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Babymoons are pretty trendy at the moment. Kim Kardashian went to Paris, Kate Middleton went to the island of Mustique- all the celebrities are doing it. But what is a babymoon?
Babymoon tourism has grown rapidly in recent years, so much so that it has become a right of passage in many respects. A popular type of tourism, baby moons are now almost as popular as the traditional honeymoon.
In this post I will answer the question ‘what is a babymoon?’, provide a definition of the term babymoon, discuss things to consider when taking a babymoon, the best time in pregnancy to go on a babymoon and popular babymoon destinations.
What is a babymoon?
A babymoon is a holiday that is taken shortly before the birth of a child, usually in the second trimester.
A babymoon is seen as a last chance to relax and take a break before the arrival of the baby.
Babymoons have become very popular over the last decade and are popular amongst those living in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America, amongst others. Popular babymoon destinations include destinations that are not too hot and that do not have mosquito borne viruses Zika and Malaria.
The growth in babymoon tourism
The growth in babymoon tourism is clear, yet I have been unable to locate any official statistics to prove this (if anybody has seen some- please drop me the link in the comments at the end of this post!).
The best evidence that I have been able to locate to demonstrate the growth in babymoon tourism is a Google trends graph. This shows the that the number of searches for the term ‘babymoon’ has increased significantly throughout the past decade or so.
Babymoon is a concept that is significantly under-researched. Sure, the tour operators have latched on to it and are sending expectant couples on relaxing holidays all over the world, but the academic world have barely touched on the issue (for now, at least).
In light of this, there appears to be no official definition of the term babymoon. So I will provide my own definition, based on my own knowledge and experience (I went to Abu Dhabi on my babymoon!)
A babymoon can be defined as; ‘a holiday taken prior to the birth of a child, usually during the second trimester of pregnancy, where the primary aim is to relax and enjoy activities that may not be possible (or may not be the same) when the child arrives.’
Why should I go on a babymoon?
I think that it is a great idea to go on a babymoon. OK, so you might not be able to enjoy your usual cocktail, go deep sea diving or indulge in that rare-cooked steak at your favourite holiday restaurant, BUT you can have a brilliant last holiday without children.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t swap my life now for a second, but that last holiday without a baby or an over-active toddler made for a special time. It was the last time I read a book. It was the last time my husband and I enjoyed a quiet meal in a fancy restaurant. It was the last time I was able to relax on a sun lounger in peace.
Now my life is all about repeat episodes of Peppa Pig, tantrums over dropped ice creams and splashing around in the pool. No rest for the wicked.
Here are some of the reasons why I think every mum-to-be should go on a babymoon:
- It gives you a chance to relax
- You can have quality time with your partner- having a baby around will make it more difficult to achieve this
- You can enjoy an adult-only holiday
- Having a chance to relax is beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing
Things to consider when taking your babymoon
Whilst I absolutely advocate that parents book a babymoon prior to the birth of their child, there are some things that you should consider. Here are a few of the important things to keep ion mind-
Normally when we go on a trip it is all go-go-go (just take a look at our Costa Rica or Sri Lanka itineraries). But inevitably we needed to slow down a bit on our babymoon. I allowed for more relaxation time around the pool or by the beach and I booked a nicer hotel than usual- I’ve written all about this in my post about my babymoon in Abu Dhabi.
I recommend that you take things a bit slower than you might usually. When you are pregnant you will likely feel tired and be slower (I developed a very nice waddle towards the end of both of my pregnancies). It is important that you allow for this and don’t overdo it.
There are certain foods that you are not supposed to eat while pregnant. You are also advised to check the food hygiene of the things that you eat.
I was not really a stickler to the rules and I did eat pink meat and runny eggs whilst at home. When travelling, however, I avoided things like this, because you just never know what the cooking standards are like. I was also more strict on eating salads that have been washed in tap water or having ice cubes in my drinks and I generally avoided this while travelling.
Sometimes I do drink tap water while travelling, even though it isn’t always recommended. But I would never risk this while pregnant! Make sure you read up on the recommendations for the destination that you are travelling to. The FCO website is a handy tool for this.
You also need to make sure that you drink lots, especially if it’s hot. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day when pregnant. If you become dehydrated it often causes contractions, which can bring on premature labour. In order to make sure that I had enough water each day I bought a Camelbak flask that I could refill. This way I always knew if I hadn’t had enough to drink.
When you are pregnant you feel the heat more. This is because your blood volume increases by 50% throughout pregnancy and becomes closer to the surface of your skin. In fact, many pregnant women become very uncomfortable in the heat.
It is for this reason that I selected destinations that were not too hot. Whilst pregnant I have travelled to many countries, but my favourites were Abu Dhabi, South Africa and Canada because the weather was warm, but not too hot.
When selecting a destination for your babymoon it is important that you check if there are any nasty viruses or diseases there that you cannot be exposed to while pregnant. In recent years, Zika virus has been prominent in a number of countries, particularly in central and South America.
Zika virus, which is spread by mosquitos, is harmless to the average adult, but can have sever consequences for an unborn child. It is imperative that you do not travel to a zika destination when pregnant. I’ve written more about this in my post ‘where can’t you travel when pregnant‘.
Likewise, it isn’t ideal to travel to a destination that has Malaria either. Whilst I have been told that some Malaria tablets are ok for pregnant ladies, the general advice is not to take any medication unless absolutely necessary. So I would recommend that you avoid travelling to any destination that has Malaria on your babymoon.
Another babymoon consideration is flight time. Long flights can become very uncomfortable when pregnant, particularly in those last few weeks. I flew to South Africa (12 hours) at 28 weeks pregnant and felt ok. But on the return flight, when I was 30 weeks pregnant, I felt very uncomfortable.
I recommend that you book a flight time that does not disrupt your sleep too much (it’s difficult to sleep in a bed when pregnant, let alone on a plane!). I also recommend that you think carefully about connection times etc as you don’t want to extend your travel time if you don’t have to.
I have written a detailed post on all of my tips for flying when pregnant here- 5 tips for flying while pregnant.
Fit to fly letter
Check the requirements with your airline, but it is likely that if you are over half way pregnant you may be asked to provide a fit to fly letter from your midwife. Without this, your insurance might not be valid.
It is also important to take all of your medical notes with you, in case something should happen and you need them.
You never know when you might need medical attention when pregnant so it is really important that you have adequate insurance. Whilst most insurance companies will cover pregnancy, they often do not cover labour and birth or high risk pregnancies (twin pregnancies, those with pre-eclampsia or other conditions).
I have always used Explorer Travel Insurance when I travel and I’ve never had any issues.
Best time in pregnancy to take your babymoon
The best time in pregnancy to take your babymoon is the second trimester.
During the first 12 weeks you are likely feeling ill and/or tired. The risk of miscarriage is also high at this time, and whilst travelling won’t cause a miscarriage, you might prefer to be close to home if this was to occur. You can read more about this in my post- Should I travel in the first trimester?
Many airlines will not let you fly towards the end of pregnancy. I would also not choose to travel at this time. You will probably be feeling tired and moving around might become more challenging. There is also the risk of premature labour.
Generally most people choose to take their babymoon between 12-30 weeks. This is the time when most pregnant women feel at their best and have the most energy.
Top babymoon destinations
Below are some recommended babymoon destinations for you.
Babymoon in Canada
Canada makes for a brilliant babymoon destination. The weather isn’t usually too hot and you can relax in the knowledge that hygiene levels are generally high. There are lots of things to do throughout the country and you can travel as fast or as slow as you choose.
You can see what I got up to on our trip to Canada at 10-13 weeks pregnant in this video.
Babymoon in the Bahamas
The Bahamas is one of the most popular destinations for a babymoon because it is one of the only island in the Caribbean without Zika virus. It is also loaded with easy-holiday all-inclusive resorts, which allows lots of time for relaxation!
Here is a vlog made by a couple who took their babymoon in the Bahamas.
Babymoon in Greece
There is a lot to do in Greece and we travelled here at the end of the first trimester. Whilst our itinerary was pretty full on, there are a large number of resorts where you can just relax and take some time to chill out before the arrival of your baby.
Babymoon in the United Arab Emirates
As I mentioned before, we chose Abu Dhabi for our babymoon at 29 weeks pregnant. The UEA offers the perfect blend of culture and luxury. There are countless fancy hotels for a reasonable price, such as the Radisson Blu hotel on Yas Island that we stayed at.
Babymoon in Italy
Ditch the diet, you’re pregnant! Head to Italy and indulge in delicious pizza and gelato to your heart’s content! You can also enjoy the beautiful beaches, countryside areas and cities.
Hopefully this post has helped you to understand exactly what is a babymoon and what things to consider when taking a babymoon. Travelling when pregnant can be really fun and rewarding, but there are some extra things to take into consideration to ensure that you are travelling safely. Need some inspiration for once the baby arrives? Check out my post on the top destinations to travel with a baby!