Babymooning is booming. A long list of celeb soon-to-be moms are taking over our social media feeds with amazing vacay pictures — mommy-to-be Esha Deol and her husband Bharat Takhtani enjoying their holiday in Greece, pregnant Serena Williams and her fiancé Alexis Ohanian relaxing in Mexico and Monaco, Soha Ali and Kunal Khemu’s recent babymoon in London… Babymooning is glam, trendy and becoming a strong segment of holiday travel. From exciting new global destinations to gorgeous maternity look books to various customised and designed travel packages, here’s our guide for a perfect babymoon.
Celebrity babymoons have made such trips glamorous and picture perfect. Starting from when a pregnant Kate Hudson relaxed in Mexico or Jessica Simpson celebrated her first pregnancy with a stay at the Parker Palm Springs or when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West jetted off to Paris after announcing their first pregnancy, and Prince William and Kate Middleton rustled up a media frenzy when they took a family babymoon to the private island of Mustique in the West Indies. And Indian celebs too have been celebrating the impending arrival of a baby in their life with a holiday that spells joy, hope, style and fun — from the likes of Soha Ali Khan-Kunal Khemu (London), Esha Deol and Bharat Takhtani (Greece), Kareena Kapoor Khan-Saif Ali Khan (Dubai), Lisa Haydon-Dino Lalvani (Italy), and more. A babymoon could be anything from a weekend mini-break to a multi-week extravaganza, depending on how adventurous you are.
Providing an insightful guide to planning that last jaunt as a couple before travel includes nappies and baby food, Karan Anand, head of relationships, Cox & Kings, shares that plenty of hotels offer short breaks tailored for expectant parents — with indulgent weekends including couple’s massage and gourmet dinners, or the more wholesome route of prenatal classes and yoga. A week or two is probably best though, if you want to unwind thoroughly and enjoy each other’s company before the sleepless nights set in. If it’s a healthy pregnancy, there’s no reason why you couldn’t go on an extended trip, but check out the healthcare situation in your chosen countries beforehand and see if you’ll be able to arrange antenatal check-ups or scans on the road. Pack lightly so you won’t have to carry a heavy backpack and include clothes you can expand into as the pregnancy progresses.
“A relaxed vacation can give both the husband and wife a lot of positivity and energy before the beginning of a lifelong hectic schedule. Usually a trip spanning six to seven days is normal these days but some couples are also stretching it to 10-15 days,” says Karan, adding, “Beach destinations top the list for babymoons because one can just sit and relax and not get involved much in activities. But when it comes to nature lovers, hills work best for couples, as long as the property is not situated in a secluded place. In India, Goa, Kerala, Coorg and Shimla are some of the most popular babymoon destinations while for overseas trips, Far East is preferred to West because of short air (travel) distance. Bali, Maldives and Sri Lanka have some of the most soon-to-be-mother-friendly resorts.”
About various customised and designed travel packages, Karan shares, “Most babymooners opt for tailor-made itineraries designed to make the vacation most comfortable for the mother-to-be. Moderate sightseeing, minimum road travel, low intensity activities, leisure days, a thoughtfully chosen property, a doctor on call are the key requirements of the couples. Some of them also have special requirements like a maternity photoshoot, pre-natal massage in exotic spas, etc.”
Mood for romance
Go for something that won’t be as easy or fun once two becomes three, such as ramping up the romance in a honeymoon-worthy beach resort in the Maldives or the South Pacific, or staying somewhere unsuitable for babies and toddlers, say a jungle lodge with open-sided bungalows and raised walkways a la Morgan’s Rock in Nicaragua, or a resort built around cliffs, like the Rockhouse in Jamaica. Sharat Dhall, COO, B2C, Yatra.com shares, “Some of the ideal international destinations for couples to have a peaceful time away from chaotic city life are Florida, Arizona, Northern California and Greece. For those looking for a tranquil experience in India, domestic destinations like Kerala, Goa, Pondicherry and Andamans are recommended. It is best they choose a destination where they can easily communicate with medical staff and pack medication they might need.”
Pregnancy is a happy phase. But it’s also a trying time for the mom-to-be. Celebrity stylist Eshaa Amin says, “There have been a zillion articles and pieces written about pregnancy describing the trimesters, giving out health tips, precautions, instructions and everything you practically need to know for you and your baby to have the best nine months you could possibly have. But very little has been written and spoken about looking sexy and fashionable during those weeks of precautions. Let’s not forget that the early pregnancy signs include a lot of mood swings, cravings, exhaustion, morning sickness, lethargy and body changes. And it’s not over after nine months, instead there is a whole new list of responsibilities that the baby brings with itself as the dirty nappies pile up and a good night’s sleep seems a distant memory, it is easy for a new mother to think life will never be the same again.” All the more reason to perk up her mood and boost her enthusiasm with an indulgent holiday before life takes that new turn.
When the mom-to-be is celebrating her new phase in life, she is doing it in style. Here are a few tips on what to pack, what to wear, how to style maternity outfits the sexy/fashionable way: The location is a key aspect, so you know where you’re going and pack accordingly. Since babymooning is all about relaxing and living to the fullest for the last time as a couple, a location which suits your demands should be preferred. When the location is set, you could go ahead with packing. Yes, you are pregnant and want to be able to breathe in the clothes you pack but let’s not forget that it’s a vacation and your last chance to dress up before you become a mother.
A bunch of deep necks and backless outfits are a must, along with great accessories to match them with. A few pairs of high-waist ankle leggings, boyfriend jeans, pencil skirts, long cardigans with funky detailing, jumpsuits, etc. are the kind of wardrobe options you should be looking at. Talking about being in vogue, 2017 is the best time to be pregnant. Oversized silhouettes, boxy and anti-fits are trending when it comes to clothing, so staying comfortable and fashionable will not be a problem.
Getting that perfect holiday body before taking off is one thing we all strive for but an advantage when you are pregnant is you have the liberty to look healthy and plump and yet rock those outfits. You could either go all the way boxy like Victoria Beckham or be inspired by Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé. A very important styling tip for a babymoon is shoes that are sexy as well as easy to walk in. Pregnancy can give you a hard time if you go for just about any heels. But we have our fashion forecasters to thank once again as sneakers, platforms, blocks, box heels and kittens are trending big time. Fashion and travel have been favourites for a lot of us and combining it with pregnancy adds excitement and opportunities to experiment.
Designer Sanchita Julka says, “Make sure you have a chic maternity bathing suit. A nice pair of slippers. We suggest a simple slide that gives your possibly swollen ankles some breathing room. A kaftan. Long, breezy, and roomy, this is the perfect garment to accommodate your growing belly, plus it’s elegant enough to take you from the beach to a more dressy dinner. Straw hat — shield yourself from the sun in one of these timeless, lightweight styles. Vests are great for pregnancy. You can throw one on over a long tank, and you are good to go. It’s a great piece to add to your non-maternity pregnancy clothes repertoire. You also want to be comfortable when travelling, especially if when flying. I recommend a dress rather than something with a waistband. For an evening out, a perfect LBD with a scarf, sandal and clutch.”
Style meets comfort
There are many ways to celebrate and embrace one’s body during pregnancy, says designer Archana Kochhar, “Pregnancy need not be spent in the sartorial wilderness; pregnancy style can be a challenge but with proper thought there, styling it can be fun, flaunting that baby bump. Depending on how far along you are, a light trench coat is the perfect must-carry for a babymoon as it provides extra coverage and is comfortable. Cross shirtdresses are the most stylish and easy for comfort for preggers, it can be styled with a chunky necklace or a printed scarf to add some casual glam to the look. Maternity jumpsuits are one of the easy go grabs for a cool and chic pregnant look. The loose fit and full coverage makes them great for comfort; pair this with chic sunglasses and bracelets to add some travel glam to the look. Combining sneakers with a dress also gives a sexy cool and relaxed look, keeping the comfort level in mind. Layering is one of the key points to highlight just the right aspects of the baby bump. Select a stylish throw or a separate with your dress, this can be a shrug, light jacket or a stole.”
Designer Siddartha Tytler says, “Babymooning has become a popular trend and pregnancy has never looked better. In today’s time and day, pregnant celebrities give women serious inspiration with the way they dress and look. When it comes to styling yourself whilst enjoying at a babymoon, I would recommend the to-be mom to wear flowing silhouettes. If the babymoon is on a beachy location, opt for loose long dresses with floral prints, with light colours that are easy on the eyes. A simple kimono on top of a bikini showing off the baby bump proudly is something to be considered. As far as swimwear is concerned, a two-piece is always a better option than a one-piece maternity tankini, so that one can be comfortable and free. Not to forget the main beach accessories like sunglasses and a straw hat, of course. For travel, basic printed pull-on trousers with a loose T-shirt and a trendy jacket is comfort and chic at its best. Packing for a babymoon should include exactly the same combination of comfort and chic. Dresses should definitely be a part of the list of clothes to pack. Dresses like long or mid-length pleated ones, loose shirtdresses, gingham dresses that are not tight on the waist and maxi dresses are all popular trends for pregnant women these days. The idea is to let your body breathe and not be confined by tight clothing. Other than that, it is important to pack comfortable flats.”
Dr Anuradha Kapur, director and head of unit, Institute of Obs and Gynae, at Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital in Saket, Delhi advises that the best time to go on a vacation when you are expecting is during the second trimester of pregnancy, i.e., from 14 to 28 weeks. Listing out precautions that need to be taken in order to have a hassle-free travelling experience, she adds, “If the couple is planning to go for a beach vacation, the expectant mother should avoid taking a bath in the sea as over-hydration can dilute your electrolytes. Do not eat out at places that offer unhealthy food. So, make sure you eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Pregnant women should avoid doing rigorous exercises. One can sit out in the sun and relax, or go for walks. Avoid travelling on bumpy roads. I’d advise avoiding footwear that don’t give you a good grip. Choose comfortable shoes instead of open slippers.”
When deciding on a destination, it’s better to opt for a place which has access to healthcare facilities. So even though you want to go into a cognitive mode, try and avoid going to a remote place. Long duration flights are a no-no too, as long-haul flights can put you at a risk of developing blood clots. Choose short flights and walk around in the aisle and have fluids. Besides that, make sure whichever place you choose to visit is safe. Don’t forget to carry all the medicines you have been prescribed in your travel kitty, including vitamins, medical records, your gynaecologist’s number just in case you have any questions to ask. So go ahead, have a great vacation — but be sure to be proactive about protecting your health. And don’t forget to return in time for your next doctor’s visit!...