It’s a commonly held belief that newlyweds need some alone time after saying “I do”, but now more and more expectant parents are also seeking a getaway before being swept away into the land of diaper changes and sleepless nights.
That’s exactly what Susan Shapiro of Toronto thought when she and her husband Ryan van Maurik planned their babymoon when Susan was 31 weeks pregnant. Married just before the arrival of their now seven-month old son, Ethan, Susan and Ryan wanted to celebrate the new stage of their life. After consulting with her doctor, Susan felt the risks were minimal. “My pregnancy had been really great. There were no indications that anything would happen,” she says.
On the last day of her Mexican vacation, Susan experienced terrible stomach pains and was taken to a private hospital. The doctor’s first thought was contractions, but it was later assumed her pains were caused by food poisoning. After two days in the hospital, Susan was given permission to fly home. Even though Susan’s food poisoning wasn’t related to her pregnancy, her hospital bill wasn’t covered by insurance (a common scenario as most insurance companies won’t provide travel health insurance after 31 weeks gestation), leaving her to foot the $2000 hospital bill plus their missed flight home.
Dr. Gideon Koren, Director of Motherisk Programs at the Hospital for Sick Children, says travel up to 36 weeks of pregnancy is typically safe for women who have had normal pregnancies and even argues a babymoon can be a great idea to relieve stress and give expectant moms the right energy to get through the rest of the pregnancy and labour.
Originally published in ParentsCanada Best Wishes, Fall 2014.