Monday 25 September 2017

Take time to unwind

If you're expecting, a nice relaxing babymoon is certainly worth the investment. Just do your research before heading off, writes Deirdre Doyle

THE Oxford English Dictionary adopted the word babymoon into its lexicon in 2013; so if it's a real word, parents-to-be should regard it their duty to take a babymoon very seriously. The definition the esteemed dictionary gave was: "a relaxing or romantic holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born".

It can also mean "a period of time following the birth of a baby during which the new parents can focus on establishing a bond with their child". But for the purposes of this article, we're focusing on that holiday that you thoroughly deserve.

The vast majority of newly married couples head off on some form of honeymoon after their wedding, so why shouldn't pregnant women and their partners do likewise? There is a plethora of reasons to take a tranquil trip before baby arrives. First of all, you may not know tranquillity for a long time after they make their entrance to the world. Secondly, it's always more difficult to get away after you have children than it is before they arrive

Even if you already have one or more child, a babymoon can help recharge the batteries and leave you as rested as possible before the new addition arrives.

Dos and don'ts

There are dos and don'ts of taking a babymoon, however. One key 'do' is to make sure you understand the concept. Granted, you may like the idea of climbing a mountain while pregnant or heading out clubbing, but the main idea behind the trip is that it is relaxing or romantic. So aim to find somewhere that is conducive to that sort of thing.

Timing is an essential component of the success of a babymoon. The Oxford Dictionary doesn't specify at what stage of your pregnancy you should take the holiday, but you should arrange in accordance with how your pregnancy is going. For example, if you're in the first trimester and still retching every time you smell a fry-up, then it might be best to hold off on your travels. Likewise, if you're planning to go somewhere by plane, then time your dates so that it's safe to travel and you don't feel like a beached whale on your way. Ideally, the second trimester is the perfect time for you to take your babymoon. It's usually the time when women are at their best, and you'll be able to enjoy relaxing and romancing in equal measure.

If you are jetting off to somewhere exotic, especially in a later trimester, make sure you are fully insured. And check with your insurance provider that they will cover medical bills. A British couple recently found themselves facing a potential medical bill north of €160,000 after their baby son was born in New York, 11 weeks premature. Not wanting to scare any babymooners out there, but it might be an idea to choose a destination that has good maternity facilities also. To be on the safe side.

When it comes to accommodation, it is essential you choose somewhere that will cater to the needs of pregnant ladies and their other halves. Splash out, and choose a room with a king-size bed so you can sleep. Ask for extra pillows, or quiet and accessible rooms, anything you need to make the most of your babymoon.

Food can be an important consideration for pregnant women, so before heading off make sure to check out the menus in the restaurants.

If spas aren't your thing, don't get a treatment merely for the sake of it. But if you delight at the idea of a soothing facial, knot-removing massage or fancy manicure and pedicure, then make sure you book them in advance. Tell the therapist you are expecting, and remember there are treatments you should avoid such as reflexology and shiatsu massages. Also, if you want to get extra romantic with your partner, book couple's treatments to enjoy together.

Above all, savour every moment of your babymoon. Depending on your future plans, it could be the one and only time you get to have one. And when baby arrives you may wonder, on more than one occasion, if the babymoon was all just a vivid dream.

Irish Independent

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