Safe Travel During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Travelers' Diarrhea during Pregnancy
It's important to be careful about what you eat and drink when traveling during pregnancy because dehydration from travelers' diarrhea can lead to problems with inadequate placental blood flow.

Pregnant travelers should eat only well-cooked meats and pasteurized dairy products, while avoiding preprepared salads. This will help to avoid diarrhea, as well as infections such as toxoplasmosis and listeria, which can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

It's important to boil potentially contaminated water and avoid long-term use of iodine-containing purification systems. Iodine tablets can probably be used for travel up to several weeks, but congenital goiters have been reported in association with the administration of iodine-containing drugs during pregnancy. Pregnant women should be advised not to use prophylactic antibiotics for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea.

Oral rehydration is the recommended therapy for traveler's diarrhea. The combination of kaolin and pectin may be used, but loperamide should be used only when necessary. Bismuth subsalicylate compounds are contraindicated because of the theoretical risks of fetal bleeding from salicylates and teratogenicity from the bismuth. The antibiotic treatment of traveler's diarrhea during pregnancy can be complicated. An oral third-generation cephalosporin may be the best option for treatment if an antibiotic is needed.

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