Are you pregnant and thinking about how to best use your time before baby arrives? What about after baby is on the scene? If you are looking for a meaningful way to bond with your baby while learning the 'art' of being a mother then a Babymoon might just be for you.
If you search for ‘Babymoon’ on Google this is the first thing that pops up “That's just a fancy way of saying short holiday for expectant couples, squeezed somewhere between the time morning sickness eases off and you get too big to want to go anywhere.”
Generally, the idea behind a "Babymoon" is to try and take a holiday before the new baby arrives as you assume life and holidays will never be the same again so you’d better get it in now. The idea of a Babymoon also seems to say that this baby is going to ruin your life and you are never going to have fun again, what a shame that this idea is so common these days and a lot of expectant mums feel like they better do it too 'before its too late.'
There are some who are pushing to give the term Babymoon a meaning that is more in tune with its origins, the term 'Honeymoon' which also sends a far more valuable message about pregnancy, birth and the newborn period.
The tradition of the Honeymoon started long ago in Europe when a newly married couple (who may have barley known each other) were given one lunar month alone together in their new martial home and were plied with honey mead while their family and friends took care of all the work they would usually need to do. I’m not sure if this sounds appealing or not but the basic principle of taking time out to just be together and get to know each other without having to worry about chores and usual day to day activities is a great analogy for successfully navigating those early first few weeks and months with a new baby.
Wouldn’t it be great if taking this kind of Babymoon was standard practice in our culture? Life with a new baby takes time, most of your time in fact and many mums complain that they can barely find the time to shower never mind make dinner and keep the washing under control. Wouldn’t it be great if Mum and her partner didn’t need to worry about these things and could instead focus on their baby, meeting her needs knowing that their support network is there to make sure that the dishes still get done and there is fresh wholesome food ready for them in the fridge?
Many cultures, particularly in Asia still practice these kinds of Babymoons except we like to call it confinement, which frankly sounds awful. How long would you like to be ‘confined’ for? What actually happens during these periods of confinement is that mum and her family are nurtured while they take time to heal and get use to this new little person in their lives.
We may not have the tradition of confinement in our culture anymore but there are still things we can do to create a similar environment. It all starts by setting out firmly a time period for which you would like to take your ‘Babymoon’ and making it clear to family and friends that you will need their support during this period. You may want to limit any visitors to strictly only grandparents during this time or only one at a time for no more than an hour visit.
You could ask friends or family to bring meals or have them ready in your freezer. You could also hire a cleaner to come twice a week during this time period (great baby shower gift idea!) and just generally be aware and have everyone else in your life aware that for the first perhaps three weeks after baby’s arrival you will be on your Babymoon, not answering emails or taking mobile phone calls, not doing the laundry or possibly even getting out of bed depending on how you feel. Making this commitment to a set time period also sends a signal to yourself that you are going to let things go and commit to resting, recuperating and bonding with your new baby.
So who needs Bali when you have a newborn and a fridge full of goodies! Embrace your Babymoon and take charge of your postpartum experience.
Hello, my name is Celeste. I am a postnatal doula, a breastfeeding counselor and a mother.