As you may have seen from my Instagram, Ste and I have been on the most wonderful babymoon to Santorini recently. I was kind of stuck about what I should take, because despite years of packing practice, I’ve never travelled pregnant before and I wasn’t sure of what special things I should take or leave. I did a bit of research and based on that and what I used and needed whilst away, here is my ultimate guide on to how to pack for a babymoon.
This is both the easiest and hardest thing! Easy because it’s basically like packing for any holiday – obviously you need clothes which fit, are comfortable, and suit the climate … hard because you may not have any clothes which fit suitable to the climate! Since I went to the Greek Islands in May with an average temperature of 27 degrees, I needed summer clothes. Of course, it was cold and wet in the UK for weeks before we went, so I didn’t really have any summery maternity gear, so I had to buy a few dresses in advance of my trip. I got some lightweight short ones for walking around during the heat of the day, and a few maxis for the evenings as the temperature cooled off quite significantly. This one from Bump It Up Maternity* was perfect – I loved the sleeves and it looked quite glamorous too I think. (It looks like it might be a bit see-through in certain strategic places (!) in this pic, but that is just the evening sun).
Make sure you check the weather where you are going and pack accordingly. Maternity swimwear is also a good idea – my normal bikini bottoms still fit, but felt very skimpy, so I bought a fab pair of bottoms for £6 from George at Asda which were brilliant – you can wear them up over the bump or folded down, depending on how confident you are feeling. I also had to buy a couple of new bikini tops as my old ones were several cup sizes too small (thanks pregnancy) so make sure you try things on a few weeks in advance to give you time to buy new if you need to.
2. Comfy shoes
I optimistically took a pair of usually very comfy wedge heels with me, but they stayed in my suitcase! We did a lot of walking and my feet swelled much more in the heat than they normally would when not pregnant, so there was no question of wearing them. It was flip flops and Birkenstocks and my Saltwaters all the way, and even then the first thing I did when getting back to the hotel in the evening after a day out was stand in the blissfully cool pool for ten minutes to cool and soothe them! Your comfiest shoes may not be your most stylish, but believe me, you will be glad of them. Especially if you’re planning on exploring villages and old towns with streets like these:
This is the maybe the most obvious difference to my usual packing. There are a whole bunch of invaluable items which I cannot live without at the moment which had to come with me on holiday. I’ll be talking more about these soon in my upcoming pregnancy essentials post, but briefly, take a sufficient supply of your daily pregnancy vitamins and anything you think you might need and don’t want to have to try asking for in a Greek pharmacy (or any other pharmacy for that matter, I find it hard enough asking for some of this stuff in the UK!) e.g. natural laxatives, heartburn liquid, decongestant, haemorrhoid cream. Pack all of these in a handy little ‘preggo bag’ so they’re to hand and all in one place (and maybe keep them packed once you get home – handy for weekends away and days out too). Make sure you put this bag in your checked luggage as most of it will take up precious space in your liquids bag for hand luggage, and some will violate hand luggage rules (especially a bottle of Gaviscon).
4. Support items
If you’re flying off on your babymoon you need compression socks. The risks of developing DVT are much greater whilst pregnant and you should be aware of this and report any issues with pain, swelling and redness in your legs straight away to a doctor, even up to a few weeks after returning. So a good pair of compression socks to wear on the plane is a must-have. I bought mine in Boots at the airport for £13.99. I could probably have got them cheaper if I had thought about it in advance, but we were a bit pre-occupied with having holes knocked in our house! These were fine to wear on the flight out, though quite tricky to get on, but on the way back the plane was far too warm and I found them absolute torture. It was generally a very uncomfy return trip, perhaps there is a reason they only let you fly to 32 weeks (I was 32 weeks + 5 days!).
I also have a sacroiliac belt (mine is from Serola) which has been a saviour for me on long dog walks in terms of helping with pelvic girdle pain and general aches, and I brought it with me to Santorini. I wore it a couple of times, once whilst walking up Nea Kameni volcano (it is pretty discreet under a dress, you can’t tell I am wearing it here) and once while climbing up Pyrgos to the top of the castle.
I had been told the latter was quite a climb – I didn’t actually really need it as it wasn’t much at all compared to Yorkshire hills we encounter daily, but I was still glad to have it with me. If you are using something similar and plan on doing any long walks whilst away (not too long – nobody wants baby to actually be born on the babymoon!) it is certainly worth taking.
5. Insurance, Fit to Fly letter and Maternity Notes
You will need to do a bit of research as to the rules for your airline/holiday company about when you can fly til, but between 28 weeks and 32 weeks you will almost certainly need a Fit to Fly letter from your GP/midwife so make sure you book an appointment to get one of these prior to your trip. I was 32 weeks and 5 days when I returned from holiday – two days later and they would not have allowed me to fly, so please do check carefully, it isn’t worth jeopardising your romantic last break as a couple with a date error. (32 weeks does seem to be the cut off with many airlines, and you will really struggle to find insurance after 32 weeks as well, so this should be a consideration when booking).
At whatever stage of pregnancy you travel, you should take your maternity notes with you. In particular, the form which shows your blood type is the important one if you don’t want to take the whole folder. This could save precious time in the awful event that you end up needing blood. Fingers crossed you’ll never even need to take them out of your suitcase, but it is better to have them than not.
Pregnancy travel insurance took quite a bit of googling and a couple of calls to an insurance provider before I was sure I had understood it properly, so maybe this will save you some effort. It turns out that pregnancy is not actually a medical condition of any sort and therefore you do not need to inform your insurer about it. There are pregnancy specific insurance policies, but I was assured that a regular policy will cover you for medical assistance up to a certain stage of pregnancy – generally 32 weeks, but again, check with the specific insurer – I couldn’t find any who would insure past 32 weeks. I would say that unless you are having a difficult pregnancy and are likely to have medical issues whilst away, a normal insurance policy will cover you for every eventuality, but you may want to pay extra for total peace of mind that the insurance is specifically for pregnant women and will also cover your baby if born early (like this one, which is the only one I could find for the UK (via a NetMums thread, so not the easiest to find out about!)). We usually have annual insurance that is fairly basic in terms of medical, but I decided to take out a policy just for this holiday with better medical cover just in case. Make sure to take the relevant phone numbers with you and keep them in a safe place in case you need assistance.
So, there you have it! How to pack for a babymoon is basically mostly common sense, but there are a few things you may not have thought about so hopefully this has been helpful. The most important thing though is to relax and enjoy yourself, and don’t overdo it. I found the kicks and rolls and movement in my tummy was much stronger on the days I relaxed by the pool on a sunlounger in the sunshine and it was so lovely to have the time to be able to lie there and just enjoy the sensations. I wish you, your partner and your precious little bump an amazing holiday (and do add your thoughts on my list or any other suggestions in the comments below – I’d love to hear them).
*Bump It Up Maternity very kindly provided me with this dress to review. All thoughts on it are my own. For more information on my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.