The World According to Renee

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Travelling to Bali while Pregnant

I struggled to find any good information about going to Bali while pregnant, so here’s my two cents’ worth.

My sister got married in Bali when I was 31 weeks pregnant. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have considered travelling overseas while this far along, but hey, I may only be a bridesmaid once and I wasn’t about to miss my little sis getting hitched!

Medical Stuff
Get a letter from your doctor stating you’re allowed to fly, as well as confirming any and all medications you’re taking. I took my pregnancy record, a copy of my doctor’s letter and anything else related to the pregnancy. Turns out, I didn’t need any of it. When I arrived at the airport, I informed the airline (Garuda Indonesia) that I was pregnant and I had to fill in a one sided form. It had questions like, was this my first pregnancy and was I having any complications. That was it. No hassle at all.

Coming back from Bali, I had two forms to fill in. One was pretty much the same as the one before but the other was a waiver in case anything happened to me on the flight. No drama.

Planes are crampy places! More than usual when you’re in your third trimester and it doesn’t help when the person in front of you is a recliner. Feeling hot, cramped and cranky, when the person in front of me reclined their seat, I kneed them in the back as often as possible.

Recliner: *death glares*
Me: Oh I’m sorry, am I making this uncomfortable for you? *points to large belly*

Sit in an aisle seat so you have easy access to the toilet. Drink as much free water as the attendants offer and then some more. It’s important to keep hydrated. Wear compression socks- daggy fashion but you’ll be thankful for them. Wander around the plane as much as possible and if you’re on an overnight flight, try to take the opportunity to wander down the empty aisle.

Things To Do in Bali When You’re Pregnant
Swimming and lazing about in air conditioning.

Although there’s a ton of activities to do in Bali, the pregnant woman can’t do a lot of them. For a start, it’s too bloody hot. I have approximately 2 litres of extra blood coursing through my body, plus baby weight, so I was in no mood to be walking the streets looking at markets and shops. The heat was exhausting, very draining and it does not go away! Wake up in the morning and it’s already 29 degrees and disgustingly humid. My advice: just don’t. Go swimming instead (it’s a fantastic cure for swollen, puffy ankles).

Also, pregnant women are not allowed in any temples. We wanted to see Tanah Lot, an amazing temple by the sea. Unfortunately menstruating or pregnant women, as well as anyone who has recently had a death in the family, are not permitted in any temples. So there goes that idea too.

I did have a massage though, but lying on my side gave me heartburn. And it was very, very hot underneath the towel.

There’s a ton of clothes stores and market stalls with some very cute baby/kid stuff. Everything from the quintessential Bintang singlets to dresses to swimming gear can be found there. Remember to declare any wooden toys on your way back into Australia.

Food in Bali is dodgy at the best of times. I stuck to vegetarian food (meat was of questionable quality and origin). Make sure it’s either peeled or cooked thoroughly. I was lucky enough to be staying in a villa with a chef so I was assured quality. When going out, choose a place where lots of Westerners are dining and stick to a menu you know. Now is not a good time to experiment!

Bali Belly is never good, but while you’re pregnant, you’re not allowed to take any medications which stop the diarrhoea. And of course, never ever ever ever drink tap water. Brush your teeth with bottled water and keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Also, pick up a few bottles of isotonic water at those mini-mart stores. Or take some electrolyte solution with you and sip regularly.

Have some antacids on you at all times; I’m at the stage where heartburn can make me throw up.

Do I really have to tell you not to drink any alcohol or take any drugs??

Travel Insurance
Most places offer travel insurance for pregnant women up until about 28 weeks. Being 31w when I flew, there’s only one place in the world that would insure me: Bupa Global. I was expecting a couple of hundred dollars, but it only cost me $86. It is so worthwhile though, so make sure you’re fully covered with any insurance you have.

Google nearby hospitals and midwives for your stay as well. I was lucky: one of my sister’s wedding guests was a midwife and another was a doctor, so if I had any worries (which I didn’t), I had those two to call upon.

General Safety
Within about 10 minutes of landing in Bali, I needed to use the bathroom. There was a very small step in the bathroom which I didn’t see… Ended up with a twisted ankle, bruised knee and a very sore hand from how I landed. All I could think of was, “Don’t land on your stomach!” I landed on my side, on top of my handbag. Babies are well cushioned inside your belly but I would recommend getting checked out if you land on your tummy or notice any blood-tinged discharge, pain or decreased foetal movement.

Being pregnant means you’re fully aware of toilet locations everywhere you go. In Bali, they use the bidet system but will have toilet paper available in areas frequented by Westerners. Most places won’t allow you to flush the toilet paper, so you have to throw it into a nearby bin. Eww. Always wash your hands afterwards or use hand sanitiser that you’ve brought with you.

Finally, just be careful. Don’t overdo things and if you need to rest, take all the time you need. Don’t be discouraged by all the things you can’t do- enjoy the things you can do! Bali has some wonderful mocktails (my favourite was a strawberry, kiwi and tonic water mix) and you’re in a country where everyone is just so nice. Enjoy yourself.


October 25, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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