Beach Before Baby

Island activities for parents-to-be

By: Janeen Christoff

After a harrowing first trimester of nausea, unexplained aches and pains, headaches and insomnia, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I began to enjoy being pregnant by the end of the third month. The true beauty of this time the second trimester is that many women are able to relax during this exciting time of their life without the inhibitions of pesky pregnancy symptoms. It’s like the honeymoon phase of a relationship. And so, when a trip to Hawaii for a friends’ wedding came up, I jumped at the chance to jet off to tropical paradise, and many of your clients may want to do the same.

Traveling can be a great way to refresh expecting couples, and for clients in the West, Hawaii is a particularly attractive locale. When the comforts of home are almost as important as a tropical getaway, as is common during pregnancy, Hawaii’s exotic beauty and familiar convenience make it a perfect destination, without being too long of a flight. Before booking clients on a “babymoon,” however, there are a few tricks of the trade.

Spa days are a great activity for clients on any trip, but your expecting moms are going to love you for setting up a day of pampering at a spa where they know how to treat a mom-to-be. The Grand Hyatt Kauai in Poipu is a perfect option. Although many of the usual spa amenities are off-limits to expecting mothers Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms the Anara spa has a beautiful 25-foot private lap pool ideal for cooling off before or after a spa treatment. Loungers alongside the pool offer the ideal spot for an afternoon nap, and their beautiful outdoor rain showers give the experience an added tropical feeling and almost make up for not being able to dip into the hot tub.

The spa’s maternity massage addresses specific areas of stress created during pregnancy with a variation of lomi lomi and shiatsu massage techniques. Ladies rest belly down on a specially designed support pillow while their aches and pains are rubbed away during the hour-long treatment.

In addition to pregnancy massage, a multitude of facials and other beauty treatments are available including seaweed body masques, ti leaf wraps, botanical baths, mango manicures and soothing pedicures.

The Grand Hyatt Kauai is currently renovating their first-class Anara spa, but this shouldn’t make agents hesitate to send clients there. Their maternity massage is worth it regardless of any discomfort. And while I was there, the only notable difference was the use of several guestrooms that filled in for treatment rooms while the renovation was in progress. I actually liked the guestroom, which made the experience homey and even more comfortable.

Currently, phase one of the renovation which added a Vichy treatment room, an enlarged fitness area, a movement pavilion and more has been completed. Still to come are more treatment rooms and five garden hale (thatched roof huts) with private showers and steam grottos.

A spa day can occupy clients for part of a trip, but what comes next? For expecting parents up for an adventure, the Na Pali Coast offers some of the most rugged beauty in the world. Unreachable by motorized vehicles, the 17-mile coastline is most easily reached by boat. Still, many visitors hike, bike or charter a helicopter to get the most intimate views of the stunning scenery. Aside from its untouched land beauty, the coastline is also home to an abundant marine population, making it a snorkeling hot spot for island visitors. And snorkeling is a tame, pregnancy-friendly activity for babymooners.

Several different companies operate snorkel cruises to the Na Pali Coast, but some are hesitant when booking expecting women. Be sure to ask the operator in advance if they accept pregnant passengers.

Captain Andy’s Sailing Adventures, located in Eleele, takes moms-to-be. Clients set sail early in the morning on a 55-foot catamaran. The journey begins with breakfast onboard as the boat makes a course for the Na Pali Coast and lunch is served after snorkeling.

True to Captain Andy’s commitment to educational, safe and eco-friendly business, the cruise balances education with relaxation and fun. On our cruise, there was a lot of up close sealife viewing. A highlight was the spinner dolphins that swam alongside the boat. We slowed in a known sea turtle viewing area and caught a glimpse of these majestic creatures before they headed for the safety below.

There are but a few drawbacks for pregnant women on a snorkeling excursion. All of Captain Andy’s excursions offer bathrooms and comfortable facilities onboard, but beware, although modern stabilizers prevent the boat from rocking too much, boats do sway and seas can be rough. Clients are advised to bring Dramamine, which may not be advisable for expecting moms.

Other land-based adventures could include a hiking/kayaking trip. Outfitters Kauai recommends their Hidden Valley Falls Picnic Kayak Adventure. The journey includes a downwind kayak trip on the Huleia, a historic jungle stream; a three-quarter-mile hike to waterfalls and swimming holes where a picnic lunch takes place; and a ride back in a twin-hulled powered Hawaiian canoe.

More and more moms-to-be are craving a last adventure before baby arrives, so it’s important for agents to know how to plan a pregnancy-safe vacation.


Maternity Lomi Lomi Massage
Anara Spa, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Na Pali Coast Sail
Capt. Andy’s Sailing Adventures

Hidden Valley Falls Picnic Kayak Adventure
Outfitters Kauai