Kime points out that food might be making you sick simply because it’s different than what you’re used to, not necessarily because it’s contaminated. “I once felt ill in Thailand but it wasn’t from food poisoning, I’d just eaten too much chili,” says Kime, who dined on bananas the rest of the day. Bananas are his secret remedy for calming an upset stomach. According to Kim, other starchy, bland foods, such as noodles or rice, are also good stomach soothers.
But there are local foods to be wary of. Watch out for unpasteurized cheeses, meats and fish that may not be prepared fresh (or may have a high level or mercury or pesticides), and dishes with undercooked eggs (steer clear of soft-boiled eggs) or meats (sorry, no steak tartar!).
Be Careful with Water
If you’re traveling in Europe you probably won’t have a problem drinking tap water, but if you’re traveling in Mexico or Jamaica, you need to be careful about drinking local water, which may not be treated properly for germs.
“Most people make common mistakes,” says Dr. Olds. For example, drinking bottled water, but then using local ice or brushing their teeth with local water. He points out that even if you’re on a luxurious cruise ship and your boat is docking in developing countries, chances are it’s taking on local water.
But don’t avoid drinking water—staying hydrated during pregnancy is important. Instead, buy it bottled—as often as you can.
A Word about Bugs
Mosquitoes carry a variety of serious illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever. While many luxury resorts spray their properties to keep mosquitoes at bay, you should bring along bug spray (and even a mosquito net for sleeping) if the area you’re visiting is prone to the flying pests.