I'd go. We almost traveled to Bolivia when I was 28 weeks pregnant, but the 14,000 ft elevation scared me off because I am very susceptible to altitude sickness. I didn't want to risk being sick.
Would you travel across the world at 22 weeks? - Page 2
I traveled to Utrecht for a 3 month predoctoral fellowship during my second trimester. During that time I came back to Canada once a month to see my midwife, traveled once to Chicago to give a paper at a conference and traveled once to Vancouver for a job interview. Just to add to your data: I and my son (now 15 months) are just fine.
Just a note, Atlas International has travel/medical insurance that covers pregnancy up to 26 weeks, I believe. It was one of the only ones that I found that will include pregnancy AND pre-existing conditions (traveling with my son who has had multiple surgeries and could have issues because of it), so you may want to check it out. I would definitely go if I were you! I'll be traveling from 10 weeks to 16 weeks, but in Canada.
Piping in from China here - lived here for 3 1/2 years thus far and actually work for a major university here. I think you'll be fine. That said - You should be FREAKY careful about food - even in a major city, even in nice restaurants - as opposed to what a previous poster noted. I've had food poisoning (as has every other long-term expat) so many times it's laughable. It's been horribly wretched twice - once while I was pregnant. That was scary and not fun and would be very unpleasant and inconvenient during your trip.
So... no fresh produce that's not peelable - no fresh juices, even from nice juice stands or in restaurants (which is a bummer, because watermelon juice here ROCKS! - but the aftermath is not worth it), bottled water all the way, do not take drinks served with ice, only go to places that are busy, during mealtimes and make sure they stir-fry/boil the heck out of your food. Don't eat what's been sitting out. And, skip the raw salads, even at fancy places in Beijing or Shanghai. That's how I got food poisoning when I was prego.
Also, I'd recommend having a real plan in case you need healthcare here. International SOS is a great company worth checking out. They have a clinic in Beijing. If you have a negative blood type (I do) - then understand that hospitals don't necessarily carry that kind of blood in case you need it as the vast majority of folks here are positive.
You'll likely feel the effects of jetlag more intensely while pregnant. Not much you can do other than try to plan an extra bit of adjustment time and plan in naps if at all possible and bring a bottle of Calms Forte (my midwife approved this for me while I was prego - would be worth checking with yours) to help you sleep at night.
All that said, 22 weeks is an ideal time to travel and I'd bet, as others noted - that you could hide the fact that you're prego pretty easily if you wanted to. And China is a great place! I've truly enjoyed my years here. Just be careful - there's a veneer of development in the bigger cities that covers up the actual lack thereof - especially in sectors like the healthcare system and food sanitation - so please be prepared. This ain't Kansas.
You'll likely also want to make sure you talk to your doctor about the risks if you're missing any vaccinations - for example, Hep B is rampant here, but you're unlikely to contract that on a short trip unless you receive a bad blood transfusion.
If you do choose to reveal your pregnancy though - you will be waited on hand and foot and you'll be able to cut in front of every line. Pregnant women are treated like empresses. :)
During my first pregnancy, I traveled from NZ to USA for a conference at almost 20 weeks. I was EXHAUSTED, made worse by sharing a room, and BOY did I need to nap. Travel companions don't always understand! Will you get your own room?
Right now I"m pregnant for 2nd time (many years later!) and we just got back from a wee family holiday to Australia. Again, I was knackered, but at least with hubby & daughter I could insist on a lie down at any juncture.
The hardest part of traveling both times (and that was wicked advice from the sister living in China) was EATING. Like, if you don't wash the veggies yourself, be suspect. I ate WAY too much stodgy crap - like usually I'd order salads or sandwiches/wraps with heaps of veggies, but on this trip it was all cheese toasties or supermarket fruit.
SO it sounds like you're gonna go, and good on you - enjoy - but from where I am sitting, in my own home with my own sanctioned groceries, I would say "hell no. NO THANKS!". Not for all the tea in China!
I flew a pan-pacific flight around that time in my first pregnancy. It was wretched. It was some new plane without the air control above your seats, and something was wrong with the cooling system. It was so hot and I was so pregnant and uncomfortable and thus emotional. I almost went postal on the person in front of me (who wasn't really doing anything - they were just sitting forward and back and it was bugging me). I ended up going and standing in the back of the plane where all the cool air was and felt soo much better.
And for the food - I was in India and if you are a fresh fruit junkie you can wash/treat your own food (iodine in water, IIRC). I would not trust a thing. If you get a glass that is damp before your bottled water is poured in it before your very eyes, don't drink. I don't know if you really need detailed advice on travel to a country with potentially unsafe water, but if you do, that might be another thread all around.
It sounds like this is a great opportunity for your career-wise, and as a mom I also suggest you get one conference in pre-kid, because if you are anything like me your brain will be more split once you have a kid and taking it all in and figuring it all out while you are in the midst of parenting a baby is harder.
I would go. For three of my four overseas trips, I was pregnant. The comments about drinking lots of fluids, walking / moving around a lot on the flight are all valid, Deep Vein Thrombosis is more of a risk during pregnancy. Your OB should have some advice about what to eat / what not to eat. You might need to buy bottled water for the trip.
For the first trip, I was about 10-11 weeks pregnant, and we went to Korea. 10 hours into the 14-hour flight, I wanted OFF, I was tired of flying, but I managed. I bought bottled water practically everywhere we went, and had to be careful about what I ate. I skipped the sushi / kim bub, which felt like a real sacrifice.
The second trip, second pregnancy, I was about 14 weeks pregnant, and going to Europe. Charles de Gaulle airport was a real pain, because they had all these long walks and stairs, I think I was bussed out to the plane and had to climb a steep set of boarding stairs to get onto my plane.
The third trip was also the second pregnancy, and about 20-22 weeks pregnant, I spent two weeks in Moscow. The first week, one of our docs was there too. Somebody made a joke about what would happen if I went into labor over there, but I knew the answer would be an emergency flight to someplace like London. I have heard of Americans who had children there, but my understanding was that Moscow didn't have the sort of NICU to handle that early of a preemie. Fortunately, nothing of the sort happened, we got back home just fine, and DS was born full term.
By 20-22 weeks, I definitely needed the aisle seat for restroom breaks. One the first flight, I was listed as Window seat, but was able to convince my seatmate to trade me. Considering she slept the entire flight, I'm surprised she hesitated.
If you can fly business class (more $$$ :( ), it is DEFINITELY more comfortable for overseas flights. The Korea trip was regular class and SO crowded.
Mine was a business trip, so a medevac would *probably* have been covered. For a self-funded trip, I think trip insurance and/or a medical evacuation insurance plan would probably be worth the money.
Definitely get checked out by your doctor ahead of time. Find out what vaccinations are recommended, and whether they are safe for pregnancy. I had to get checked out at my customer's clinic as well as by my OB, and the clinic wanted my OB's approval before they would vaccinate me. I think it ended up being a little bit of a game of "chicken," as each office said "I'm okay if your other doctor is okay," but I ended up going. We did a TON of walking there, I got pretty worn out several times. The people I was traveling with slowed down for me.
The radiation is a little concerning in an aircraft. But at 22 weeks I probably would feel better than in the first trimester.
AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK. We live in Beijing (we are American, hi, LizBiz, do I know you?) and I was returning with my baby from Singapore for a Doman parent course I attended there. The airline crew GASSED the plane upon landing - with insecticide! YES. With hardly a warning "some people are sensitive, we will bring around tissues to cover your face with if you want" they blithely put nerve toxins into everyone there, old, young, pregnant, no matter.
I guess it's because Dengue Fever is mosquito borne and that's going around in Singapore. But do your homework. I had a terrible reaction, as I do to all pesticides. My lips were numb, my throat tasted awful, my forearms get shooting pains and my hands are unusuable. My brain gets foggy and I just cry and cry. It's all very predictable now (I walk around a corner, and they're spraying trees, etc) but I can mostly avoid it. Here I couldn't. I yelled, made a big fuss, and told all the flight attendants to look up the chemical name (AND I took a can of the aerosol too, I am trying to get some press coverage). The thing that makes me mad is that my little one got gassed too. She's so little. Not even a thought.
Founder/Moderator of Beijing Mamas Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Beijing_Mamas and Beijing Organic Consumers Yahoo Group
I traveled to Japan in the middle of my pregnancy to be with my husband's family and be with him for a while since he was away for work.. Sometimes it was difficult with my low blood sugar induced visitations by my inner Jekyll and my inability to read Japanese and effectively order food without my husband present unless I was at a 7-eleven, self-serve bakery (sweet God they are good there... but I digress) or starbucks.. That doesn't seem like it would be a problem so much for you.. I enjoyed my trip on the whole and there really weren't any negative points directly related to my pregnancy.. I say go.
I flew from the US to New Zealand last weekend and I have to say that Air New Zealand were great. I told them I was pregnant and they gave me a slightly better seat to try and allow me the option to sleep. It wasn't first class, but they were thoughtful. The trip from Kansas to California on United Airlines sucked though. For some reason the plane seemed so small compared to what I was used to.