. Doh Still though, I do think the Indian veg. kitchen can easily stand on its own, without the dairy.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post but, whatever I may think of their beliefs, I should let them know.
Yup, I'd agree; common courtesy & hospitality, no. But it suits you well to do so in any case
#14 Oct 9th, 2009, 22:10
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Mach, if I give an invitation to any friend to visit my house, and I know they are fairly orthodox (or would 'observant' be a better word?) Brahmins, I make the point of telling them that meat is eaten in the house.
...
They don't force their codes of life on me, and I shouldn't force my meat vibes on them!
Hey, that's mighty good of you to let them know. Some of them are a bit kosher or anal about these things. Speaking for myself, I probably would not have food. No offense meant.
#15 Oct 9th, 2009, 23:55
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Phew... That's one person less to feed

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