For all of you who didn’t know, in case you missed the post where I made my announcement or if you don’t follow me on social media, I am expecting a baby in November. I currently live in the Florida Keys, and although we haven’t had any cases of Zika here, it is quite a common word on the street. Nearby Miami did have many cases, but until recently it really wasn’t something that I thought about.
Until I got pregnant.
I was sent by my doctor for a routine Zika test, which every pregnant woman in Florida has to have. Suddenly shit got scary. I realised how something like Zika could potentially affect me, and my baby.
It felt really quite scary to be tested for something which back in the UK we don’t ever have to worry about. This whole thing really made me homesick, as I realised that I am going through something totally new and doing it all in a foreign country, with a whole healthcare system, and healthcare concerns, that I am completely new to.
My blood test was all clear and I didn’t have the virus, which I already figured I knew, but the test itself made me realise how vulnerable pregnant women, especially those who travel, are.
I think it is really important to make the most of your pregnancy and travel whilst you can. As long as you get the all clear from your doctor, there is no reason why you can’t fly when pregnant, as I intend to do soon back to the UK. However, you need to be wise about where you visit, as Zika is a very real threat to unborn babies.
As far as I have read, Miami seems to have the all clear, and I believe there have been no transmitted cases in the US at all (all reported cases have been people travelling back from infected countries.) This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant. I make sure to always wear bug spray (I use a natural locally-bought one as opposed to a chemical laden one), always cover up at dusk, and try to stay out of ‘buggy’ areas. Regardless of Zika, mosquito bites aren’t fun.
If you are planning on travelling, Central America is a no-go (apart from Belize). This useful post by Almost Fearless is a great detailed guide to where you should avoid on your babymoon, and which countries are Zika free.
Have you had to have a Zika test, or have you travelled to a Zika country whilst being pregnant? Let me know your experiences below.