Babymooning has become an increasingly popular trend.
It involves a couple taking a holiday together, like a honeymoon, before the birth of their child.
The trip provides parents an opportunity to bond and relax before their life becomes more hectic.
Celebrity personal trainer, Michelle Bridges, recently went on a babymoon with her partner, Steve “Commando” Willis, while five months pregnant.
Bridges kept her social media followers up to date by sharing images of the holiday.
The couple received public scrutiny for the nature of their holiday activities and also because Bridges was travelling while pregnant.
Former contestants from The Block, Bec and George Dourous, went on a babymoon to the U.S. earlier this year.
They also received criticism as they shared photos of their overseas holiday.
“I am safe to travel and I am fully insured up until 28 weeks, I will be home before then. I would never go overseas if I didn’t get full clearance from my OBGYN or have FULL insurance,” Douros said in a public post on her Facebook account.
Obstetrician in Melbourne and representative of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Joseph Sgroi, tells upstart that insurance is a big factor to consider when planning a babymoon.
Women can obtain travel insurance for up to 26 weeks gestation through most companies. Some companies offer up to 32 weeks and even fewer provide for the entire gestation period.
It’s currently impossible for pregnant women to obtain travel insurance to cover a birth overseas.
“In Australia at the moment you can’t purchase travel insurance that covers you going into pre-term birth so that if you have the baby overseas at 24 weeks, no insurance policy currently in Australia will cover the cost,” Dr Sgroi says.
He says that travelling in the first trimester won’t increase the risk of miscarriage, but further care should be taken as the pregnancy advances.
“If you’re flying along the east coast of Australia where there’s only a couple of hours in between major capital cities, most airliners will carry you up to 26 weeks,” he says.
“But if you’re going on longer flights from Brisbane to Perth for example, it’s five hours, and there’s nothing to say you couldn’t go into labour, and if you’re hours away from help that will be an issue.”
Dr Sgroi lists deep vein thrombosis and dehydration as significant risks pregnant women may face when flying. He says that radiation from flying high altitudes is no longer considered an issue.
Despite these risks, Dr Sgroi doesn’t discourage babymoons. He says they’re a good opportunity for communication between partners.
“It’s nice to make sure you connect with each other, about what you’re going to expect and what you’re feeling. I always think that’s a good thing,” he says.
Mother-of-two, Julia Smith, took a babymoon while 16 weeks pregnant and tells upstart she didn’t take any special measures before going away.
“If anything drastic had have happened we could have always gone into a local hospital,” she says.
Despite suffering from an unstable pelvis which can cause pain while walking and bending down, Smith’s pregnancies were normal. Her babymoon had no affect on the remainder of her pregnancy or birth.
Smith says she considers babymoons a valuable time to relax without any responsibilities.
“I think taking a couple of days away from any other children you may have to bond with your new unborn addition and your other half, if you have one, is really beneficial,” she says.
However, Dr Sgroi encourages women to to reconsider travelling or to consult with a general practitioner or obstetrician before making any plans.
“You don’t actually have to leave the house [to have a babymoon], I don’t think you have to spend a lot of money and take unnecessary risks by going far away,” he says.
“Just think about it and discuss it with your obstetrician to make sure it’s safe for you to do.”