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Pregnancy Planning Vacation

Pre-baby Getaways to Pamper Expectant Parents
by Lisa Petrocelli

There is no shortage of items on the to-do lists of parents-to-be. Along with decorating the nursery and stocking up on diapers, expectant parents need to remember to take time out to enjoy this very special time in their lives.

For many expecting couples, taking a babymoon vacation has moved to the top of the pre-baby to-do list. These "last hurrah" trips for parents-to-be provide the perfect setting to relax and reconnect as a couple before entering parenthood. Realizing that luxury vacations without diapers and bibs may be out of reach for a while, expecting couples are flocking to babymoon retreats before the stork arrives. According to a recent travel industry survey, 59 percent of new parents have taken a babymoon, with more than two million babymoons taken each year by parents-to-be in the United States.

The term "babymoon" was coined by British author and childbirth educator Sheila Kitzinger. Originally, it was defined as the period of time after a baby's birth that the family spends alone together, facilitating bonding between parents and child. However, in recent years, the meaning of the word has grown to include the pre-baby jaunts and vacations taken by expecting parents. Babymoons give parents time to reconnect and nurture their relationships as a couple before embarking on parenthood. A child's birth can be a challenging time for new parents, and making this investment in your relationship will help get you through these new challenges together.

Relaxing and reconnecting are definitely what babymooner Jennifer Elitzin had in mind when she booked her recent pre-baby vacation at a South Carolina beach resort.

"My husband and I wanted to soak up as much together time before things were certain to get hectic and crazy for us," she said.

For Elitzin, the most memorable part of the babymoon was taking evening strolls on the beach with her husband. "The quiet times together were very special - helping us to bond and reflect on our baby and our exciting role as parents," Elitzin said. The travel industry has jumped on the babymoon bandwagon by offering vacation packages that cater to parents-to-be. With creative names like "Bundle of Joy," "Honeywomb" and "Great Expectations," hoteliers are injecting plenty of fun for couples facing parenthood. Many of these getaway packages feature spa treatments including pregnancy and couples massages, special gifts, gourmet meals and sweet indulgences such as cookies and milk at bedtime to satisfy those late night cravings.

At the Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado, Calif., babymooning couples are given gift basket filled with chocolates, a jar of pickles, and a Moo-time ice cream gift certificate. According to Holly Ansley, Inn general manager, the popularity of the babymoon packages has soared over the past year.

"When we first started to offer this package, mothers-to-be would come six to eight weeks before their due dates. Now the trend is for expectant mothers to come between the third and sixth month so they can enjoy all aspects of the babymoon package," Ansley said.

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina was one of the first U.S. hotels to create a babymoon package. Natalie Payne, director of travel industry sales for the Sanctuary, claims that a growing number of fathers-to-be are booking babymoons to surprise their pregnant partners.

"Babymoons have been happening for many years without a name, but now that there is a name, even more couples are saying, 'that's a great idea,'" Payne said.

Couples seeking one last romantic vacation can find babymoon packages anywhere from five-star resorts, to charming bed and breakfast inns, to local hotels.

The website provides information on more than 100 babymoon packages to help parents-to-be wade through the ever-expanding sea of babymoon vacation offers. Babymoon vacations are typically two to four nights long, but there are no hard and fast rules. If you prefer a week-long getaway, then go for it. Likewise, even an overnight babymoon at a wonderful inn or spa can be rejuvenating. Don't let time constraints keep you from taking your pre-baby getaway.

When planning your babymoon vacation, consider the following tips.

Try to minimize travel time. Remember, the goal of your babymoon is rest and relaxation. Enduring a six-hour layover or a 12-hour car ride on the way to your destination is not a relaxing start to your trip.

Consider your timing. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the safest time for a pregnant woman to travel is between 18-24 weeks. Most women find the second trimester to be the most comfortable time for travel.

Lose the itinerary. Resist the urge to schedule nonstop activities or tours. The focus should be on taking care of yourself and your relationship more so than any heavy-duty sightseeing.

Go with a pro. If your babymoon escape includes a prenatal massage, verify that a certified prenatal massage therapist will perform the any treatments you recieve.

Consult your doctor. Ask your doctor if there are any medical concerns you need to consider, and verify that it is OK for you to travel.

Be prepared. When packing your bags, include the contact information for the nearest medical center along with the phone number of your obstetrician or family doctor.

The key to a wonderful babymoon getaway is to choose a destination that appeals to both of you and your partner, and allows you to relax and enjoy your time together. This may be your last chance to get away as a couple, so seize the opportunity to pamper each other before those late-night feedings and diapering begin.

Author Bio
Lisa Petrocelli is the founder of She believes that the relaxation aspect of the babymoon should begin during the planning stage. She created so that expecting couples can easily explore all their babymoon vacation options in one easy-to-search place.