Travel in the second trimester

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:

Car Travel

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!

Medical facilities

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.

Travel Insurance

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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im going on holiday to spain in august and will be about 16weeks, is it safe to fly at this time?
by Louimmy86 12th Aug 2010, 10:39am
i'll be going to alcudia for a week by plane when i'm 26-27 weeks pregnant. i haven't been on a plane while preg before and worried incase anything can go wrong with baby... has anyone else been on hols by plane in these weeks, was everything fine. did baby kick and all just the same or did you notice any changes or felt different in anyway?
by Jigamoo 12th Aug 2010, 8:55am
im due to go to egypt in june il be 4 months prregnant is it a bad idea im confused
by delvers 14th May 2010, 5:34pm
two years ago i was 32 wks pregnant with my third son and as i didnt want to fly we took the boys by boat from belfast to scotland, the boat journey itself was fine i had no problems whatsoever but on the 2nd day of our holiday our son decided he wanted to join us for the rest of the holiday. although he was 8 wks early and had pneumonia he was otherwise ok, the problem only started trying to get him home, he had to come home by plane and as he had passed the carseat test(the baby is tested in a car seat to see if they can breathe for a long period of time while sitting in a carseat as there head is tilted slightly forward and there is a risk of there airways being blocked) he was then allowed to travel on a commercial flight with a midwife while my husband and i had to come home by boat as we wernt allowed to travel with him, first problem was our baby was due home at 11am but with delayed flights and other problems that we dont know our baby landed in belfast at 9pm and the whole time our baby was sitting in a dirty, jam packed airport, the second problem was that i had expressed enough milk for the baby to last all day but somehow it got misplace and our baby was then given a formula milk. anyway we all got back to hospital at last and baby was fine untill it came to register him as he is now officially a scottish citisen.
by cs27 8th Jun 2009, 9:45am