We have holiday planned for October and just realized I am pregnant.
Any advise? What is the malaria situation in October?
Are there any 'safe' areas?
What about good hospitals - just in case?
You need to post this in the Madagascar section. Start with the Anatananarivo Forum. Yes they have malaria. All year round.
You need 100% Deet repellant and sensible malaria tablets. Consult a doctor due to your pregnancy and side effects. There are safe malaria tablets.
The only safe area is not inside Madagascar. You either risk death or not risk death. They have hospitals where you can die of malaria. They have experience. Also the best hospitals in Europe see people die from Malaria upon their return every year.
Its like asking if you can have unprotected sex with a stranger and if there are any good hospitals if you get AIDS. I am not trying to be harsh, but please protect your baby from malaria. After the birth, go for it yourself.
Malaria is 100% preventable. Not 100% recoverable or survivival.
I think the doctor you consult needs to be one that is experienced in dealing with travel related issues.
Don't know how it is in the UK, but here in the USA if we want an actual useful answer for such a question, we typically have to go to a special travel clinic that the regular health insurance company refuses to pay for. The benefit though is the people there don't shy away from such questions, and generally have first hand travel experience.
A fair amount of my travels have been as a volunteer to do community work - though never to Madagascar. It really isn't that unusual for women to be pregnant and travel to these areas. From time to time it must happen. However, the drugs involved in Malaria prevention, as well as treating it when it does happen, are pretty toxic. Malaria is not a virus, but it is an actual parasite animal, and so the drugs are used to kill off the parasite animal living in your blood stream. Therefore, I wouldn't think that it would be good to take them when pregnant.
There are several different types of malaria medication. They all have various side effects, that could result in some interesting side effects when combined with pregnancy (assuming that any of them are safe to take during pregnancy). Some of them result in bizarre and extreme dreams. It is a once a week pill, and thus is pretty strong stuff the night after you first take it. Another one will give you occasional dizzy / vertigo experiences, but that one is only a once a day pill.
The heavy DEET anti-mosquito chemicals come with their own issues. I'll let you research the problems and potential issues while pregnant with those.
When I had a broken leg last year, I was able to get a deferment to my planned airline travel, as I was in no condition to travel on a ticket I had purchased. With a doctor's letter, they allowed the travel delay. I would hope that the conditions involved in going to a malaria-prone area of the world while pregnant would fall into the same category.
In the UK, your GP will be more than able to advise you about whether you should go, what medications you can safely take if you do and so on and so forth. You can also look at the NHS fitfortravel site, which will give you info about malaria etc in Madagascar:
You will see that the whole island is a risk area for malaria, all year round, and that precautions are essential. You need to talk with your GP about what implications this may have for your pregnancy.
Malaria is a killer and not to be treated lightly.
It may be that your travel insurance will cover you if you choose to cancel the holiday, or the company with whom you have booked may refund some of your payment. But they may not. A broken leg is an accident. Pregnancy may not be considered an accident or medical condition. You'll need to read the small print for both, I think.
> On the positive side, chloroquine and proguanil
> are generally considered safe in pregnancy. Other
> antimalarials are not.
It should also be pointed out that certain regions require certain antimalarials. Chloroquine, for example, was what I wound up taking in Central America, but it is no longer effective against the malaria variant that is in the parts of Africa I visited, so I wound up taking Mefloquine.
When that made me seriously loopy on the days after I took the pill, I wound up taking a different medication on my next trip.
So, some of those that are generally safe during pregnancy may be ruled out by the malaria variant that is in Madagascar.
You are really putting a price on the value of your life, and that of your unborn child.
First, you are usually required to start taking malaria medication a few days/week prior to your trip, - and a week after it is over. Do not assume that your regular doctor knows what he/she is talking abbout when it comes to travel medicine. Better to see a travel medicine specialist. There are exceptions of course, but 19 out of 20 will simply read up on it before advising you, from possibly out dated source. This is more prevalent in the U.S. than most other countries, and I have been led to believe that British doctors are far better prepared to answer these questions.
This may sound harsh, but having spent a lifetime in places requiring a variety of tropical disease medication and vaccinations, I have found that as much as I love my regular lady doctor, her travel medical knowledge is lacking, but she is also one of the few that freely admits it. My American tour members constantly told me some stories of doctor advise, that they (thankfully), did not know waw just irresponsible advise.
Also understand that most locals do not need medication for malaria and other fevers, as their immune system that although does not make them immune, does protect them far better than outsiders. This is a general statement.
You have likely heard that if you drink the tap water in Mexico you will likely get sick. What most people are not aware of is that Mexicans that come here and drink the tapwater, will also get sick. Different adaptation of the immune system.
That all being said, you really should not take medical advise from non medical people, - including us. My advise is not medical but it is sound. Go to a travel medicine specialist, and spend the money required.
Some people disagree with me and brag about having not taken any medication and being just fine. Good for them. Ask someone who has had malaria. They have a different story to tell.
Erik, in the UK one's GP and surgery are extremely well-informed about travel medicine. They are set up to be, with additional advice easily accessible when required. That is why there are few private travel clinics/specialists here.
The poster needs to discuss this thoroughly with her GP, who will in any case be monitoring both her general health and her pregnancy.
Then she will be able to make her decisions.
What James said.
Also think about if you will still have nausea, food aversion, and extreme fatigue by then. They don't always go away by end of first trimester like they say in textbooks.
Leics, that is why I now include an exception regarding Britain, and their GPs. Perhaps "led to believe" is a wrong way to say it. Perhaps "I have been convinced" is a better term. Sorry for any misconception....d:o/
No probs. :-)
> A broken leg is an accident. Pregnancy may
> not be considered an accident or medical
> condition. You'll need to read the small
> print for both, I think.
Agreed that the small print could be a problem, but:
The paper my doctor filled out said "is medically unfit to travel long distances in airplanes" and gave no particular reason as to what medical condition I had that caused this. The people on the other end didn't ask any further questions.
It isn't the business of the airlines or resort owners to know specifics about people's medical conditions.
That may be the case in the US, but I'm afraid it is not the case in the UK.
Leics is spot on about the District Nurse and travel jabs. Only Yellow Fever is chargable. All the advice is free. By the way Yellow Fever is a horrible jab. Got scars both times and it hurts like hell. Beats death.
Further, in the UK a 'Private Prescription' for most anti-malarials is less than £25 for a 2 week in-country coverage. Buy it over the counter at up to £100. A Private Prescription is free!
Hate to say it, stay at home where it is safe, have your baby in a proper clean healthy environment and forget about sitting down comfortably and reading the newspaper uninterrupted for the next 20 years. Pay your entire salary into your local supermarket and don't bother to make plans for dinner parties. Practise walking around with a 9lb bag of warm wet water humming *Bob the Builder* at 2am. Get used to appearing at social functions with food and snot smeared down your clothes. Dads forget about shaving, you don't have the time. Mums forget about waxing and eyebrow plucking, it won't happen. Get a dog as it will be the only one who wil clean the floor. To practise in advance for having kids, take a goat (or two or three depending on how many you plan to have) and let them loose in a supermarket. Be prepared to pay for all they have destroyed eaten or stolen. You think I jest!!!! BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHHA!
Com'on Keti, lighten up a bit. Clearly Suet is just havin' a bit of fun......d:o)
As for the real issue, no need to repeat my statement. Plenty of good advise already.
I don't want kids and I am missing nothing at all. Suet is speaking about her experiences and as just said - lighten up. Seriously. Suet was a Psychiatric Nurse. She offers great therapy. She even operated (sucessfully) on me.
Take kids on holiday - fine. Just don't inflict them on others. I see a lot of bad parenting on too many planes. More and more I see NO parenting.
I have a lot of respect for parents. A lot. I have nephews and neices. All little ladies and gentleman and a real joy to be around and/or travel with.
Having said that - born or unborn - parents aree 100% responsible for the health, safety and conduct of their children when travelling. 100%.
If you can't be responsible - stay off my plane/train/boat/bus/beach with your little horror(s). I paid for my holiday and the little brats in the cruise pool jacuzzi - against the rules - did not.
They say you reach middle age when you start shouting "You kids keep off my lawn!"
PS. I have resscued 2 cats and they love me unconditionally. Billie and Major have been abandoned 4 times that I know of. Adoption works well for humans too. I would choose better names, but they already had names. Not sure why Major is named Major at all.
There are no children haters on this thread. You will have to look for another one. Maybe start a new thread?
I can see it now.
Travllers who hate kids.
Next on Oprah!
By the way I started the replies with the protection of the life of an unborn child. Others have followed with practical, helpful and supportive information.
Geesh, guys, return to the original post please.
Malaria is bad. OK? (To the sound of Mr. Mackey on South Park).
Heh heh, - you are too much my brotha'.......d:o)
Thank you everyone for your sound advice! Very much appreciated. I'll keep you posted - at the moment I am quite convinced I am staying in Europe.
Although some of your postings are quite direct they didn't quite work with my partner: he still believes I will be all right going.
Well, the the travel insurer contributed of course: they stated they can't do anything as the condition isn't medical and kept repeating completely irrelevant information. Seems they can't be bothered even if I have a problem during the holiday as it will be due to a condition (although 'not medical') we were aware of before departure! I wonder whether travel insurers can be bothered about anything at all as seems everyone is aware of most of the health risks they are about to take. Anyway. Hope all that all will be helpful for someone in a similar situation.
I'm afraid that is entirely standard for UK travel insurance. If you are aware of the condition before you travel then it does impact on the cover you receive and if you do not declare existing conditions when required then your policy may no longer be valid.
You may well have to pay a special premium (higher, of course) to cover any pregnancy-specific risks whilst you are away. You absolutely must investigate this aspect if you do decide to go.
I do understand that this is a difficult situation. I wish you the best in sorting it out.....and a happy pregnancy and birth in 2011 (do let us know what you have, won't you?). :-)
More South Park.
"Oh no! Right wing Republicans and Christian oppressors"
(From the Sparky Don't be Gay episode)
I think you know what's best for you when it comes to the trip. Sometimes when the other person is not personally experiencing something, they don't grasp the situation.
Hope your pregnancy goes well and you do get do some traveling to get it out of the system before the baby arrives.
I will answer your questions point by point Keti, if I may.
> I beg to differ. I do actually know a great deal about children, having brought up several nieces and nephews and many godchildren (10 at the last count). I am also a nurse, dealing with the many mothers who suffer from post natal depression and trauma that having a baby causes.
> It looks like that you are managing your time well, although no doubt this will change with time as your son grows up and if you decide to have another. Look out for sibling rivalry and when they start to fight.
> I am referring to husbands and mothers who work to provide a good income to support their child(ren) all those parents who pay for education, extra classes in music, drama, karate, horseriding, fencing, shooting, travel with the school skiing or to the UK to practise English. I was extremely lucky in that my Mum stayed at home and my Dad had enough money to give us all a good education.
> I dislike noisy undisciplined children especially on airplanes and the ones who run riot because the parents don't care. I love my godchildren because I had a hand in their upbringing and they are now intelligent capable adults. I also love my adopted grandchildren who seem to be pleased to see me all the time.
>Please do not favour me with your undeserved pity. I never wanted children from the age of 11. I am not the mothering type, although I am the compassionate type, preferring to care for many people over the years. Not just in nurinsg and physical care, but the whole shebang. I care for the whole thing, not just a symptom, it's called a holistic approach.
Oh, and children do not love you unconditionally. They manipulate, play one parent off another, smack their fellow playmates, use emotional blackmail to get clothes like their friends (peer pressure) fight and argue with parents to push boundaries..... give it time Keti, you will understand what babies can do.
Did I mention I love my cats? Although one attaked me today. He has fleas and is in a bad mood. ...but when I go near the fridge door....he loves me again.
Yep relationships are about up and downs and good point about children in public. If they don't learn boundaries of others/society....you may not get such a lovely adult.
Anyway - protection never hurt anyone. In any situation.
Keti, I understand that you are at the beginning of motherhood. It is all very new to you and you are dealing with it as best you know how. I would, however, point out, that children grow up and grow out of their parents' control. When you get the the *terrible twos* that your son will ineveitably grow into, you will, perhaps, understand. Force of will in a two year old will come smack up against you like a brick wall. They do NOT want to do what you say. Hence the trying to get dressed a two year old is like putting an octopus in a string bag. I am sure you will go through all this and learn. They say that the young learn and the oldies understand, Trust me, I do understand.
Oops, I forgot to mention, wait until he is a teenager!!!! Oh lordy I was a horror!