The Pre-Baby Vacation
Your little prince or princess is due to arrive soon, meaning dirty diapers, sleepless nights, and oh, the joys of parenthood. But before baby comes forth into this world, you want one last taste of freedom with a vacation of your choosing -- it's called the babymoon.
Where to Babymoon
While dashing off to an exotic location sounds nice, it's not necessarily
practical. So what do you need to consider before you book a trip to the
jungles of Belize while pregnant?
First, if you decide to travel internationally, you should consult with your
obstetrician to evaluate both the quality of care that will be available at
your exotic location of choice and what preventive measures, like vaccinations,
should be taken before you go.
"If you are traveling to another country, you should check if that
country requires immunizations," says Khalil Tabsh, MD, chief of obstetrics
at UCLA. "If it's not a live vaccine, it is OK. If it is live, then you
should check with your obstetrician." Live virus vaccines include measles,
mumps, rubella, varicella, and yellow fever.
You should also consider altitude when picking your vacation spot. The CDC
recommends that all pregnant women avoid altitudes higher than 12,000 feet, and
in high-risk or late-stage pregnancies, avoid destinations higher than 8,200
feet -- so save the trip to Mt. Everest for another day.
Finally, do you fly or drive? The ACOG states that women can fly safely up
to 36 weeks into their pregnancies.
"If you are flying, check to see if there are any restrictions with the
airline you've chosen," says Cesario. "There are certain airline
policies that do require a letter from your doctor that it's safe for you to
travel while pregnant -- you'd hate to plan a trip and find the airline won't
let you get on."
Packing Your Bag
Your doctor has given you the green light, and you are ready for the
babymoon to begin. What should you do next, other than pack a pair of flip
flops and a sarong?
- Check that you will have access to quality medical facilities at your
travel destination, in case you need them. "I would take a complete list of
contact information for your doctors," says Ivester. "I would also
carry along contact information for qualified or highly-rated health-care
facilities in the area where you are traveling, in case you need
- Ensure your health insurance is valid while abroad, and to be on the safe
side, the CDC suggests getting a supplemental travel insurance policy and a
prepaid medical evaluation insurance policy.
- Know your blood type, and find out if the blood supply where you are going
is screened for HIV and hepatitis B.
Babymoon Dos and Don'ts
You're booked, packed, and ready to go. Here are some tips to keep in mind
while traveling while expecting.
Flying the friendly skies.
When flying, the ACOG recommends that pregnant women get up and walk every
half hour if possible and flex and extend their ankles frequently to prevent
blood clots. Also, wear your seat belt under your belly, and drink plenty of
fluids to stay hydrated.