If you’re planning to pack up and head out for a short vacation before your new baby arrives, you’re not alone. Babymoons have become increasingly popular in recent years.
What is a babymoon? It’s similar to a honeymoon – it’s time for a couple to reconnect and pamper themselves before diaper changing and late-night feeding sessions begin.
Babymoons are a great idea, but there are some things to consider to make sure mom and baby stay healthy during the trip. Here are seven tips for enjoying a safe, healthy babymoon.
1. Before you book your trip, talk to your Ob/Gyn
We can offer advice and help answer any questions you may have. Also, ask for a copy of your prenatal records. That way, should something happen while you’re away, the doctor will have your accurate, up-to-date information.
2. Timing is important
The second trimester may be the best time for a babymoon. First trimester morning sickness may have worn off and the discomfort of the third trimester will not have set in yet, making it the perfect time to relax and enjoy yourselves.
3. Avoid traveling during the last trimester
This is especially important if you have a history of preterm labor or have experienced contractions or bleeding during your pregnancy. If a birth defect or other serious medical issue has been diagnosed, you should talk to your Ob/Gyn to determine if traveling is safe for you and your baby.
4. Identify major hospitals where you’ll be vacationing
Just to be safe, we recommend that you confirm that one of the hospitals has a neonatal intensive care unit. Odds are you will not need their services, but it’s best to be prepared.
5. Travel safely by car and plane
If you travel by car, secure your seat belt with the lap belt below your belly. Position the shoulder strap between your breasts and over your shoulder. Make frequent stops to use the restroom and stretch your legs. Stretching will help reduce swelling and minimize the risk of blood clots forming.
When traveling by air, it’s important to drink plenty of water so you can stay well hydrated. Remember to stretch your legs often; I recommend walking up and down the aisle one to two times every hour. Wearing support stockings also can help reduce the risk of blood clots.
6. It's important to pace yourself
Let your body to be your guide. For example, you may not be able to hike as far or as high as you could before pregnancy.
If you’re vacationing near the water, skip scuba diving, which can cause unhealthy pressure to your body. Enjoy the sea life by snorkeling instead. No matter where you go, wear plenty of sunscreen and reapply it often.
7. Dine out safely
When dining out on your travels, follow the same rules you would at home:
- Avoid alcohol.
- When enjoying seafood, focus on bottom feeders such as shrimp, which contain less mercury than fish like king mackerel or trout. Limit your intake to 4 to 6 ounces, three to four times a week. The Food and Drug Administration always has great up-to-date information about what pregnant women should know about fish.
- Skip soft, unpasteurized cheeses and deli meats to avoid listeria during your pregnancy.
- Hydration is key, so drink plenty of water.
- Skip the street vendors if traveling in less developed regions.
Babymoon “staycation” ideas
You don’t have to miss out on a babymoon if you are saving your vacation days for when the baby comes home, are saving to buy diapers or are already thinking ahead to college savings, or simply do not want to go out of town. You can have a lot of fun and relax by being a tourist in your own hometown.
Here are some staycation ideas for expectant parents who can’t travel far from home:
- Spend the weekend at a local boutique hotel and visit the spa for some pampering, such as a manicure or massage.
- Enjoy a picnic at a local park, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, or the Fort Worth Botanical Garden.
- Have dinner at that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try.
- Pamper yourselves with the gift of a clean house; hire a cleaning service to give you the day off.
- Hire an in-home chef and enjoy the evening catching up on your favorite TV series.
- Plan a movie date.
- The ultimate goal of a babymoon – whether in an exotic location or at home – is to strengthen the bond with your partner, create lasting memories, relax, and get ready for the homestretch of your pregnancy.
Before you book your trip, request an appointment with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to travel. If you’re not sure what you want to do, this list of babymoon ideas can help, no matter your vacation style or budget.