Enjoy time as a couple before your little one comes into the world
If like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (or Harry and Meghan to their friends) you’ve joined the soon-to-be parents club, now could be the perfect time for a babymoon. The royal couple had theirs in Morocco. But whichever destination you and your partner choose, English seaside or exotic getaway, it’s a lovely way to relax and enjoy special moments together before your bundle of joy arrives.
FIRST, THE PRACTICAL PART
Dates for your diary
Generally, babymoons are recommended during the second trimester when any morning sickness and early pregnancy tiredness will have hopefully subsided. In the last few months, you'll probably feel too uncomfortable and heavy to travel, and most airlines won't accept anyone over 37 weeks pregnant, anyway. So, plan your trip away for the middle months if you can.
Health and safety matters
First check if your airline requires medical clearance from your midwife or doctor – most insist on it for pregnancies over 27 weeks. And make sure your travel insurance company will cover you if, for instance, your due date is less than six weeks away, or potential complications are expected during labour.
Pregnancy increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or lung clots (Pulmonary Emboli) – something exacerbated by flying. So, if your flight is longer than four hours, walk the aisles regularly and stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. While they're not all that glamorous, wearing a pair of graduated compression stockings can also help reduce calf swelling.
Also, research the healthcare facilities where you're going – and whether you need vaccinations. It's worth bearing in mind when you're skimming travel brochures that doctors are extremely wary about live vaccines, such as yellow fever, and anti-malarial meds – which might rule out visiting parts of Africa and South America. And although fewer Zika outbreaks have been reported recently, places still at risk are: South and Central America, Pacific Islands, Africa and The Caribbean. After all, it's important to have peace of mind when you're busy relaxing on that sun lounger.
Eat, drink and move sensibly for two
If you're used to them, most midwives will tell you that gentle hikes and walking around on sightseeing trips are fine. But activities like water-skiing, scuba diving and parasailing are something to save for that post-baby break. Anyway, this is the perfect excuse for staying horizontal on the beach or by the pool, mocktail in hand.
Food-wise, it's time to suppress those Camembert cravings – as you're no doubt aware you should avoid unpasteurised milk and cheese, along with not eating raw or undercooked meat. And unless you're sure the tap water is safe, stick to bottled.
WHERE TO GO
Here's a taste of three heavenly short-haul destinations for your babymoon, before the little one brings you back down to earth with a bump.
Imagine waking up next to your own large private veranda, pool or Jacuzzi. Santorini Secret Suites and Spa gives you space to unwind. Where endless days of vivid blue sky and sunsets over the Aegean Sea come with Santorini's signature backdrop of white-washed walls in this Cycladic island escape.
Spend mornings exploring Oia village. Tuck into the freshest modern Greek gastronomy back at the hotel. Then after swimming in the infinity pool, indulge in some pre-parenthood pampering with a personalised spa treatment in the privacy of your suite or villa.
Your babymoon is the ideal opportunity to pack in a lifetime's worth of memories. And nowhere is as rich with world-famous relics as Rome to satisfy even the hungriest culture vulture. So for a city break that lets you see all the classic sights, but at a gentler pace, the quiet charm of boutique Hotel Vilòn fits the bill.
In just a few minutes after stepping out from the hotel you'll be taking pictures of the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. And if the Italian sun is getting too hot, you can always return to the cool calm of the hotel's bistro or alfresco courtyard patio for a bite to eat. The celebrated Palazzo Borghese 'secret gardens' that stretch out just below the patio beautifully complements the seasonal Italian cuisine.
Cotes d'Azur, France
Pine and olive trees all around. Garden paths fringed with scented lavender. Breath-taking views of the Alps from the infinity pool. Le Mas Candille is a true sensory experience. It's set in an 18th-century Provençal farmhouse with a collection of contemporary style villas while the medieval village of Mougins is only a five-minute stroll away.
Satisfy foodie (as well as pregnancy) cravings with Michelin-starred cuisine at the acclaimed Restaurant Le Candille. While to soothe mind and bump, the zen-like atmosphere and ESPA treatments of the Spa is perfect for a little Mum-to-be time.