The end is near -– maybe you can feel it in the extra weight that strains your lower back, or in the puffiness of your once slim fingers and toes. In a few weeks, your life as an individual is going to change. Sleep will be scarce, your breasts will no longer belong to you, and your days will be a cycle of feeding, burping, changing and obsessing over this tiny being. And though it will be the most joyous and meaningful time of your life, a change of this magnitude is never easy. Which is why so many couples go on a ‘babymoon’ before the arrival of their little one.
Defined as ‘a relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born,’ a babymoon is a nice escape for couples to rekindle what tends to sometimes get lost during pregnancy. It also allows the woman to de-stress and feel pampered. Though it is not a necessary requirement for the gestation period, it truly is a fun way for couples to bond; so, I highly recommend it. It need not be so far away, or so extravagant; just as long as you get that well-deserved ‘alone’ time.
Here are some of my tips on planning the perfect babymoon:
While there is no specific time, I think travel during pregnancy is best during your second to early third trimester. Most gynecologists recommend going anywhere from your 18th week to your 24th. Whether it is a flight, a long drive, or a journey that requires you to get on a boat, waiting to pass your 12th week is the safest bet. This way, you have settled into the pregnancy, and the sack has latched firmly unto you. I also would not wait until the very end when discomfort is heightened. You still want to enjoy activities with your spouse.
Location is entirely up to you and your hubby (yes, both of you -- remember this is a break for him as well), but the less travel-time involved, the better. It is good to be close to home (and your doctor) in case there is an emergency.
Personally, I see this as a time to relax. So instead of cityscapes, my husband and I usually opt for places that are by the ocean or up in the mountains. It is quiet, with the faint sounds and scents of nature surrounding us… and the fresh air is a definite added bonus.
Always, always, always consult your OB before going on a trip. Even just shoot him/her a text with details of your activities to get the go signal. If you plan to go in your third trimester, most airlines will require a signed clearance slip from your doctor. I actually did not know this until I was about to board a domestic flight passed my 24thweek. I had to see the on call doctor at the airport to receive clearance (which had an expiry date, and was a requirement to be presented alongside my boarding pass on both my departure and returning flights). Though the staff in NAIA was quite helpful, it still was that extra hassle that you don’t need in the airport.
While booking your stay, check facilities for in-house healthcare or hospitals nearby. Also, be wary of possible dangers. Dengue is rampant on our shores so it is always good to come prepared with repellent if you are traveling local. I would generally eliminate all places that require vaccines –- there is just no point in taking such a big risk while pregnant.
Obviously activities are unique to each couple, but it is good to stay active throughout the gestation period. Try not to do anything too strenuous, though, and let your body tell you what it can handle. Personally, I can go on short hikes and snorkeling in calm waters, but not much more than that. For days that I feel like more relaxing endeavors, I opt for long walks, late dinners, sight seeing, one-on-one games with the hubby (cards, board games, etc.). And, of course, some behind-closed-doors time. :)