Taking a babymoon with your partner is a great way to relieve some last-minute stress before the birth of your child. First-time moms and dads are usually especially nervous, so taking a break from all the planning, doctor's appointments and nursery decorating can be therapeutic. "You're in for years of family-friendly resorts and spending time in the kiddy pool, so the idea is you take one last vacation - just the two of you - and do adult things," says Hartshorn.
First, pick a location that both parents-to-be will enjoy. Mom may be feeling bloated, cranky and just plain exhausted, whereas Dad may want to try every activity the resort has to offer. Try to compromise. "You want to keep this kind of simple and focus on each other," says Hartshorn. "You're making couple memories before you become a family of three." Be sure to build in some down time, but do a few activities together as well.
Don't wait until last minute to book your babymoon, though. Hartshorn says taking your trip in your second trimester is best. Chances are, your morning sickness will have subsided, but your belly won't be so big that you're having trouble getting around. Keep in mind, too, that most doctors don't advise pregnant women to travel during their third trimester. Certain types of vacations aren't for pregnant women, either. Roller coasters will be off limits, as will certain cruises. Many cruise lines won't allow women to sail during their third trimester. Check with your individual cruise line to see which restrictions apply.
If you and your partner just want to relax, consider going to a spa. Some spas cater to pregnant women, but most offer some sort of prenatal massage. Having side-by-side couples massages can also be a great option.
Casinos are also a great idea if you're looking for nightlife. While moms-to-be will need to stay away from alcohol and smoke-filled rooms, many casinos now offer babymoon packages that work with their on-site spas. Casinos also offer great restaurants and shopping opportunities.
Having a baby can be expensive, so if money is tight but you'd still like to take a trip, consider visiting a local bed-and-breakfast for the weekend. Just a change of scenery - even if it's in the town next door - can do wonders for relieving stress. "We asked a lot of our 'American Baby' readers where they went, and a lot of them went just within an hour or two of where they live," says Hartshorn. Relaxation could be right around the corner.
For more information on planning a babymoon, click here to visit www.AmericanBaby.com.
By Erin Petrun