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By Liza Prado

The last time I went to the Riviera Maya, I was three months pregnant. My
monthly checkup was right before I left for my trip, so I figured I’d ask my
ob-gyn about any additional precautions I should take. He looked at me very
seriously and said, "Whatever you do, don’t drink the water." And that was it.
He closed his clipboard and sent me on my way. Wow. Thanks, Dr. Wagner.

In retrospect, I guess my doctor was just trying to say that traveling while
pregnant, especially if the pregnancy is progressing normally, shouldn’t be
different than any other sort of travel. But for rookies like me, and even moms
who’ve been around the baby block a couple times, it’s always nice to get some

Having been on the road for three months while pregnant, here’s what I learned:

1) Before you leave home, do a quick Internet search to find the best
hospital in your destination
. In an emergency, it’s better to know
where you want to be treated instead of having to rely on a taxi driver or the
nearest passerby. Plus, many hospitals now have web pages that include bios of
their physicians so you actually can request a specific ob-gyn.

2) If you’re flying to your destination, be sure to stay
. Take an empty Nalgene bottle with you, and ask the flight
attendant to fill it with water as soon as you get on. It’ll limit the number of
times you have to push the call button, plus you’ll have a water bottle to take
to the beach.

3) Don’t lift anything heavy. Obvious, I know, but travel
presents so many opportunities to break the rule — suitcases, beach chairs, that
solid granite Maya replica in the hotel gift shop — it’s worth reminding yourself.
Be sure to carry small bills to tip porters, or at least promise your travel
companion a mojito or two. 

Read more of Liza Prado’s beach vacation tips at’s Beach Blog

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