Useful information on the precautions you should take when travelling during the second trimester including information on vaccinations, medical care and possible risks.
The second trimester is seen as the ideal time to indulge in a little pre-baby travel. The nausea, fatigue and uncertainty of the first trimester are now behind you and the risk of pre-term labour is a long way off. Whether you visit friends or spend some quality time with your partner, travel in the second trimester will provide you with some well earned relaxation before your baby arrives. However, although there aren't any immediate medical concerns associated with the second trimester it is still wise to take certain precautions:
Travelling by car during the second trimester gives you a huge amount of flexibility and enables you to control where and when you stop for snack or toilet breaks. However, it is advisable to share the driving over longer journey so as to avoid fatigue.
Additionally, you should always wear your seat belt as it will protect both you and your unborn baby in the event of a crash. Placing the diagonal strap between your breasts and the lap strap low across your pelvis will provide maximum security with minimum pressure. Air bags are also designed for your safety and again their use should not harm your baby. However, if you are involved in a collision, however minor, you should visit a doctor to check everything is ok.
Travel by boat
A cruise can be a relaxing way to holiday as it involves little effort and a lot of relaxation. Choosing to holiday on a larger boat will reduce the likelihood of motion sickness. You should check that a doctor or nurse are permanently available on board in case of any medical difficulties and make sure that the life jackets provided fit over your bump. Additionally you should check whether there is likely to be a high quality medical centre available each time you dock in case you need treatment.
If possible you should avoid travel to countries that are seen as high risk in terms of the prevalence of dangerous diseases. This is because many live vaccines are not generally deemed suitable for use during pregnancy. However, if you do decide to visit a country where vaccination is recommended, your doctor will be able to help you decide whether risk of exposure to the disease or vaccination pose more risk to you and your baby.
Food and Drink
You should be especially careful with the food and drink you consume whilst abroad as in many countries it is not safe to drink the tap water. This poses a particular problem during pregnancy because usual treatments for travellers diarrhea are not suitable (some oral hydration salts can be taken - check with your doctor).
You should only drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes in other drinks unless you can be sure that they are made of purified water. Give salads and unpeeled fruit and vegetables a miss and be wary of undercooked fish or meat and non-pasteurised dairy products. Other than that you should be fine!
If you plan to travel somewhere exotic on your holidays it is advisable to check the standard of the medical facilities likely to be available before you go. Additionally, check whether the country in which you will be staying routinely screens donation blood for HIV and other diseases.
If you are travelling abroad during your second trimester you should ensure that you choose a comprehensive health insurance that covers pregnancy related treatment. If you are unsure it is best to phone up your insurance provider and check the level of cover provided.
Before you travel it is best to visit your GP or midwife for a checkup to ensure that you and your baby are in the best of health. If you find that you do have any problems it may be safer to give your holiday a miss so that you can be sure of the quality and familiarity of the medical attention you will receive. You should ask for a copy of your medical records to take with you so that if you do need treatment while away all of your obstetric information will be available to the doctors.
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