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Healthy travel tips for babymooners

Posted by Lara Salahi  November 20, 2013 05:21 AM

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One advice among the many that expectant couples get is to travel one last time before baby arrives. Or, at the very least, go to the movies every weekend. The idea behind the instruction is that once baby comes, you’ll likely not have the time, money, or energy to go anywhere or do much. And if you do, it likely won’t be just the both of you, at least for a few good years. 

It’s not all true. We have taken our daughter on two international and one cross country trip already before her first birthday. It was just fine. Still, more couples are babymooning – that is, taking one last vacation while expecting before the baby arrives.  We babymooned, perhaps because we bought into the fear of the unknown, but mostly because we had planned the trip before we even knew we were expecting. We ended up bumping up our trip to Costa Rica a few months because our original trip time would have been my final pregnancy month. 

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the best time to travel (or “babymoon”) is during the second trimester. However, most airlines allow pregnant women to fly up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. There’s certainly no clear formula for when or where pregnant women can travel, but if you're looking to babymoon, here are a few travel tips to consider:

Check in with your obstetrician. Make sure that you’re clear to travel based on the stage, progression and risk level of your pregnancy.  Also, make sure you have all necessary phone numbers on hand, such as after-hour contacts for your physician.

Choose convenience. Luckily we live in an age where most destinations you choose will have necessary accommodations like internet or phone access and even access to medical facilities. Still, be conscious when booking of where your hotel is located; is it a short walk into town, or is there a shuttle that will conveniently get you everywhere you need to go? Does the spa you want to go to accommodate pregnant women? Try to plan ahead so you don’t sweat it when you arrive. Convenience matters when you’re carrying.

Check travel alerts.  If you're thinking about taking a cruise, you should probably read up about norovirus. If you're thinking about heading to the Dominican Republic, you should probably learn more about Cholera. How do you know what health issues you should look into before you go? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a great travel section on their website with the latest health information and cautions based on your destination. The drop down menu lets you choose the country or state you are traveling to, and a checklist let's you choose the type of traveler you are -- in this case, "pregnant." 

Know your limits. So we had to write off ziplining. But I was still at the stage in my pregnancy where I could snorkel without going belly up, and could still keep up with a group hike through the jungle. Even if I didn’t get to do all those things, it wouldn’t have mattered to us. One of the biggest mistakes many couples make is feeling like they have to go all out before they go all in. The goal of a babymoon is to spend time with your partner. Don’t overthink it. It’s likely not the last trip you’ll ever take, nor will it be the last alone time you’ll ever have together ever again (though the first few weeks postpartum may have you thinking as much).

Stay hydrated. Low humidity on airplanes can cause you to get dehydrated much faster than a car or train ride. Don’t be shy to ask the flight attendant for refills on your drink -- sadly, it’s one of the only few things left in air travel that’s “free.” If you’re driving to your destination, make sure to fill up your water bottle and keep drinking. It may mean more pit stops along the way, but you’ll likely feel the need to get up and stretch it out anyway.

Keep moving.  No matter what mode of travel, make sure to take a break from sitting to walk around and stretch.  That will help ease the ankle swelling a bit and keep you as comfortable as possible.  The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends no more than 6 hours of continuous driving or riding in a car within a day. Planning some light activities, like a walk on the beach, or a stroll around town will help you stay active while still enjoying your vacation.

Readers, share. Where did you go for your babymoon? 

Not sure where to go but want to stay local? Check out my recommendations for belly-friendly destinations in New England. 

Is there something you'd like me to write about? Like UltraSound Pregnancy on Facebook and leave a message or Email me
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Lara Salahi is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose specialty is reporting health and medical stories. She has worked in local, network, and cable television, international print, and documentary film. She More »

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