Last year, daddy-to-be Chip Herba, of Clifton Park, New York, read about the Planters Inn's babymoon package in a magazine while he and his wife, Angela, visited the obstetrician's office. Herba booked the trip as a getaway for Angela while she was on her winter break from teaching. "It was a Christmas present for her," he shares. The trip served other purposes as well: it was also during Angela's birthday and the couple was able to visit relatives in Charleston, South Carolina. While Angela was in her second trimester, the couple experienced babymoon birthday bouquets, massages, and alone time.
So, how did he like it? "It's like any other vacation except they make a real big deal about [being pregnant]," he laughs. "You know, every time you go down to the front desk they ask, 'And how are you feeling today?'" He admits that the extra fuss was nice, especially since they were expecting their first child. Angela says their babymoon was a time of personal reflection on how they envisioned their very near future with a baby. "[The pregnancy] was kind of a shock," Angela says. "We both work a lot and we're never home, so we talked about taking a step back, not working as much and focusing on our family."
Jana Wacholz, general manager of the Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa, says men who are sometimes stumped as to what they can do for their pregnant wives find that babymoon packages are convenient "one-stop shopping" gifts for their loved ones. "Ladies forget to pamper themselves [when they're pregnant]; it's a time of selflessness," says Wacholz. The spa's pampering, low-key packages were designed to be "24-hours of 'you get to do nothing,'" Wacholz explains. Instead of the usual Bodega Bay activities such as wine tasting, horseback riding, and boat riding, the package offers lounge time with perks such as massages. Wacholz adds that she hopes to add golfing to the package for parents-to-be who might want to opt out of spa treatments.
The Best Time for a Babymoon
The safest time for pregnant women to travel is mid-pregnancy (14 to 28 weeks), according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Generally, by this time the pregnancy is "well established," says Dr. Iffath Hoskins, executive director of the Women's Health Institute at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. Women usually feel their best during this time of their pregnancies. "She's not bulky, not nauseated, she has a little bulge, but she's not feeling like a house," explains Dr. Hoskins.
Taking precautions before traveling is necessary. Most importantly, Dr. Hoskins recommends that pregnant women discuss their plans with their doctor. Pregnant women should also travel with their medical records, and choose their destinations wisely, allowing for 24-hour access to appropriate medical care. "Know where the nearest hospital is," says Hoskins. "When you're having a problem in a foreign city, it's not the time to look in the Yellow Pages."
Regarding travel outside of the United States, Dr. Hoskins suggests keeping in mind that a pregnant woman—just like any other traveler—has an increased risk of exposure to GI bacteria and other potential toxic environmental agents.