“One last getaway before the bundle of joy arrives” might be the mantra parents-to-be exclaim as the days and months, with aches and pains, drag on before the big event.
Expecting her first child, recalls Allison Snyder, “I told my husband that all I wanted for my birthday was a getaway where I could relax and recharge my energies — and find a comfortable position for my ever-expanding body.”
Her husband suggested they visit a resort that offered a spa program, where this mom-to-be could be really pampered. Snyder loved the idea, and decided to first consult her obstetrician about what she should — and should not — do.
“My doctor thought a vacation would be wonderful for my husband and me,” she said. “He added that husbands also get stressed during this happy though anxious time. He advised me not to have prolonged exposure to hot water, to avoid steam rooms and Jacuzzis, and said I should check with a trained aromatherapist or reliable source about the oils used in massages.”
A growing number of soon-to-be parents are seeking to escape for their last getaway as an unencumbered, free-spirited couple, whether enjoying a short stay at a nearby locale or even a more distant destination. Last-minute getaways are a sign of changing attitudes toward pregnancy in which couples try to capture a few carefree, romantic days before the big event.
Two such escape packages are the “Prenatal Getaway” at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, N.Y. (914-255-1000) and “The Mother Massage” at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami (1-800-713-6725). There is even an overseas “pregnant pause” getaway: the Byron Pregnancy Retreat in Byron Bay, Australia, that includes gentle dancing, birth-preparation classes, aromatherapy and more.
After a little research, Snyder booked herself into the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club in Florida, where Willow Stream the Spa (305-933-6930) has created “La Mama Tropical” package, a nurturing experience for the mother-to-be by pampering, relaxing, and indulging the body, soul and mind.
In the serene surroundings of a tropical oasis, her day started with a 60-minute “Tropical Garden Facial.” Then, in an aromatic sanctuary, the skin was hydrated with pure essential oils, followed by a foot, scalp and hand massage. This was followed by a 90-minute “Willow Stream Relaxation Massage” that featured a luxurious footbath on a tropical balcony. The blissful day ended with a deluxe pedicure.
“I felt like a new woman,” she recalled, “truly rejuvenated.”
At the Planter’s Inn, in Charleston, S.C. (1-800-845-7082), a “Baby’s on the Way” package presents the mother-to-be with a jar of pickles to fend off cravings, while the future father receives a cigar with cognac to celebrate the future birth. The expectant mother is pampered at the Earthling Day Spa with a one-hour massage, a sugar scrub with lavender and chamomile skin treatment, an essential facial and more. Meanwhile, dads enjoy a 90-minute therapeutic massage.
Upon a couple’s departure, a basket of Charleston specialty gifts showers them with more delights, including a teddy bear for the future new addition.
And the Mountain Home Inn, a resort in Mill Valley, Calif. (415-388-1777), has partnered with Barefoot & Pregnant vacation getaways with spa treatments, prenatal exercise classes, pregnancy-friendly hikes and a healthy, taste-tempting spa menu. A myriad of activities includes childbirth classes; revitalizing yoga; Pilates-based exercise classes; educational seminars; and baby workshops.
The Five Gables Inn & Spa, in nearby St. Michaels, Md. (1-877-466-0100), located in the picturesque Chesapeake Bay area, has created a “Bundle of Joy Package” with two nights’ accommodations. Included in the plan are: a couple’s massage at the Inn’s Aveda Concept Spa; a photo album for before baby’s arrival and after; a CD of lullabies; a coffee mug for dad, filled with coffee beans to ensure he stays awake during late-night feedings; and an insulated backpack filled with Nestlé products.