Dreaming of a relaxing holiday before your baby comes? With a bit of planning, a babymoon can be a lovely way to relax, unwind and spend some quality time with your birth partner.
where to go
While a week in Barbados may sound very tempting, it’s best to stay a little closer to home, especially if you’re in the third trimester. It can be uncomfortable sitting still for hours on end, and long-haul flights do come with a greater risk of developing a blood clot.
Look for places that you can reach in three hours or less. How about a city break to Paris, a culture fix in Florence or a shopping trip to Madrid?
Of course, a 'staycation' can be just as exciting as jetting off abroad. You could head to the Lake District for a romantic countryside break, or to Devon or Cornwall for cream teas and walks along the beach. Avoid long car journeys if you can, and make sure to take plenty of rest stops en route.
what to pack
A few key essentials will help you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest:
• comfy shoes and loose clothes
• a hand-held fan to keep cool
• a refillable water bottle so you can stay hydrated
• a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles you to medical care in Europe if you’re ill or have an accident. It also covers you for routine maternity care
• your maternity notes
• your hospital overnight bag if you’re travelling in the third trimester
what to check
There are some rules around when you can fly if you’re pregnant, though they do differ by airline. Usually, you won’t be allowed to take to the skies after 36 weeks, or 32 weeks if you’re carrying more than one baby. You might also need a letter from your midwife or GP if you’re at 28 weeks or more.
Vaccinations are recommended for some countries, but not all jabs are suitable when you’re pregnant. If you’re in any doubt, have a chat with your doctor before you book your holiday. You’ll also want to check that your travel insurance covers you for pregnancy and that there’s a hospital near your hotel or villa, just to give you that extra peace of mind.
what to do
Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, you might be feeling quite tired and heavy, so give yourself plenty of time to relax. This isn’t the time for an action-packed holiday, but you’ll likely appreciate a bit of light exercise, even if it’s just pottering around the shops. Before setting out anywhere, try to find out if it has everything you need. If you fancy a long walk, are there places you can rest if you need to? Are there toilets? (As mums-to-be know all too well, you might need the loo every five minutes.)
While you’ll want to do some planning, it’s important to be guided by how you’re feeling on the day. If you fancy a wander around an art gallery, great. If you just want to lie by a pool with a book all day, that’s fine too. Your next holiday might be filled with nappy changes and baby food, so make this one all about you!