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Bali at 12 weeks pregnant
Should I or shouldn't I go?

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33 replies to this topic

#1 MrsRadiant

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:18 AM

Hi ladies,
This Is a big question and I need help deciding!
Some friends of ours have booked us into going to bali with them about four weeks ago,
It will be DH and my first overseas trip. I decided to go with because we hadn't had luck ttc'ing.
So now I am pregnant and will be 12 weeks when we go.
We are going over Easter for 8 nights and staying at private villas in seminyak.
I won't be able to have my injections and I'm a bit worried now about going!
Has anyone been over pregnant or know what it's like?

#2 daturah

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:31 AM

I have been to Bali, but not while pregnant.

I have also been pregnant!

I would say be very very careful not to drink anything other than bottled water; don't brush your teeth with tap water; don't wash your hands in tap water and then put them in your mouth; don't open your mouth in the shower... You get the drift.  I would be very paranoid about that in particular.

Similar with food - I would eat at the resort for as many meals as possible.  The resort food is pretty trustworthy.

The other thing - when I was pregnant, smells drove me crazy.  I couldn't even stand the smell of soap or deodorant.  The smell of vomit, poo, fires, rubbish would have made me want to hurl.  I still can't stand the smell of bush fires because it reminds me too much of the first three months of pregnancy when back-burning took place around the town we lived in.  Urggggghhh.

Bali is rife with very special, often disgusting smells. I'm not sure how you'd deal with that, but maybe you won't have the same irkiness around smells as I did!

Otherwise, just exercising the usual amount of caution and risk aversion, particularly around traffic (the road rules are pretty lax there and medical facilities are grim) would be recommended.

I saw a scooter / motorbike accident when I was there, out in the country areas.  The guy's leg was so broken it was flipping all over the place.  Their idea of an ambulance was three men picking up the screaming victim, chucking him in the back of a ute and driving the hour or so on slow roads that it would take to get to Kuta from where we were.  Medical facilities are definitely not what they are here, and it's worth bearing that in mind.

ETA: with what I know about Bali, I personally would play it on the safe side and not go while pregnant.

Edited by daturah, 29 January 2013 - 07:34 AM.

#3 brindle

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:34 AM

I would go if you are staying in Seminyak. It has some amazing restaurants and you will have plenty of eating options. Just be careful and eat only freshly cooked foods.

If you are staying in a villa, them you can cook for yourself too. There is a supermarket in Seminyak Square.

The Grocer & Grind cafe make their own yummy baked beetroot chips (crisps) and museli bars (it has Australian owners) for take-away treats on the go.

Sorry, I don't understand about 'injections'.

#4 Freddieness

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:40 AM

I'm going in March and will be 26wks pregnant. Just be extra cautious about using water in all ways and only at resorts and don't eat salads unless they can assure you they wash with bottled water, same with ice only drink if made from bottled water . I went last year for 2wks with DS 14mths old at the time, we stayed in Legian and Nusa Dua. None of us got sick.

#5 bookmonster

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:40 AM

I went to Bali at 12 weeks for the first time last year. I was just very careful about what I ate and used insect repellent religiously. I had no problems at all.

#6 CallMeFeral

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:44 AM

I'd go. But I've never been to Bali! Went to Malaysia 7 months preggers though.

#7 MrsFeral247

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

Whilst the water is an issue, dirty money is a lot worse imo.

Buy a bunch of the antibacterial gels when you get there (they're very cheap) and use it religiously every time you touch money or before you eat.

There are far too many good and clean restaurants to stick to eating in your resort. As long as its cooked to piping hot, most things will be fine.

Ice is fine. It must be made from clean water.

Take a probiotic for a week or so before you leave, and double the dose when you get there.

Ultimately its up to you. We have flights booked for later this year. If Im pregnant we'll probably postpone til the baby arrives. We took DD when she was 7m and it was a dream holiday.

#8 Moo point

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:51 AM

We stayed in a villa in Seminyak - I wasn't pregnant but there was a possibility as we'd done a round of IVF. We had had our injections (I'm assuming you mean the travel ones recommended for Bali) but you should be ok if you don't venture out of Seminyak, like going near the monkeys in Ubud!

As PPs said, just be stringent about only drinking/brushing teeth with bottled water, good advice for anyone. Only eat fruit/veg washed in bottled water, which will be fine at any of the resorts or upmarket restaurants. My BIL lives in Indonesia, he pointed out what we could and couldn't eat/drink - if the ice cubes have holes in them, like they come from a machine, that's ok as the Balinese particularly in the Western-populated areas use bottled water. They don't want their customers to get sick!

Take a bottle of hand sanitiser and keep it in your handbag and use religiously. Don't eat food from the side of the road, and yes the supermarket at Seminyak will be your friend!

I'm not a fan of Bali, only went as it was a big extended family trip, but I found Seminyak to be fine. The cheeseburgers at Potato Head resort are divine original.gif

#9 MrsLexiK

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:24 AM

If it was me, I would just eat hot food not salads, I wouldn't worry too much.  We are looking at taking a 7 or 8 month old later this year or early next year and won't be too phased.

#10 *cough*

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

I would go. I've been many times. I am always super cautious with the water - pretty much everyone I've been with always brushes teeth in bottle water, don't open mouth in shower etc.

Use antibacterial gel, eat smart etc.

Drink tonnes of water and use lots of suncream too.


#11 Mrs Daryl Dixon

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

Hi OP,Did it last year at 14 weeks. No dramas at all. Took some small bottles of hand sanitizer and used this before and after meals/toilet etc.  No salad. Eat at established restaurants ( Bali is pretty good now, just wouldn't eat from little carts roadside). No need to only eat at hotels.... Cost is much higher, and the sanitation in the majority of cafe's/restaurants in tourist areas is generally high.

Speak to your GP prior to leaving regarding malaria meds and gastro, but you should be fine. Enjoy your first OS trip! How exciting.. Must say I'm jealous! I'm 30 weeks now and would literally kill for a Bali break!  biggrin.gif

Edited by TashaG, 29 January 2013 - 09:49 AM.

#12 Cazzamattaz

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

I went to Bali in 2009 when I was about 8/9 weeks pregnant.
I had previously had a miscarriage, so was a bit hesitant...

We stayed in a private villa in Seminyak, and I'll admit I was a bit paranoid about what I ate & drank (didn't help that I felt disgustingly ill & tired).
The second day there I drank from the "safe" water cooler, which gave me horrendous diarrhea (sorry for TMI!), so of course then I was even more paranoid!
But honestly, it was fine...

I just made sure I only drank bottled water from then on, I enjoyed the fresh fruit on offer, and bought quite a lot of food from "The Bali Deli" that was around the corner - Ginger Nut biscuits became my saviour ;-)

Be warned... the smells in the streets can be really really foul  sick.gif

Enjoy your holiday!

#13 dimensionk

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

I would go! A last overseas trip before the baby comes - who could possibly give that up. original.gif

#14 dimensionk

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

You're only there for a week so if you're careful I would think the risk is low.

#15 Mama Syd

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

I'm going to put my two cents worth in..
There is no way I would risk going to Bali whist pregnant. I was there a year ago and my husband and I got so sick I thought we might die there.
There'll be plenty of other opportunities to go.

#16 Cirrus

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

I travel to Indonesia about 5 times per year (not pregnant). I brush my teeth with bottled, water, only touch money and doors with my left hand - while using only right hand to open a water bottle or any other task that could get germs in my mouth. Plus I don't eat suspect food like street satay or anything that has been sitting around (like noodles in a self serve situation, even in a nice resort). I have never been badly sick...except in December when I can back to oz and was hospitalised and lost a lot of weight. This means the odds are pretty good but there is LUCK involved (maybe good luck like most people have above), so every little thing you do to reduce your risk is important.

Since I have been so sick so recently from there (probably from a small meal in Bali that was at a mid-range tourist restaurant), if I was you, I would be making all my own food - even though that is anti-fun and difficult on holidays.
(I feel queazy even thinking about eating during my next trip)

In reality, if you follow general advice for good health when travelling from other posters above, there is a high chance that you will have a great holiday with no illness.
Check the conditions of your travel insurance.
Check things like mosquito repellant carefully - as there may be restrictions for pregnant women.

Another good precaution you can take is to make sure that you are not generally run down. If you have good sleep patterns, fitness, diet and low stress levels when you go - you will fight of general exposures to viruses much more than if you are run down and on the verge of illness.

If you are not used to travelling - read health sections of lonely planet or similar.

#17 Ice Queen

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

I went at 9 weeks pregnant for a wedding.  

The fresh fruit, swimming and spicy food actually made me feel better.  I had MS at this stage.  I loved the big breakfast of fresh fruit.  The spicy food bizarrely agreed with me!

Also I loved having fruit cocktails and juices at bars while my DH had a beer.

Having said that I did get Bali Belly and it was pretty horrible.  Annoyingly I got it at the wedding which was a buffet on the beach at a 5 star hotel.  I know it is hard to know where you get sick but it was quite obvious as my DH and I spent the day apart but we both got sick.  The food at the wedding was the common denominator.  I think we relaxed being a wedding and didnt really think about what we were eating.  Halfway through the meal, which was a BBQ cooked by the chefs in front of us, my DH noticed the inside of the meat was raw.  It was dark and only candlelight and I just didnt notice.  So just be careful.

Having said that all was fine!  We did have a nice holiday and I would do it again.

#18 Logical nonsense

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

Ice is fine. It must be made from clean water

Yes that is true, but its the different bacterial flora of the water that can make you sick.
I would avoid ice because of this.

As a northern European we don't drink tap water in Eastern Europe (any countries east of the Iron curtain) as the water flora is different & It can make you sick.

I have traveled all over the world & the only time I got food poisoning was from Burger King in Budapest, Hungry.

Good luck & enjoy you holiday.

When we where in Egypt the water shower water was very salted as we where on the Sinai peninsula, we bought the big -5-10L water & used that to shower with it.
This could be a solution to the shower problem.

#19 antigone_

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

I went when 20 weeks pregnant and none of us got even vaguely sick.

Admittedly I ate only hot foods, stuck to bottled water, kept out of the sun and used Avon Skin So Soft spray to ward off any mozzies (it really works as a low toxin insect repellant!).

I also was not at all adventurous and was only there to drink mocktails, put the kids in Kids Club and relax as much as a I could.

It was wonderful - I had people telling me not to go (we had booked months in advance), but it couldn't have been easier.

#20 mini mac

Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

As PP have mentioned, some of the smells on the streets may well drive you batty if you're in any way sensitive to smell. I know some rancid odours made me dry retch when I was there at 26 weeks with DS1, well past my morning sickness stage. Gotta love the hormones!

OP, have you been feeling well so far this pregnancy, managing to keep food down and mild morning sickness? That may be an indicator of how well you will go in Bali, especially regarding diet and smells.

Ultimately you can only go if you feel comfortable about the risks. There really is no point going if you are going to panic and worry about every moment spent there and you're not enjoying yourself.

Could it be worth rebooking and going after baby has arrived as a family holiday?? Mind you, would this be your last holiday baby free??

If you do go, caution with drinks (I'd AVOID the ice personally unless you are sure of where that water has come from, eg hotels ice is often safer than street vendors ice) and food is a necessity for most even when not pregnant. There are so many 'safe' restaurants over there these days, not like years ago when it was less westernised and much dirtier. And clean your hands often. And mozzie repellent of course.

Oh, what I'd give to be in Bali (just not Kuta, I'm such a snob!!) right now... By the pool with a mixed fruit juice and a nasi goreng with some satay chicken... nom nom nom

ETA spelling

Edited by Mini Mac, 29 January 2013 - 02:31 PM.

#21 MrsRadiant

Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Thanks for the information guys! We are going over for a close friends birthday and they only invited DH and I so feel very privileged. Otherwise no we wouldn't be going, so rebooking later won't be an option as its a once off sort of thing. I will talk to DH about the pros/cons.
I feel great ATM, no nausea at all just yet, but I guess that might be yet to come!!
Thanks ladies! X

#22 Jasper01

Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

I also will be in Bali @ 11 weeks it will be fine I have been a few times and have never got sick. Just make sure you always say no to ice in your drinks. You will find if you are staying in a nice resort you won't have to worry about anything biggrin.gif

#23 drmiaow

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

I wouldn't go to Bali pregnant, just not worth it IMHO.
But then (and I realise I may be in the minority) I wouldn't go (back) to Bali ph34r.gif .
Best wishes for your pregnancy.

#24 naturalgoodness

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

I went to Bali at 20 weeks with DS2, have been there since with toddlers and intend to take the new one (due in March) when they are 9 months old in December this year.  

We only ever drink bottled water anyway, only take ice from places that we are familiar with and don't eat from food carts. I pre-warned any massage people that I was pregnant (they do it differently) and that was about the only extra effort I went to.

We stock up on hand sanitiser when we get there (it is super cheap) and carry this everywhere. We use it after every handwashing. I used a child friendly mosquito repellant and sunscreen and just made sure that I kept well hydrated.

My DH always feels a bit unwell day 3-4 which we think is actually his body reacting to the large quantity of fruit he consumes via the large number of juices he has every day! It cleans out his system and then he is good to go. None of the rest of us has ever got unwell original.gif

Just make sure that your travel insurance will cover you for all possibilities.

Enjoy your trip - pregnant women travel all over the place all of the time.

#25 Le-a

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

I found out I was pregnant with DS when I was in Bali! Well, I had heaps of faint positives but thanks to the pregnancy test instructions being written in Indonesian I couldn't work out if they meant I was actually pregnant, lol!

I was fine. Just extra vigillant, loads of hand sanitizer, all the other jazz PPs have mentioned. I mean, Balinese women have babies there too, right?

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