Mexico & Cuba - Second Trimester

Vanessa spent 6 weeks travelling in Mexico and Cuba in her 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Vanessa kindly shared her travel experiences with us.

I travelled in 2009 to Mexico and Cuba for 6 weeks during my second trimester, it was at the height of the swine flu outbreak and the decision to go was a tough one as we had already booked our tickets. We went, and had an amazing time. We had Cancun beach to ourselves which was beautiful, we went off the beaten track and up into Chiapas driving through the mountains. We stayed on islands and went snorkelling in the Caribbean. We didn't stay in luxury places but I discovered I definitely needed places to be air conditioned! Though the mountains were nice and cool, the coast was 30+ every day and humid.

I found the people, especially the women, very accommodating and really understanding. Full of good advice too e.g. that sleeping in a hammock would be better than a bed, to not go out in the sun til after 2pm etc.

I really enjoyed not working but still being busy. Travel keeps your mind active, yet I could still happily pop back to the place we were staying and take an afternoon nap some days.

In terms of staying healthy - I did a lot of walking as one does when travelling, and I found it really great for my energy levels - I felt quite fit. I also had to be very aware of what I was eating so learnt as many local words for foods as I could so I could ask if something had fresh cheese (unpasteurised) - Probably my main worry was listeria because all the cheese is homemade. I took my pregnancy vitamins every day and ate a lot of fruit - it was mango season so that was easy!

I also talked to the women, for example in Mexico in the mountains, the women are not allowed to eat avocado in the later stages of pregnancy and early days of having their baby. I don’t know still why, but I followed that and any other local tips people offered.

I found saying "estoy embarazada" (I am pregnant) opened up a lovely bond and it lead me to people's homes, to meet their children and in one little village on Isla Mujeres, photograph their families.

Vanessa is owner and photographer with Happiness Photography, you can visit her website here.