As a parent of 15- and 13-year-old girls, the term “babymoon” was not in my vocabulary back in the 1990s. However, if my travel agent had suggested my husband take me on a vacation filled with pre-natal pampering, I would have relished it — and probably named my children after said agent. Today, babymoons are all the rage, especially to sunny getaways such as Mexico, where full-service resorts specialize in caring for soon-to-be mothers — and even fathers-to-be — looking for that last bit of alone time. Agents may find that clients who book babymoons with them will return after the child is born to plan their first family vacation — a win-win.
Babymoon Basics — Know Before You Go
Orbitz.com senior editor and mother of three, Jeanenne Tornatore, provided travel agents with tips on what to look for when recommending the right babymoon resort as well as advice on traveling while pregnant and/or with young children.
“Choose a property with plenty of amenities on-site or nearby,” said Tornatore. “Depending on how far along your client is in her pregnancy, she may not be up for a lot of traveling for activities or sightseeing. Look for spa services — most therapies should be performed in the second trimester and after — low-impact exercise, a pool and shopping in the immediate vicinity.”
Tornatore recommended women travel “pregnancy-prepared,” which equates to researching medical facilities at the destination and bringing copies of pregnancy records (especially during the third trimester) should a visit to a local doctor or hospital be necessary. Tornatore also suggested that couples make sure they are cleared for take-off — most airlines will allow pregnant women to fly up until 36 weeks, which is also the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for women with healthy, single pregnancies.
Hot Spots for Prenatal Pampering
While many Mexican resorts offer general spa treatments and a relaxing experience, some go the extra mile and cater to expectant parents. Specialized therapies, dedicated fitness programs and tailored cuisine are just a few of the offerings.
When women check in to Remede Spa at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, they are led into a 10,000-square-foot sanctuary in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit area, a 50-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta. Here, before indulging in the Prenatal Care Massage, women are given fresh fruit and a parenting magazine while they wait for their therapist, who is specially trained to help soothe their constantly transforming bodies by knowing which areas are safe to touch. The goal? A gentle massage dedicated to reducing foot and ankle water retention, easing headache and fatigue as well as eliminating back and neck discomfort.
Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita’s Babymoon in Paradise Package envelopes parents-to-be in a cocoon of sun and sea. They can take advantage of the choice Puerto Morelos location near Cancun, without worrying about a long drive from the airport. The agenda here is to bliss out on a bunch of goodies, starting with the customized nutritional menu created with a private chef that includes a romantic dinner en suite or on the resort’s pier. And if anyone is still feeling peckish (ever heard of dad’s sympathy pregnancy?), the late-night “craving room service” is a mere phone call away. Add 50-minute massages for both parents, confectionary treats, a Cuban cigar and a glass of whiskey for dad or even a surprise gift for the baby, and you are looking at a Zen road to delivery.
The Babymoon package at Paradisus Playa del Carmen celebrates a woman’s second trimester with pretty presents. The chocolate-covered strawberries and Yhi Spa Oil set welcome gift waiting in the room sets the tone of a stay designed for reconnecting with each other. The package is a treasure trove filled with his and her massages, facials, mani-pedis and even a private yoga class to loosen up stiff joints from months of carrying extra weight. And, when the clan is ready to return, they can head to Paradisus La Familia where children get their own robes, special bathroom amenities and more.
Tucked away between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo is the exclusive, adults-only Esperanza Resort, which is an escape for Hollywood parents such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. The resort’s Expecting the Best babymoon package begins with an airport transfer in a luxury car such as a Cadillac Escalade or Audi SUV and agua frescas upon arrival. Since feeding mama is crucial, daily breakfast for the parents is included as well as a special dinner at the cozy Cocina del Mar. Any tension is immediately eased away thanks to the complimentary neck and shoulder massage and two hour-long pre-natal rub-downs. A one-hour private yoga lesson is gratis for the especially limber ladies.
After the Big Day — Familymoons
If a client thinks that the babymoon is his or her last hurrah when it comes to vacationing, be sure to tell them otherwise. Of course, there will be more vacationers onboard after the baby is born, but that simply means choosing a resort that caters to those transitioning from a couple to a couple with tiny tots in tow.
Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas caters to soon-to-be and new moms with creative maternity-approved menus at the resort’s restaurants, as well as special cooking classes where parents can learn to make wholesome and organic baby food.
Azul Hotels by Karisma’s three all-inclusive properties in the Riviera Maya region — Azul Beach, Azul Sensatori and Azul Fives — cater to families with the Pack & Play program where parents can leave their burdensome baby gear at home thanks to the resorts’ free supply of strollers, cribs, baby bottle warmers and Gerber baby food. Also, activities abound from the Azulitos Playhouse Play Program for children under age 5 and the Fisher-Price toys for babies 6 to 18 months old to Little People toys for toddlers 18 to 36 months old.
Clients who really want to get a jump on parenthood before the babymoon even begins can head to Los Cabos where One&Only Palmilla’s new fertility program is designed to reduce stress, educate guests on nutritional food that boosts fertility and more.
Babymoons are the perfect way for a couple to bond before the baby. // © 2012 Thinkstock