EA gong sounds and a large, heavy wooden door opens. That’s how they do it with every guest here at the Constance Lemuria resort in the Seychelles. Whoever enters the lobby, which is open to the sea, should cross the threshold to another world. A world made up of white beaches and palm trees in the tropical wind, slurping coconut water, the sound of waves and just letting your soul dangle. A place to dream and relax, which is also expressly open to pregnant women like me.
Welcome to the baby moon! Based on the honeymoon, the honeymoon, the tourism industry offers prospective parents packages under this name for a special holiday that they can experience again as a couple. My husband and I want to take full advantage of this opportunity again. For us, it’s not just about romance in front of a tropical backdrop, but in a certain way also about saying goodbye to togetherness, which is also a new beginning.
Babymoon: When the term first appeared in the 1990s, this is what was originally called the precious time after the birth, when the new parents curl up at home to practice the new threesome together. For about five years, however, Babymoon has been describing a different trend – back then, the first pregnant influencers had provided holiday postings with this hashtag and proudly posed with their ball.
There are well over a million postings on Instagram under #babymoon, and Google spits out almost seven million hits for the search term. Online platforms such as “BabyMoon Travel” or “Babymoon Hotels” provide information about the latest offers in the travel industry. The demand is great.
Seychelles has an advantage for pregnant women
We couldn’t resist either – and with the small miracle in my stomach we consciously traveled far away again. Possibly on the beach. Far away from everyday life, which as it is now will soon be history.
Our room is decorated with pink pom poms, stuffed animals and stars – I must have mentioned I’m expecting a girl. “Happy Babymoon” someone put palm leaf letters on the bed. The mini-bar offers decaffeinated coffee and a non-alcoholic beer to welcome you. We toast and decide to do as little as possible for the coming days.
Of course we could have stayed in Europe for our Babymoon trip. But once again it should be something out of the ordinary as we didn’t have a honeymoon due to the pandemic. A place far away from everything, warm, with a guarantee of good weather, no street noise, with clean air and hardly any jet lag.
In addition to their tropical advantages, which are comparable to those of the Maldives, the Seychelles have another decisive advantage: according to the current state of knowledge, the infectious diseases malaria, yellow fever and Zika virus infections, which are doubly risky for pregnant women, do not occur in the Seychelles.
Above all, the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, can be dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children, says Michael Ramharter, Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute and University Hospital in Hamburg. In the worst case, miscarriages or permanent damage to the child could be the consequences. And: “There is no vaccination.”
With every long-distance trip, there is an increased health risk for pregnant women and their unborn child, which is why Ramharter advises making a well-considered decision. In fact, almost all tropical destinations are considered Zika zones. If it should definitely be an overseas destination and yet comparatively safe for mother and baby, only Mauritius, South Africa and the Seychelles would remain.
Hotels offer babymoon packages
While I’m enjoying our vacation on the beach with a baby bump and a husband without Zika worries, I realize that a lot of what we’re currently experiencing will soon be over for a very long time: sleeping in, living the day, undisturbed togetherness, silence. All the more we enjoy the heavenly peace before the first cry.
Other Babymoon hotels have also adopted this motto, such as the “Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort” on the main island of Mahé. “We want to create memories that last a lifetime,” explains Operations Manager Karthikeyan Pandyan.
The Babymoon packages therefore primarily promise a wonderful absence of noise, which the parents-to-be should remember for a long time when things get loud after the birth. With overnight stays in secluded luxury bungalows, romantic dinners in a secluded bay, soon-to-be massages and a completely child-free environment. Doing nothing as an attraction. “We offer everyone the feeling of being alone here,” says Pandyan.
There is also a “craving phone”. This is what the resort is particularly proud of. “If you’re hungry for food, you can always give us a call and we’ll get what you want. It doesn’t matter how unusual it is.” Of course, people in the kitchen know that raw fish, certain types of cheese or undercooked meat are taboo. “Our chefs are aware of what pregnant women can and can’t eat.”
There’s plenty of time to chat as we scan the horizon for dolphins. About baby names, for example. Of course we will not agree. There’s still a little time. We puzzle over what kind of parents we will be and what kind of child ours will be. We can’t really imagine it yet: what it will be like when a new person comes along.
“Me-time will soon be we-time,” we say, laughing and digging our toes in the sand. We hang on to time, which sloshes back and forth as gently as the sea in front of us. Every now and then the baby gives a gentle kick, as if to say: “I’ve been here for a long time!”
When is vacation during pregnancy advisable?
I chose the 23rd and 24th week of pregnancy for my babymoon. For my midwife, this is the ideal time: “It makes sense if you already have a connection with your child during your journey. Then you feel safer.” The first movements can already be felt, but the baby is still quite small, so I’m reasonably flexible.
And what if something does happen? Anne Marie, for example, is responsible for such rare cases. The resort nurse has a lot of experience in being able to assess when things are serious. “In the last 14 years I have not experienced a single really threatening situation. Most of the pregnant women who come to me have an upset stomach or are overdoing it.”
Just in case, the helicopter flight to Mahé Hospital takes 15 minutes. There is even a preemie station there and appropriately trained staff, says Anne Marie. Luckily I have travel insurance that would fully cover such an unlikely situation. So I don’t think it’s any more unsafe in the Seychelles than at home.
Between sipping non-alcoholic cocktails, star-gazing, snorkeling and belly-in-the-sun, the days just flow by. From time to time my path crosses with other pregnant women. We nod to each other in a friendly manner, the conversations revolve around topics like “Ooooooh? What week are you in?” or “Wonderful, this calm!”
Sometimes one of the free-living, more than 80-year-old giant tortoises shuffles up to me, stretches its little head towards me, lets you scratch its neck and makes smacking noises. Learning from them means practicing leisurely pace. Drifting in the uneventfulness of things is a luxury that I’m only learning to appreciate here. Don’t have to do anything again.
On the last day of our babymoon, my husband and I go through the big, heavy wooden door together again. This time without a gong. As it closes behind us, a new, still completely unknown one slowly opens up. It’s not long until the first cry. We are ready!
Tips and information:
Getting there: For example with Lufthansa or Condor to Mahé, on to Praslin by plane or ferry (catcocos.com).
Travel protection: A suitable foreign travel insurance (e.g. Allianz Travel, HanseMerkur) also pays for measures such as a helicopter flight in the event of unforeseen complications.
Accommodation: All larger hotels in the Seychelles now offer babymoon holidays, some on request. In the luxury segment, for example, the “Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa” on Mahé, seven nights for two people with half board from 4032 euros (hilton.com) or the “Constance Lemuria” on Praslin, seven nights for two people with half board from 6812 euros ( constancehotels.com). The aparthotel “Cote d’Or Chalets” on Praslin is cheaper, seven nights for two guests with breakfast from 2100 euros (cotedorchalets.com).
Babymoon packages in the Seychelles can also be booked through tour operators, with holidaymakers opting for a single resort or experiencing multiple islands. Sey Villas, for example, offers 14 days of “Island Hopping Babymoon Special” including accommodation, half board and transfers between Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, from 4643 euros (seyvillas.com). At FTI, nine days of “babymoon under palm trees” in a five-star hotel on Mahé cost from EUR 4,764 including accommodation, breakfast and flight (fti.de/fti-family/babymoon.html).
Further information: seychelles.com
This is how the babymoon becomes a dream holiday:
Seven tips from midwife Anna Streeb from the Treptow Birth Center in Berlin:
1. If you choose a time after the 13th week of pregnancy, then initial symptoms such as nausea are over and the generally critical phase is over. Attention, from the 28th week it can become difficult.
2. Before you book: Talk to your gynecologist and/or midwife about your plans in good time. Don’t fly if there are concerns.
3. Pregnant women have an increased risk of thrombosis. Have thrombosis stockings fitted for long flights.
4. Get up and walk every two hours during the flight. This is also good for the circulatory system.
5. The real adventure is yet to come. Plan a quiet trip and not a strenuous city trip or even adventure vacation. Less is more. Eating well and healthy, moderate exercise, togetherness and sleeping a lot should be the focus.
6. Wherever you go, always have your maternity card and enough snacks and drinks with you. By the way, you need even more liquid on the plane than usual.
7. Your gut feeling is (almost) always right, listen to it! This is more important than ever during pregnancy.
Participation in the trip was supported by Sey Villas and Constance Hotels, Resorts & Golf. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.com/de/Werte/downloads.