The second trimester is a great stage of pregnancy to go on holiday. You’ll likely to be feeling pretty good and it will still be safe to fly. However, there are some safety precautions you should take:
You should also avoid destinations where malaria and dengue fever are endemic. Countries where you will need vaccinations should be avoided – although some vaccinations are safe in pregnancy after 12 weeks, live vaccines are not.
Pregnant women who fly are at an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) which can be life threatening.
Keep well hydrated, wear support stockings and get up and walk around at least once every hour to improve your circulation. Practise clenching your calf muscles by flexing your feet up and down 10 times every hour to boost circulation. Try to do this on any long car, bus or train journey too, as they also increase your risk of DVT.
If you develop pain or swelling in your leg or have chest pains or shortness of breath after flying or a long journey seek urgent medical advice.
Just in case you go into labour prematurely, pack your notes – they contain valuable information that will be needed by your healthcare professionals. It’s also important to know your blood group in case of an emergency.
You’re more prone to dehydration when you’re pregnant because of an increase in blood volume, so make sure you drink lots of water and keep your feet up to stop your ankles swelling.
Don’t forget to wear a sunscreen of factor 15 or above, a long sleeved t-shirt and a wide brimmed hat, and keep out of the sun at the hottest times of the day between 12pm and 3pm.
Air travel can usually be undertaken until the 36th week of pregnancy, but after 28 weeks most airlines need a letter from your doctor saying you are fit to fly. If you’ve had any health problems, check with your doctor that it’s all right for you to fly.
Make sure that your travel insurance is valid for pregnancy and that it covers a newborn in case the baby arrives early.
Citronella oil, wearing protective clothing and using mosquitoes nets will all help to protect you from mosquitoes in countries where there is no danger from serious disease.