Escaping with your other half for one last holiday before your baby arrives, or a babymoon, is becoming more and more common. Having recently returned from my own babymoon, I’ve come up with some hints and tips on how to make to most of your time away.
(Please note, I am not a medical professional, always seek the advice of your doctor/midwife before traveling)
According to medical advice, the safest time to fly is during your 2nd trimester, with most airlines accepting pregnant passengers up until 35 weeks (check with each airlines individual policies).
Not only is this safer, it is also the period when you should be finished with morning sickness, and not so big that you’re feeling huge and uncomfortable. Especially when squeezing into your tiny airplane seat! I traveled between 29 and 31 weeks. While I still physically felt good, being a month or even two earlier would have been perfect. I wasn’t exactly huge at this time, but the tight airplane rows made getting into my bag on the floor almost impossible. Luckily we were given aisle seats so I could push my bag with my feet into the aisle and bend over enough that way to get into it. But it was near impossible to get in and out of my seat when the considerate passenger in front decided to recline their seat….
The airport & flight
Try to get to the airport nice and early to have a better chance of choosing your seat (if you haven’t already checked in online). Having an aisle seat means you’re more likely to get up and move around, and also you won’t feel so guilty disturbing your neighbour as you get up to use the bathroom for the millionth time. Pregnant women are more prone to problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) so make sure you get up regularly and go for walks, curl and uncurl your toes, stand up and down on your toes (you can do this one in the bathroom if you’re afraid of getting too many weird looks).
We are all constantly being told to stay nice and hydrated during pregnancy, so buying a big bottle of water once you’re through security should get you through the duration of the flight – also drinking plenty of water will mean you’ll need to make regular bathroom visits, therefore helping you move around, win win!
Make sure you keep any pregnancy notes, papers, medical certificates etc close at hand in case of any problems or queries from airline staff. I had a rather scary moment boarding the plane to come home, the air steward after congratulating me, asked how far along I was….31 weeks at this point. Cue a long pause then “Ah I’m sorry but you’re not actually allowed to fly”. WHAT?! Luckily, I’d printed an email confirmation from the company stating up until 35 weeks I could safely fly without medical certificate. Being prepared helped us stay calm and rectify the situation. Although being stuck in the Canary Islands wouldn’t have been such a terrible situation 😉
How to stay comfortable
Ok, flight over and you’ve now arrived at the hotel. Unless you’re really lucky to live in a warm climate year-long, you’re probably feeling rather hot and bothered. Making sure you’ve packed lots of light, breezy clothes made of natural fabrics for the duration of your trip will help keep you cool.
Most hotel rooms provide spare pillows as standard anyway, if not, it’s worth asking for a couple more at reception. After a long day exploring your surroundings, or just lounging by the pool, making sure you still get a good nights sleep, with extra support for bump if needed, is still very important.
Make the most of being able to swim outdoors in the pool or sea, as being weightless will be such a surreal but pretty awesome feeling. It’s also important not to overheat so a quick dip will help keep you cool as well as active.
If the beach is your scene, you will find that lying on the sand is not as comfortable as it once was…plus you’re more limited for positions as you can’t lie on your belly anymore. Unless of course, you dig yourself a big hole in the sand and place your belly inside. Tried and tested, this was such a blessing after 8 months of not being able to lie face down. However, you will not look graceful getting out of your pit.
I also packed some towels from the hotel (I know, I know, but rules don’t apply to pregnant ladies!). I rolled up a large towel and 2 smaller hand towels to create a raised pillow, then it just felt the same as lying in bed. Just don’t spend too long dozing on one side, unless you want an uneven tan! This make-shift bed also works well during picnics in the park!
Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, overindulging on food could make you feel bloated and unwell so don’t just stuff your face because you’re away. While we enjoy treating ourselves on holiday, you are still feeding a growing baby, so eating well is still important. At least being in a warmer climate tends to mean you’ll better access to more exciting fruits. But an ice cream is always an excellent way to help keep you cool and once in a while is a lovely treat!
How to look good
Looking good may be way down your list of priorities, but I always feel better when I look better, and I enjoy making an effort in the evenings to make up for being sweaty/sandy/sun creamy during the day. Maxi dresses are a godsend while pregnant, light, comfortable and flattering for bump! Cinch in under your bust with a belt if need to avoid looking too tent-like and help show off that beautiful bump of yours.
Getting a lovely golden tan will help you feel more radiant and less like a zombie – however be warned your skin could be more sensitive and more prone to burns than before. In my case, I went the opposite way and found I took so long to take colour. With all the extra hormones floating around you right now, be careful and stay safe in the sun. A tan is gorgeous, a burn is not.
Bikini, swimsuit, tankini, au natural….your choice of swimwear is just as overwhelming when pregnant than before. Go with whatever makes you the most comfortable and sexy. Personally, I fully embraced a bikini – in fact, it was probably the 1st time I’ve felt truly confident in a bikini because I love my belly. However, I’ve been blessed with some very good genes and I’ve only put on weight on my belly (which looks slightly like I’ve eaten a balloon!). I only decided the week before going that I felt good enough in a bikini to not need to cover up. A tankini would have been a good option to let baby see some beautiful sunshine while sunbathing but also be able to cover up if feeling a little shy. When I traveled (May), I couldn’t find any maternity bathing options in regular high street shops, such as H&M. From looking online, asos have a fab collection (free delivery over 25€), as do New Look (free EU delivery over 65€) and the range at Next is ok (they deliver free to Luxembourg, their kidswear range is amazing!). I was surprised to find a maternity swimsuit in Decathlon for only 15€ which would be perfect for anyone taking part in prenatal swimming classes.
Each person is different, and each pregnancy is different. I felt amazing during my entire pregnancy, and the sun gave me so much more energy than usual so we spent our days walking and exploring the island. Before going, we didn’t book any trips or set ourselves any expectations as you just never know how you’re going to feel or react to being in a warmer climate. Just bring comfortable shoes incase you feel great, and several great books incase you don’t. Enjoy some alone time with your other half, away from the stresses of daily life, baby preparations and interfering relatives – as well-meaning as they may be…..enjoy your break & bon voyage!
More about the Author:
Emmy is a soon-to-be first time mama who has been living near Luxembourg for almost 2 years. A few years ago, Emmy began exploring a much more ‘back to nature’ and holistic approach to health, diet and life in general, and is now passionate about having a more natural maternity journey and empowering other women to do the same. She is also part of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl Team and a Maternity Coach Trainee.