If you’re pregnant, feeling rested is probably a distant memory. Between doctor’s visits, shopping for never-ending baby gear and nesting, a.k.a. repainting every room in your house, preparing for your bundle to arrive has left you beyond exhausted.
What’s the best way to remedy that run-down feeling? Getting lost in wanderlust and planning your relaxing babymoon.
Not only will a babymoon refresh and re-energize you, it’ll also give you and your significant other a much-needed chance to slow down, catch your breath and spend some serious quality time together before you have a very tiny, very demanding human to tend to.
However, if done wrong, a babymoon might do more harm than good, taking a toll on your pregnant body and causing unwanted stress during a time when you already have enough to worry about.
Timing is Everything
Women everywhere agree the sweet spot for a babymoon is during the second trimester (weeks 14 through 28). During this time, you’re past the can’t-keep-anything-down nausea phase but not yet to the bigger-than-a-house phase, meaning you’ll be feeling good enough to travel and explore your destination.
Talk With Your OB
Always be sure to run any travel plans by your OB, since traveling can present a whole new set of hurdles when you’re pregnant, especially if you’re high risk or carrying multiples.
Avoid the Exotic
It’s not worth it to bother with vaccines or possible stomach bugs if you don’t have to. Another incentive to stick fairly close to home? The mosquito-born Zika virus, which has now been declared a Global Health Emergency by the World Health Organization. So far the virus has been found in places like the Caribbean and Latin America, resulting in a list of over 20 countries where pregnant women are advised not to travel. Consider Zika-free alternatives to ensure safety, such as Big Sur, California, Bermuda or Majorca, Spain.
Keep it Low Stress
Minimize travel obstacles. If flying, choose non-stop flights, as your pregnant body won’t appreciate running to catch connecting planes or sitting through hours-long layovers. Also, be sure to guzzle water to stay hydrated in high altitudes and walk up and down the aisle a few times to keep your blood flowing and reduce the risk of blood clots. If driving, pick a destination no farther than four or five hours, and be sure to make frequent stops to use the restroom and stretch your legs, for the same reason you'll want to walk around a plane -- stretching will help reduce swelling and the risk of blood clots.
Be Mindful of Medical Facilities
Make sure wherever you’re staying has access to quality medical facilities very close to the area, just in case anything unexpected happens. And to be safe, we recommend that you confirm that one of the hospitals has a neonatal intensive care unit. Again, chances are slim that you will actually need it, but it's always best to be fully prepared.
Pick a destination where you’re sure to catch a little rest and relaxation and experience a change of pace from your hectic everyday life. Be mindful of holidays like spring break when certain destinations can become overly crowded. Great options for peaceful getaways include beach resorts, quiet and quaint bed and breakfasts or smaller towns with walkable sights.
Book the Best Room
Chances are you’re already having a tough time sleeping these days, so make sure you pull out all the stops to make your stay pure bliss: book the king size bed, ask for extra pillows and request to be away from the elevator or any other common areas that could be loud.
You know how honeymooners are known to get free upgrades on their trips? The same idea can work in your favor while on a babymoon, so it won’t hurt to speak up to see if you can get a free room upgrade or special gift basket waiting on your bed. You've got nothing to lose!