Babymoons: Holidays when pregnant

Babymoons: Holidays when pregnant

Holidaying when you’re expecting is now so popular there’s even a name for it. Practical Parenting has these must-read tips for going on a ‘babymoon'

Holidays for parents-to-be are a growing trend – so much so that resorts and hotels around the world are marketing special packages specifically aimed at ‘babymooners’.

If you’re healthy and well, holidaying with a bump is a great way to relax and enjoy a bit of alone time with your partner pre-bub. But before you pack your bags and book your flights, it pays to do some homework.

The best time

The middle of your pregnancy, from 14 to 28 weeks, is prime travel time. By this stage you’re usually over the nausea and lethargy often associated with the first trimester, and not yet feeling the discomfort of the final weeks. You may even be lucky enough to be experiencing that common second-trimester spike in libido, which can serve to make your babymoon even more romantic.

Don’t schedule a holiday too close to your due date, though – you don’t want to go into labour away from home!

The destination

At this time of your life, any holiday should be more about comfort and safety than adventure and pioneer-style exploration.

While there are many destinations to choose from, here are some suggestions of areas to avoid for a babymoon:

Developing countries, unless you are staying in an international resort area. The health facilities in many developing countries are not on par with those in Australia. If you get sick or have problems, a costly and stressful air evacuation may be involved.

Malarial zones. Pregnancy brings an increased bl**d supply and extra body heat, so you may find you are super-attractive to mosquitoes. Malaria can cause serious complications and some anti-malarial medications are unsafe to be taken in pregnancy. Check with your doctor or a travel medicine clinic to see which areas have malaria.

High-altitude areas. Conservative advice for pregnant ladies is to
avoid altitudes of over 4000m.

If nothing else, the lower levels of oxygen can reduce your stamina, plus altitude sickness might join f***es with other pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and headaches to sabotage your trip.

Remote areas. Pregnancy is no time to go off-road and drop out of contact. Avoid areas where there is no mobile phone coverage and medical help nearby.

Rather than these no-go areas, look out for the growing number of hotel babymoon packages available, where the aim is for you to be pampered with foetus-friendly menus, massages and mocktails while you enjoy privacy and relaxation.


The checklist

Medical services. Find out what medical support is available around your holiday destination. Be sure to check that the place you’d need to go to provides 24-hour care and is able to deal with pregnancy issues.

Travel insurance. Check the fine print of your policy – most won’t cover for pregnancy after the 26-week mark, and there are limitations on what they will pay for. Birth and care of a newborn are often not covered. Also be aware that health funds do not cover people travelling overseas.

Vaccinations. Ideally you will be up-to-date on all your injections before falling pregnant. Some vaccines are able to be used with caution during pregnancy, but a possible side-effect of jabs is fever, which can be dangerous for your unborn bub. Live vaccines should be avoided altogether.

It’s best to talk to your doctor about this one.

Staying healthy

Prevention of illness or complications is better than cure. Ensure you have plenty of rest, avoid dehydration and empty your bladder regularly while you’re away. Steer clear of strenuous activity and avoid overheating in spas, saunas and steam rooms.

Bacteria in food and water are one of the main causes of holiday illnesses, whether or not you’re pregnant. Obviously you should be avoiding all the pregnancy danger foods anyway, but if you’re overseas, consider the oft-touted motto: “Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it”, particularly if you’re in a place with dodgy water.

Keep away from undercooked food, buffets, seafood, soft cheese, pâtés and, of course, alcohol.

DON’T FORGET TO PACK…

? All medical records related to your pregnancy
? Your insurance information
? Your doctor’s emergency contact information
? Hand sanitiser for instant de-germing
? Comfort foods or snacks that may not be available at your destination – especially those that help ease your nausea (make sure they’re okay to clear customs if you’re headed overseas)
? Your pregnancy vitamins and other supplements
? Any over-the-counter medications you might need for common pregnancy complaints (such as heartburn) or a cold, in case they’re not available at your destination
? A medical kit – pregnant women are more prone to bladder infections and colds, so get your doctor to advise on what to take if you do get sick.


ON THE PLANE

Check with your airline, but most allow pregnant women to travel up to about 35 weeks without issue, unless there are complications or it’s a multiple pregnancy.

OTHER FLIGHT CONSIDERATIONS:

? Can you upgrade to business or premium-economy class? With the extra leg room, it’s worth considering!
? Will the in-flight meals served be pregnancy-safe?
? Keep flights short. No more than five or six hours at a time is recommended.
? Pick aisle seats or seats next to the exit row or bulkhead for extra room and access to the toilets.

EN ROUTE, BE SURE TO…
? Secure your seatbelt comfortably
? Drink plenty of water
? Avoid heavy meals
? Stretch frequently and go for walks to prevent bl**d clots (but take care with turbulence)
? Ask for help if you need it. If you’re anaemic and feeling light-headed, don’t be afraid to request some oxygen.

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