A babymoon is more than an excuse to get away. While it may not be an obvious must-have like onesies, bottles and swaddles, pros insist the benefits of taking a babymoon are abundant. So, if you were looking for some proof as to why you should plan a getaway before welcoming your new bundle, here’s 10.
Reconnecting with your SO one-on-one
Amri Kibbler, co-founder of HeyMama, an online community for working moms, says she is a huge advocate for vacations in general, especially a babymoon. “Making sure you take time to get away and reconnect to the people that are important to you in life is of the utmost importance to be able to show up fully prepared to take over the world,” she says.
“One of the biggest benefits of a babymoon is having an opportunity for partners to focus on their relationship,” adds Rachel O’Neill, Ph.D., an Ohio-based licensed professional clinical counselor and Talkspace therapist. “Even under the best circumstances your relationship changes when a child is born, and connecting and focusing on what it’s like to be in a relationship can be helpful and set the stage for an effective transition into the role of parent.”
And Amy Cirbus, Ph.D, counseling psychologist and clinical marketing manager at Talkspace, stresses it is important for moms who are not carrying — perhaps you are using a surrogate or adopting — and their partners to have quality time. “It can be even more essential for these couples to connect with each other before the demands of a new child takes priority within the household, get on the same page, and take a collective breath together,” she explains.
Taking time for yourself
“Having a baby is one of the biggest transitions you’ll ever go through, whether you’re a working mom or a not working mom. Your whole life basically is going to be turned upside down in ways that you don’t know are possible,” notes Kibbler. “So, it’s important to mentally step back and prepare.”
Which means that practicing self-care is more relevant now than ever, according to Cirbus. “For the person carrying the baby, the benefit of taking this time is the intentional moments of rest and self-care,” she notes. “The physical demands of carrying a pregnancy are intense. A babymoon provides the time to relax and take a break before the demands turn from carrying the baby to caring for the baby.”
It is a conscious effort to de-stress
Stress can have a major negative impact on an expecting mom’s body but also the baby itself. “Having some space to simply relax and enjoy life can be a welcome respite from some peripartum stressors — such as not feeling physically well,” says O’Neill.
And relaxing is important, especially since pre-baby planning can get hectic. Maybe you are decorating the nursery, checking off your registry along with finalizing work projects or even a renovation or move for your impending house guest. “Life can be super stressful when you are juggling a career and family and friends and any of the other things you’re involved in and support,” notes Kibbler. “You really need to be able to fill yourself up before you have the resources to be able to take care of everyone else.”
It is the perfect environment to make a parent game plan
“This is really that time to be at peace and to think about your intentions for all the things that are to come,” says Kibbler. “What does your perfect delivery look like? What happens if you can’t breastfeed? What do you want to teach your baby in the year to come? In five years to come? What is of most importance to you?”
Having a baby is one of the biggest transitions you’ll ever go through… it’s important to mentally step back and prepare.
Being in a vacay mindset can also keep serious conversations with your partner light and easy. “It’s the perfect environment to get into things that you’re not going to think of down the line — like what is your parenting philosophy and what are your values when you’re hiring a caregiver?” says Kibbler. “It’s great to talk about these things when you’re both happy and in a good mood than when your super stressed out.”
You can enjoy the silence — literally
“Take advantage of the quiet time and the mental time to get to a base zero,” notes Kibbler. “Obviously that’s helpful for you physically but also mentally with being pregnant. But it’s also imperative for what’s going to come and having those experiences with your partner outside of having another little person.”
But also don’t be hard on yourself trying to over-prepare, says Cirbus. “It’s impossible to take true advantage of the time before birth because if you’re a new parent, you don’t really know what it will be like,” she says. What you can focus on: “Maintaining your mental wellness by reflecting on the changes coming up, organizing your own wishes and desires of what this baby will mean and sharing it with your partner,” she adds.
Soak up being the pregnant ‘star’
Practice your Instagram-worthy pregnancy poses! “You’re still the star so flaunt your pregnancy body,” says Kibbler, who recommends purchasing items and investing in experiences that make you feel good. “Buy yourself a new bikini. Take pictures of yourself on the beach. Book a spa appointment. Drink a bunch of mocktails and be silly and laugh and enjoy all the things you can right now — let people carry your bags for you and make a fuss over you.”
Because while it may seem slightly self-absorbed, after the baby comes, it truly is no longer about you. “For the first year of their life, because a baby is so all encompassing — although, of course, also delicious and adorable and wonderful — everybody comes and makes a big deal over the baby and sometimes the mom can be kind of forgotten,” she adds.
Book the trip that is going to resonate with you and your partner the most — going Zen at a luxe spa with extra-long massages and crystal healing. Or maybe you prefer exploring a new city, experiencing new cuisines and cultures and family dynamics. Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable flying, or you can’t travel for more than a long weekend because of work. “Where you decide to go and the experience you create is so personal to who you are and what makes you feel good,” says Kibbler.
What pros do suggest is giving a babymoon the proper weight it deserves. “This last adventure while you’re still a duo is different than a normal vacation in its intention,” explains Cirbus. “It’s not just about relaxing and having fun. Until now, you’ve only known the two of you as romantic partners but now you’re on the cusp of being introduced as parents. It’s about the awareness of what you’re embarking on and taking stock of where you are.”
Set the vibe for the mom you want to be
“A babymoon can truly set the tone for what’s to come because you’re getting to the end of your pregnancy where you’re starting to get physically uncomfortable and you could start to get a little freaked out about the delivery,” says Kibbler. “Having this special moment in time where you feel really relaxed and you’re celebrating is a way of shifting the view and putting a positive and beautiful space around it, which can make you feel really good.”
The perfect excuse to ‘splurge’
“In general, parents tend to feel bad about spending any time or money on themselves and this can start even before the child is actually born,” explains O’Neill. “At the same time, there is a necessity of focusing on self-care as a parent and so I think starting these habits early — even before the child is born can be helpful.”
But the intent, not the price tag, is what matters. Cirbus notes that choosing a place and cost that won’t freak you out afterwards is essential. “Taking a lavish vacation isn’t required to take a babymoon — it can be a staycation at home or extended weekend — it’s less about where you are than about how you are being together,” she explains. “It truly is about taking the time to honor each other and the relationship that has brought this baby into your lives and putting the rest of the world on pause and being together.”
Two words: vacation sex! Seriously though, celebrating your body and enjoying being desired and being intimate before you are both not able to experience that for an extended amount of time post-baby is a win-win. Also, says Cirbus, giving your partner some love, too, physically and emotionally is a game-changer.
“A babymoon is also a chance for your partner to have a dedicated space to anticipate and celebrate this new transition,” she explains. “The partner can often feel slightly apart from the excitement. There’s an intellectual anticipation, but without the daily physical reminders and a very real physical, mental and emotional shift it’s easy to feel apart from it all. A baby moon provides a space for the couple to reflect and connect together.”
The bottom line: “A babymoon can be a start to healthy relationship habits for years to come,” says Cirbus. “Beyond the babymoon, couples who routinely take the time to be with each other and make their relationship a priority get through challenges with greater success and report feeling more fulfilled and happ[ier] romantically.”
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