Dr. Greene

2 Kinds of Babymoon & 10 Tips for Taking One

Just like a newly married couple takes a honeymoon to celebrate their new relationship, expecting parents and new parents are increasingly taking what’s been termed a “babymoon” to celebrate another tremendous transition in life - the birth of a child.

While babymoons originally referred to the time immediately after a baby was born, the concept has evolved in the past few years to also include a special retreat before the new bundle arrives.
I like the idea. Babymoons can be magical, unique times, building memories to last a lifetime.

A Babymoon “Before”

Whether it's just a weekend, or a week or more, a pre-baby vacation can be a marvelous opportunity for couples to connect before the wonderful chaos of a new baby. Once you have the baby, things will change a lot, so this is a unique moment in time to cherish one another and look forward to how your relationship and family are about to evolve. But, I encourage couples to treat the babymoon as a celebration of the transition — not an effort to cling to "before baby" time (which is essentially looking backward, not forward and can lead to feelings of resentment down the road). Here’s some more advice:

1. Choose the right time. During that first part of pregnancy, many women are feeling nauseated and tired. But around 14 to 28 weeks, many women experience a fresh surge of energy and excitement about the future - that's a great time to connect.

2. Talk to your OBGYN and check for facilities near your destination. Your health care provider should always know about your travel plans and you should always have an emergency plan in place in case anything happens.

3. Get to your destination the quickest way possible. You probably don't want to spend eight hours on a plane or in a car driving. Sitting in the same position for too long is not good for pregnant women, so regardless if you fly or drive, try to find time to walk around for a minute or two every hour.

4. Look for destinations that cater to pregnant moms, but don’t fall prey to over-priced amenities. Just because something costs more, doesn’t always mean it’s worth more.

5. DO things together. Choose activities that are meaningful ways to connect - things that create memories that you’ll have forever; sort of an anchor point so you can go back to that calm moment — like a side-by-side couples massage or a pregnancy yoga class.

A Babymoon “After”

A honeymoon is a getting away, a going out, a break from day to day life. A babymoon after the baby has arrived is a drawing in, a narrowing, a concentration on the very core of day-to-day life and how being in, and home, together will evolve into your “new normal”. And as you get to know each other in the mundane, you grow a new dimension, a new depth. Here’s advice for taking a babymoon after baby arrives:

1. Decide who (if anyone) is welcome to visit. Some people want to shut out the world and some want a little live-in help from family and friends during those first few days. What feels right to you?

2. Let people know. Notify friends and family in advance about your plans to eliminate “surprise”, well-intentioned guests. If you think you want to be completely alone, that’s fine - just consider asking a couple of close friends or family-members to be “on-call” just in case you need a little support or extra hands on deck.

3. Plan ahead. Make meals in advance that you can freeze and easily re-heat. Stock up on groceries, baby supplies, and household goods. Maybe even stock-up on a little champagne or other accoutrements to mark the special occasion.

4. Unplug. Your email and social media accounts can wait - the world will not go into a frenzy if they don’t know exactly what’s happening in your celebratory cocoon. And, trust me, you don’t want a pinging computer or ringing cell-phone to wake up your baby - or you! (Speaking of which - you should be trying to sleep when baby sleeps since their internal time clock may be in a different time zone where day may be night.)

5. Record your experience. The emotions you have right after your baby is born are unlike anything else in life. Take photos, keep a journal (even if it’s only a few lines a week) and you’ll be sure to look back on them someday with a smile.

Whether you take a babymoon before or after, or before and after - enjoy every moment! These special times pass by far too quickly.

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Dr. Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing pediatrician, author, speaker, children’s health advocate, and father of four.

Dr. Levine

Dr. Alanna Levine is a New York based pediatrician and a mom of two children.