Amongst all the things I did during my first pregnancy, my babymoon is one of my dearest memories. I can’t stress enough how much I’d advise any mom-to be to plan one. If you have an issue-free pregnancy and feel fit to travel, this is the time to plan your – at least for a while – last baby-free trip. There’s lots of babymoon options of course: spend a long weekend or a romantic holiday as a couple, plan a trip with your girlfriends, attend a retreat by yourself.. Whatever you choose to do, it basically comes down to spending quality time with yourself, the people close to you, and having lots of time to do whatever you please whenever you please before your newborn baby will turn your world upside down.
Some people will argue that even with a baby, you’ll be able to travel. Definitely true, but with a child, you’ll always have to take their needs and rhythm into consideration and you’ll just never be as flexible as on your own. Other lucky people (I’m one of them!) have parents who can’t wait to babysit while you take a baby-break and enjoy a week or so just with the two of you. But even though I’m happy to leave Henrik in the care of my mother, glad to know he’s in the best hands with her while I’m away, traveling on my own still isn’t the same anymore. Henrik is always on my mind now, and even the loveliest trip will always include lots of missing my boy.
With my babymoon, I took the opportunity to take a trip I knew I wouldn’t be able to take for quite some time once our son was born. While I know that a lot of people thought I was nuts, I went backpacking in Thailand and Malaysia for five weeks when I was around 23 weeks pregnant. I hadn’t had any problems with my pregnancy so far, my baby bump just started to show a bit with 20 weeks and my midwife confirmed that there was no reason for me to not travel to Asia at this point.
Like with many of the decisions you make when being pregnant and becoming a parent, there will always be people who disagree. Well, I can tell you that backpacking pregnant triggers some opinions and you have to be self-confident and well informed to not care. People who had never been to Thailand or Malaysia advised against me traveling there pregnant, for several reasons, all potential risks for the unborn baby. Not knowing a lot about those destinations, like that both countries offer excellent health care and that backpacking doesn’t necessarily mean hiking through uninhabited woods for days.
I was lucky enough to get five weeks off from work. But husband couldn’t be away that long from his work, so it was ideal to do one part with him and another with a friend. To me, it was the best of both worlds: a babymoon that included a romantic part of the trip with husband (then still boyfriend) and another with one of my best girlfriends. There was not one doubt on my or on husband’s side that it would be ok for me to travel (pregnant or not) without him. But both of us had to hear dismissive comments about him letting me travel ‘alone’. Welcome to the 21st century I’d say, happy that we as a couple shared the same view when it came to things like these.
For me, it was the best moment to take that trip and there’s so many great memories connected to it. Probably even more so because it took place so shortly before my ‘new life’ as a parent began. So whatever your personal preferences are, please do plan a babymoon that fits you and make the most out of it. Just like your honeymoon, it will be a one time experience :-).