Couples are increasingly opting for ‘babymoon’ or a vacation during pregnancy

As most parents-to-be would agree, the wait for the new addition in the family is an exciting time of their lives. At the same time, couples also realise that with the arrival of the baby, new responsibilities will tie them down for at least a few years. Therefore, although it’s still a new trend in India, ‘babymoon’ is becoming a popular concept. Put simply, it’s a second honeymoon taken by couples to relax and re-connect before getting busy with a new beginning.

“Taking a holiday during pregnancy is becoming very popular. Almost 50 per cent of my patients want to go for a ‘babymoon’ and come to me with their husbands for travel advice,” says Anuradha Kapur, gynaecologist at Delhi’s Max hospital. According to her, the safest time to travel during pregnancy is during the second trimester.

“After 20 weeks (of pregnancy), it’s safe to travel, given the right precautions are taken, and if the woman does not have any risk factor, like a low lying placenta. Pregnancy is not a disease you know, so if a couple wants to take a vacation, there is nothing wrong with it,” Dr. Kapur says.

Now nine-months pregnant, Anu Abraham, and her husband Rethish, for instance, took a 15-day vacation to Khajuraho, Amritsar and finally Shimla in June this year for their ‘babymoon’.

“It was a perfect holiday for us, fun, exciting, and very relaxing — just the way we wanted it before our baby came along and we got busy,” Anu says.

“My gynaecologist advised train travel, because it’s comfortable and gives you the space to walk around. Had we travelled by car, he said we would have to take a 15-minutes break for every one hour for proper blood circulation and so that there is no swelling of the feet,” she adds.

Delhi-based Ragini Sharma and her husband Manish, on the other hand, decided to go abroad for their ‘babymoon’.

“It was Malaysia for us because we are both beach lovers, and nothing could relax us more than walking on the sand and dipping our feet in the water,” Ragini, now seven months pregnant, says. “All my doctor advised was intake of lots of fluids and walks on the aircraft aisle so that there was no blood clot while travelling. But we also took care to book a hotel with medical services close by, and avoided sea food, just in case of any allergy.”

The concept of ‘babymoon’ became much talked about after Prince William and his then pregnant wife, Kate Middleton, went on one to an island earlier this year. Gynaecologist and IVF expert at The Nurture Clinic, Archana Dhawan Bajaj, however, says that she has had couples asking her for travel advice during pregnancy since much before that.

“Babymoon is a nascent concept, but not completely new in India. I have had couples, mostly from nuclear families and both working, asking for travel advice during pregnancy for almost four years now,” says Dr. Bajaj. “I generally advice against overseas travel, like to the U.S., where medical care can be a problem if you don’t have insurance. But the Middle East is safer, because it’s a shorter distance by flight, medical care is easily available and there is a large Indian community to seek help from.”

The trend has not escaped the eyes of the travel and tourism industry which has begun offering special packages for such couples, with some hotels also offering massages for pregnant women.