Little known fact: Somewhere before "then comes baby in a baby carriage," a line went missing. Though the exact wording is unknown, we think it went something like: "then comes Mom and Dad's last hurrah someplace fabulous." And thus was born the babymoon.
When to go?
While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists deems flying safe during healthy pregnancies (with the second trimester generally considered safest), no expectant mom wants to be eight time zones and three layovers away from her ob-gyn. Yours -- of course -- should have the final word on any travel you do now.
Jumby Bay, Antigua, West Indies
While the aqua expanse separating this island from Antigua takes only eight minutes to cross by boat, you'll feel like you're entering a different time zone -- if not dimension -- by the time you land at Jumby Bay. Occupied by a single resort of the same name, a handful of vacation homeowners and countless hawksbill turtles, the place is preternaturally quiet, intimate, and gorgeous. And though the in-room pregnancy massage wins raves, it's almost redundant given the tension-melting effects of the local air, water, and ubiquitous smiles -- particularly radiant and approving at the sight of a bikini-exposed bump.
With the Gulf of Mexico and its confectioner's sugar shores as your figurative backyard, where the swimming, aqua-biking, and general frolicking are unrivaled, you won't want to head indoors. But the Mommy-to-Be Massage, which can be incorporated into a couples package at the spa, is worth the sacrificed sun worship. (On that note, be extra conscientious about SPF usage now. The usual damage of UV exposure aside, melasma, a.k.a. the mask of pregnancy, can be exacerbated by the sun.) And while beach + spa tends to be a winning babymoon formula in any case, there's certainly more to the mix in Naples: a historic downtown, outdoor cafes, antique shops, galleries, and promenade upon romantic promenade.
Though skis are clearly off limits to you right now, hitting the slopes in spring, summer, or fall isn't. (Not that you need avoid Topnotch in winter: lounging fireside -- supersized cocoa in hand -- is many an expectant mom's definition of perfection.) When not hiking the Green Mountains with a private guide who can tailor treks to your bump-bearing status, you can golf, swim (year-round), or spa (body bolsters make the pregnancy massage especially easy on your back and belly). Breakfast for two -- or three, depending on how you look at it -- in bed is a popular favorite, but if you have craving for, say, pancakes and pizza at two in the morning, that's no problem either.
While studies are inconclusive, anecdotal evidence suggests that babies exposed to reggae in utero are some of the mellowest on the planet. Same goes for expectant parents, who'll find several additional ways to chillax at the all-inclusive Sunset Jamaica Grande: five swimming pools, a 1,300-foot private beach (the longest in Ocho Rios) and -- not surprisingly -- countless water sports (the paddle boats and water bikes are likeliest to be your speed right now). Little extras for moms-and-dads-to-be include couples massage, a babymoon souvenir photo, and even a baby gift.
You've got to love a place that offers unlimited pickles and ice cream to expectant moms, but even better is Arawak Beach Inn's solution to your craving for unmitigated couples time right now: For one whole day (or any portion of thereof), you'll get your own island -- where you'll be deposited with a picnic lunch, drinks aplenty (nonalcoholic for you, natch), and a knowing wink. The surrounding water is some of the world's most choice: textbook Tropical Turquoise.
The standard babymoon fare here is perfectly lovely; it includes pregnancy-specific spa treatments, de-stressing dad-to-be massage; picnics on any of Peter Island's five beaches, and a baby album at turndown time. But there's something that really sets this patch of paradise apart: Prepare for Baby Week (available upon request when the resort has interest from three or more couples) revolves around "How to Relax and Have Your Baby," a course taught by Charlene L. Stokamer, MPH, MS. Included in the program, which -- despite the name -- lasts five days: five two-hour classes (topics range from tailored childbirth to breastfeeding prep), his and hers massage, nightly themed turndowns, and relaxation sessions. Sign us up.
Though technically in Florida, Amelia Island is so close to Georgia that old-time Southern hospitality permeates this isle o' languor via osmosis, manifesting itself in all sorts of ways when moms-to-be show up. The best, as far as we're concerned, is the Pregnancy Craving Menu, which room service knows darn good and well extends beyond any official offerings. So even if you don't want, say, the recommended peanut butter banana smoothie, popcorn and apples, or ice cream and pickles, the kitchen staff is on hand -- pretty much whenever -- to make sure you get the particular object of your hormonal affection. Other babymoon draws: a pillow selection to accommodate aching backs, growing bumps, and generally morphing bodies; fabulous prenatal massage; and some of the most laid-back beaches in existence.
Welcome to New York, land of the Ivy League-feeder kindergarten where the only early-childhood decision arguably more important than where to educate your little one is what to name him or her. Hence the Westin Times Square's wish to provide appellation inspiration. Always on hand for babymooners is a list of the city's most popular baby names, broken down by neighborhood. The idea is to hit each hood and experience the local name vibes, then retreat
to your spa-inspired guestroom, where you can contemplate the contenders from your massage chair or aromatherapy bath.
Copyright © 2007 Meredith Corporation.
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