A babymoon is a vacation expecting parents take before their baby is born. This is a relatively newer tradition with no strict rules. The point is to set aside time to enjoy yourself with your partner before your baby arrives. That could mean an all-inclusive resort on a tropical island, or it could be a day-long adventure in your city. This article has tips for planning your babymoon to help you with the best time during your pregnancy to vacation, how to stay safe, work with your budget, and how to customize your babymoon to fit you and your partner. Plus, tips for making the most out of your babymoon to maximize quality time with your partner, relax, and maybe even get some free perks.
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What is a Babymoon?
The word babymoon comes from a combination of baby and honeymoon. This term was coined in the 1990s to describe a calm and uninterrupted period of time needed by parents after the birth of their baby to bond. Since the term babymoon was first used, it has evolved to describe a vacation expecting parents take before their baby arrives. Babymoons became popular in the 2000s when celebrity couples started taking babymoons. The travel industry has capitalized on this idea, and today it is popular for expecting couples to enjoy a pre-kid vacation.
Planning Your Babymoon
Not everyone has the financial or time resources to go on a babymoon. There are endless options beyond flying to a tropical island and staying at an all-inclusive resort for a week. The point of a babymoon is to enjoy time with your partner before your baby arrives. That could mean an all-inclusive on a tropical island, or it could be a day-long adventure in your city. I encourage you to explore your options and find a way to set aside time to celebrate or relax with your partner before your baby arrives.
There are no strict rules around babymoons. Plan the babymoon that fits within your schedule, budget, and lifestyle. If this is not your first baby, you can still have a babymoon or bring your child or children and make it a family affair. Here are some considerations for planning your babymoon.
Length of Time
A babymoon is typically 2-4 days. If you or your partner are working, you may be saving vacation days or paid time off for when your baby arrives. If you are concerned about taking time off work, try to plan it over a weekend. A holiday weekend could give you an extra day, but holidays tend to be more expensive for travel. If you work on the weekends, you will save money on travel and accommodations by booking during the week. Even spending a night in a hotel can feel like a vacation from your day-to-day life.
The Optimal Time for Your Babymoon
The optimal time to plan your babymoon is likely the second trimester. This is generally the most well-liked trimester. If you have morning sickness, hopefully, that dissipates by about week 13. In the second trimester, your hormones even out a bit, and you have more energy. In the third trimester, you are more prone to having less energy, and everything is bigger, making you more uncomfortable overall. As you get closer to your due date, you might be nervous about straying too far from home. That means you may not have access to your care provider and the venue where you plan to have your baby.
Your financial situation will impact your options when planning your babymoon. Planning for a baby also means planning financially to provide for and raise a child. You and your partner may be planning to take time off from work unpaid or at a reduction from your normal salary. You will have medical bills for your prenatal care and birth. A new baby comes with costs of items like cribs, clothes, and diapers. If you are concerned about your finances, thinking about spending money on vacation before your baby even gets here can be stressful.
If you have the resources to splurge on a luxury trip and that is your ideal babymoon, please treat yourself. A vacation can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Keep your babymoon within your budget.
Where To Go
You could potentially go anywhere for your babymoon. This may not be the ideal time to go to a major party destination. Since you are pregnant and not drinking alcohol, you may not want to go somewhere where that is the main focus, or you may need to adjust your plans. If you go to Las Vegas, you probably will not be gambling all night or going to clubs. You could plan your trip around sightseeing, eating at some great restaurants, shopping, and relaxing by the pool.
If you are traveling to another state or country, you may consider checking the travel health notices posted by the CDC. These notices alert you of disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters.
As of June 2022, the CDC still cautions to check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. The CDC still recommends wearing a mask on public transportation, although they are not required, encouraging the COVID-19 vaccine, and testing. Whether or not you wear a mask or get vaccinated is a personal preference. You should bring up any questions about your risk or COVID-19 during pregnancy with your doctor or midwife.
You may recall caution of travel to destinations with Zika virus outbreaks years ago. The CDC currently reports no Zika outbreaks. You can view a world map of areas with risk of Zika on the CDC website. Zika, like many diseases, is transmitted by mosquitos. See this episode for more information on bug bites during pregnancy, including the evidence on insect repellants’ safety during pregnancy. If you are traveling anywhere tropical, there is always the possibility of mosquitos, but diseases like Zika or dengue tend to concentrate in specific areas.
A fantastic option for a babymoon is a staycation. It can be nice to get out of town, but it can also be wonderful to stay local and be on vacation in your city. This is an especially attractive option if you live in a popular tourist destination. You can take advantage of trying new restaurants, take a walk downtown, or see some local tourist attractions. If you can book a hotel, it can make a big difference in making it feel like you are on vacation. Plus, many hotels come with a pool or other amenities. If you are on a budget or don’t want to get a hotel, you can still set aside a few days for a staycation and have all of the comforts of your home.
Where to Stay
You have endless options on where to stay, from hotels and resorts to renting a place on Airbnb or VRBO. Some hotels or resorts may even offer babymoon packages that include perks like non-alcoholic sparkling cider, sweet treats like cookies or chocolate-covered strawberries in your room, or spa packages. When you book your accommodations, let them know you are celebrating your babymoon. You might get complimentary perks or a free upgrade, and it never hurts to mention it.
Traveling While Pregnant
If you venture outside of your city, then you will be kicking off your babymoon by traveling via car, airplane, or other transportation. For the most part, traveling during pregnancy is perfectly fine. Barring any major complications, there is no reason you should be confined to stay in your city. Please discuss your travel plans with your doctor or midwife for their recommendations based on the particulars of your pregnancy. See this episode for in-depth information on traveling while pregnant.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has an official committee opinion on air travel and states that in the absence of obstetric or medical complications, pregnant women can fly safely, observing the same precautions for air travel as the general population. There is a low level of radiation exposure when flying. This is considered low-risk, although ACOG cautions that pregnant aircrew and frequent flyers may exceed the radiation exposure limit. If your job requires frequent air travel, please discuss your risks with your care provider.
Some airlines restrict travel as you near your due date and may require a doctor’s note. This varies by airline. American Airlines requires a doctor’s note if your due date is within four weeks of your flight. Southwest Airlines recommends against air travel beginning at the 38th week of pregnancy. Jet Blue requires documentation from your doctor if you expect to deliver within seven days. If you are planning to fly late in your third trimester, please check the airline’s policies. If you are not quite at 36 weeks, it may be a good idea for you to travel with a note from your doctor stating your due date just in case the airline gives you a hard time.
Traveling by car should come with the same precautions regardless of whether or not you are pregnant. You can wear a seatbelt comfortably with a pregnant belly. ACOG recommends keeping at least ten inches between the steering wheel and your breastbone or angling the steering wheel toward your breastbone, not your belly or head.
Swelling and Blood Clots
Traveling can be physically uncomfortable when pregnant and sitting for long periods. ACOG states that despite a lack of evidence associating lower extremity edema (swelling) and venous thrombotic events (blood clots) with air travel during pregnancy, certain preventive measures can be used to minimize these risks. Some suggestions include the use of support stockings and avoiding tight clothing. Support hose or compression socks put mild pressure on your legs, with the most pressure on your ankles and decreasing pressure as they move up your legs. Try these on before you go on your trip, and you want to be careful that they are not cutting off any circulation. Periodic movement of your legs or walking is helpful. It is also critical to Maintain adequate hydration. It may seem counterintuitive, but staying hydrated can help your body retain less fluid.
On an airplane, you will have a little more room to stretch out on the aisle. An aisle seat makes it easier to get up to walk around or go to the bathroom. Don’t let a window seat keep you from moving around. On a longer flight, this is going to be even more important to get up and move around frequently. If you are taking a road trip, you can plan on making a few stops along the way. Get out of your car, walk around, stretch, and use the bathroom. If you can take a train to your destination, you have much more flexibility in moving or walking around during your trip.
When planning to travel during your pregnancy, you may want to consider travel insurance. If something arises and you need to cancel your trip, then the insurance will help you recover the cost. Some travel insurance may also help cover any health care expenses if you need to see a doctor while you are away from home. Travel insurance is an additional expense, but it is cheaper than losing money paid for flights or accommodations if something arises. In the last two years with COVID-19, we saw travel policies and restrictions change quickly. Fingers crossed, we will never experience an event like that in the future. If you opt not to buy travel insurance, make sure you know the change or cancellation policies or fees for any reservations.
Planning with Your Doctor or Midwife
It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor or midwife before you plan your travel. Your care provider can give you recommendations particular to your pregnancy. This is especially important if you have any complications. Your doctor or midwife may advise you to limit travel if you have a high-risk pregnancy. This could include carrying twins or multiples, gestational diabetes, placental abnormalities, or if you are at risk for preterm labor.
You and anyone you are traveling with should have contact information for your doctor or midwife. If you are close to your due date, you may want to find a doctor or midwife at your destination or know where the nearest hospital is. If you visit another state or country, you may want to find out how your health insurance covers you while you are there.
Making the Most Out of Your Babymoon
Now that we covered a lot of things to think about when planning your babymoon let’s discuss tips to make the most out of your babymoon. Going into a vacation with a little bit of intention can make a huge difference in your experience.
A vacation is a perfect excuse for shopping for new clothes, especially when your belly is growing and your existing clothes don’t fit. While it can be fun to shop for new clothes, remember that you will not be pregnant forever. You do not need to go out and buy a new wardrobe for a vacation that will not fit the next time you go on vacation. If it is within your budget to purchase new clothing, please treat yourself.
There are a lot of companies that offer exclusive discounts to Pregnancy Podcast listeners. See all of the discounts available here. Kindred Bravely clothing features ultra-soft fabrics and comfortable styles. Their clothing is very well made, and you can wear many styles long after you have your baby. Save 20% with the promo code PREGPOD20. Pinkblush Maternity has a fantastic selection of on-trend outfits designed for you to wear during pregnancy and after. Save 25% and get free shipping over $75 with the code PREGNANCYPOD.
If you are traveling to a warm destination and need to pack swimwear, you do not have to wear a one-piece. Please wear whatever swimsuit you are comfortable in during your pregnancy. If you want to wear a tiny bikini, please do. You do not have to cover up your belly with a one-piece if you don’t want to. Wear the swimsuit you want.
Planning for the Unexpected
Anytime you travel, there are always things that are out of your control. Weather can change, airlines can delay flights, and you may get stuck in traffic. In some ways, this is an excellent experience in preparation for parenting. While you cannot control these things, you can prepare for them. You can leave extra time to get to the airport or your destination. Bring snacks if you have an additional wait before enjoying the next meal. You can plan to be more understanding and patient with travel staff or other passengers. You are fortunate if you have the resources to take a babymoon. Don’t let something small escalate and ruin your whole trip. Stuff happens, and all you can do is make the best of it.
Whether you are planning to relax or go on an adventure turning off your phone can help you be more present on your trip and focus on spending time with your partner. If you and your partner can avoid work or checking email, please do. Don’t travel somewhere to spend the day scrolling on social media. Unplugging is an excellent tip if you are taking a staycation. You are more likely to feel like you aren’t at home in your city if you are not constantly on your phone.
Connect With Your Partner
With all the planning leading up to your baby’s arrival, it can be a challenge to focus on quality time with your spouse or partner. Once your baby is here, the two of you become three. While your vacations do not have to end when you have kids, they change. Depending on what you and your partner value, connecting may be going out to restaurants, taking long walks and exploring, or getting a couples massage. A babymoon is an incredible opportunity to spend quality time connecting with your partner and enjoying your family before it gets bigger.
There are a million things to do to prepare for a baby. Take this as an opportunity to relax and enjoy some downtime. It may be nice to take a break from reading baby books, listening to podcasts, or talking about what life will be like with a baby. On the flip side, traveling time or relaxing by a pool could be an excellent opportunity to catch up on some of that stuff. Everyone relaxes differently, and you should build some time to relax on your trip.
A vacation is a great excuse to treat yourself to a massage or a spa treatment. Some travel agencies or resorts offer babymoon packages that can include spa services. If you are considering more than one service, you may save money by booking a package. Some spas will offer discounts for booking in advance. Spas located at resorts tend to be expensive, and you may be able to find more reasonably priced options outside of the resort.
If you enjoy spa services on your babymoon, please let the staff know you are pregnant. If you book a massage, ask if there is a practitioner who specializes or has experience in prenatal massage. Many spas have additional facilities you can enjoy for the day of your treatment, like relaxation rooms, pools, or hot tubs. You should exercise caution with heat exposure. Please be mindful of how you feel and your time in hot tubs, saunas, or steam rooms. You may also choose to avoid these entirely. If you have any questions about safety, please contact your care provider.
If you are already in the habit of documenting your life with lots of photos, you should have some great photo opportunities on your babymoon. If you do not take photos often, please make it a point to take pictures on your babymoon. You spend a short time of your life pregnant. Please take pictures even if you have mixed feelings about your changing body. You can always choose not to share them. You will not have an opportunity in the future to time travel back to when you were pregnant to snap pictures.
Not Your Last Chance for a Vacation
If you plan a babymoon, I wish you the very best on your trip! This is not your last chance for a vacation for the next 18 years. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate you and your spouse or significant other before your baby arrives, but please remember that your life is not over when you have kids. You can still travel and take vacations as a family with a child or children. It will be a different type of vacation than when it is just two of you. Enjoy the time you have before your baby arrives, and get ready for all of the amazing parenting adventures ahead.
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