Many couples take a trip after their wedding. That trip, of course, is called a honeymoon. But have you ever heard of a trip called a babymoon?
It's the same idea…a romantic getaway…but in this case, think of it as the last chance for a couple to take such a trip before their first child is born.
Do a Google news search on the word babymoon right now and you'll find lots of stories speculating on Prince William and Kate Middleton traveling to the Caribbean before their baby arrives. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian took a babymoon in Paris.
Zack and Stefanie Pohl have a baby on the way, and yes, little Stella…due next month…will be my first grandchild. Stefanie got the idea from stories in People and US magazines about celebrities taking babymoons. They took a trip to Sedona, Arizona.
They picked a resort offering a babymoon package with a spa that included a maternity massage. Lots of vacation spots are offering massages and other amenities for their pregnant guests.
You don't have to travel all that far to take a babymoon. In South Haven, the Monroe Manor Inn offers a babymoon package. Owner Doug Bryant has offered it for about four years. The Monroe Manor Inn offers both weekend and weekday babymoon packages, and Bryant says babymoons are his most popular offerings.
Is this a trend that could really take off, and is the tourism industry of Michigan ready? Michelle Begnoche, public relations manager of Travel Michigan, thinks there’s potential for growth here. She says babymoon packages aren’t that different from the romantic travel packages many resorts already offer.
Begnoche says people are always looking for new reasons to travel, and it's important to tap into those new ideas. She adds that visitors who have a good experience could find themselves planning a return visit after their baby arrives.
Of course, travel during pregnancy comes with some limitations.
Dr. Joel Maurer is a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He says travel is usually safe during the second trimester, and not unreasonable up to about 36 weeks. He advises frequent stops and walking on trips of more than a couple of hours, to prevent blood clots.
Dr. Maurer cautions that some airlines won’t allow you to fly after the 36th week of pregnancy. They want to avoid in-flight emergencies or childbirth 35,000 feet above the ground.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers lots of information about travel during pregnancy, such as limiting car trips to no more than five or six hours a day, booking an aisle seat on flights to facilitate stretching your legs, and ways to avoid norovirus infections while on a cruise.
Stefanie Pohl enjoyed her babymoon so much that she’ll advise her friends to consider one when they’re first-time mothers to be.
Will babymoons ever be as commonplace as honeymoons? Perhaps not, but with people ranging from Prince William and Kate to my son and his wife taking one, maybe babymoons are on their way to a more prominent place in our minds.