During pregnancy, the relationship you have with your partner goes through a transition. Together, you begin to experience a natural shift between what was and what will be. It’s an exciting, magical and beautiful time that also comes with its share of many sleepless nights, emotional ups and downs and fears and worries.

These are the months when it’s important to build a foundation and prepare to embrace the changes as a partnership. That’s why planning a babymoon (like a honeymoon) is the perfect opportunity to connect intimately with your partner and celebrate what was and what’s to come. It’s important to take the time to recharge, connect, and relax to enjoy the calm before the storm.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while planning your babymoon + my FAVE suggestions on where to book your trip:

TIP #1: Destination Relaxation

It’s important to feel refreshed, rather than depleted before birth and new parenthood. A babymoon gives you both the chance to recharge before the sleepless nights and dirty diapers. It’s beneficial, not only you and your partner—but your baby, as well.

With that said, I suggest ditching the full itinerary. Allow yourselves to go with the flow and dial in on the downtime, whether it’s lounging under a beach umbrella or a day at the spa (a prenatal/couples massage is always a good idea!)

TIP #2: Get Your Sexy On

The moment you become pregnant, it’s all about the baby. If you aren’t running to your numerous doctor appointments, you are stocking up on baby gear and nesting for the new arrival. It can be exhausting for anyone involved.

A babymoon is an excuse to switch gears and bring that romance alive. Isn’t vacation the best aphrodisiac? Before long, you’ll be worried about getting walked in on, so take advantage of it…and get your sexy on!

During pregnancy, sex and physical intimacy are incredibly beneficial. For example, it provides better sleep, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, decreased stress levels to boost self-esteem and happiness, and a comfortable labor and delivery. Also, according to a Danish study, frequent sex may help prevent preeclampsia. Researchers believe it’s because of a protein found in sperm that can regulate the body’s immune system.

TIP #3: Do Your Research

Before booking a trip, do your research when it comes to health outbreaks (like Zika) to protect your growing family. The CDC issues up-to-date travel advisories, both domestic and international, on their website here.

Not only is it important to consider the safety of the destination, but also the safety of your journey. Airlines have set travel restrictions to cut off pregnant women from flying after 36 weeks due to increased complications.

To play it safe, I always suggest a babymoon right before the 28-week mark. This period proves to be more enjoyable anyway; because the morning sickness is behind you (hopefully) and the exhaustion from the third trimester hasn’t set in.

TIP #4: Keep Your Team on Speed Dial

Always, always, always consult your doctor/midwife and doula before traveling and get the thumbs up. It also helps them to know to be on alert if you need them or have any questions. It’s also smart to ask them advice about medical faculties in the area, just in case. The primary goal is to keep you comfortable, but most importantly—healthy.

TIP #5: Stress-Proof Your Travel Day

Remember that your babymoon is about relaxation—so keep your travel day as stress-free as possible. Think carefully about what it will take to get to your destination and be realistic about the time you can take off from work or your everyday life.  Would you be okay sitting on a flight for 3+ hours? Would you instead jet off somewhere more local? These are the questions to ask yourself and to discuss with your partner.

Luckily, there are ways to stay comfortable while flying the friendly skies…you just have to prepare for them. Here’s my quick list:

  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing
  • Bring a towel and roll it up place it on your lower back for support, as well as a neck pillow.Stay SUPER hydrated. Dehydration can restrict blood flow and circulation to the uterus and placenta which can increase the risk of blood clots.
  • Bring healthy snacks to munch on. Avoid salt, greasy and gas producing foods (broccoli, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks) before and while traveling. To be safe, bring mint and/or ginger tea to help with trapped gas that often happens when at high altitude.
  • Take vitamin C (1,000 mg) while flying for a little immune boost. I love Emergen-C, which is a powder supplement you can add to your water.Elevate your legs by putting your feet up on a carry-on bag.
  • Wear compression socks or stockings to prevent swelling and clotting. I love the brands, Belly Bandit and Tootsies.
  • Wear a motion sickness wristbands that can help with sickness when traveling.
  • Stand, stretch and walk the cabin every hour to get circulation moving.
  • I personally always avoid walking through the (AIT) Advanced Imagery Technology scanners. They are the ones you stand in and they spin around you. I suggest for everyone to go through the metal detectors instead and opt for a pat down to avoid extra radiation.
  • Pack light! You won’t be able to lug around a bunch of suitcases and it’s a decision that your partner will appreciate!

Alright, mamas. Now for the fun part! Here are a few top-rated babymoon destinations that will provide the perfect recharge for you and your partner:

1. The Cliffs Resort—Pismo Beach, CA 

The hotel provides a “Baby Makes 3” package that includes a welcome basket with diapers and a onesie for baby, a $50 voucher for dinner at the Sea Cliffs Restaurant, an in-room movie with ice cream delivery, breakfast in bed, two massages and a bottle of wine to commemorate your last weekend as a pair once you’re able to drink again.

2. Amangiri—Canyon Point, UT

Each of Amangiri’s 34 private suites has courtyard access, king-sized beds, dressing rooms, twin rain showers, soaking tubs, and private lounges with a fireplace/resting mattress for a night under the desert stars.

3. Four Seasons Resort Lanai—Hawaii

A relaxing tropical escape that is safe from Zika and other health outbreaks.

4. Ojai Valley Inn—Ojai, CA 

Ojai is only 90 minutes away from Los Angeles, but you’ll feel like you are worlds away from the hustle and bustle. The inn sits on 220 acres of oak trees prime for exploring and includes a 31,000-square-foot spa, multiple pools, and five dining options. When you book the inn’s babymoon package, not only will you enjoy daily breakfast for two, you’ll also get a 50-minute expectant mother massage.

5. L’Auberge de Sedona—Sedona, AZ 

The L’Auberge de Sedona has European charm and all the amenities you need for a babymoon, with a maternity massage that will specialize in the stage of pregnancy you’re currently experiencing.

6. The Little Nell-Aspen, CO

There’s nothing more romantic than gazing at the stars with the one you love. And luckily, The Little Nell offers private stargazing tours, complete with sweet treats and refreshing drinks. After the romance, Aspen offers its share of art and culture including galleries, ballet, and live music from around the world.

7. Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa-Montauk, NY

The Hamptons will forever be a chic escape, but it’s also an incredibly relaxing environment for you and your partner. Enjoy a Mommy-To-Be massage or take a dip in the resort’s indoor ocean water pool. Also, the Hamptons is known for its shopping, so mamas…treat yourself!

8. The Parker- Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs has always been a quick weekend getaway for Californians. Surrounded by fruit trees and herb gardens, The Parker is the perfect place to decompress. Begin your day at the spa, followed by a dip in the pool or games on the grass. And in the evening, stay on the grounds for a reservation for dinner at Mister Parker and a cozy fire before bedtime. Plus, the decor is a literal daydream!
Can’t get away? Plan a budget-friendly staycation. Here are a few ideas to unwind and connect with your partner, right in your own backyard:

  • Enjoy a guilt-free lazy weekend at home. Power down your laptops and cell phones, sleep in and spend the day in cozy pajamas. A bed and breakfast in your area can be a budget-friendly escape, too. Here’s a website that narrows down the best options in your city!
  • Recreate your first date and reminisce about the love that started it all, whether it’s a romantic dinner or a night at the movies.
  • You don’t need to book a room at a resort to enjoy a day at the spa. Spend a day there and book a few treatments specifically for soon-to-be mama’s and their partners, like a couple’s massage or a relaxing facial.
  • Create a “bucket list” in your city, including all of the sights you’ve wanted to explore together but haven’t gotten the chance. Bring a camera and document the day—it will be a fun memory to look back on (and to show your baby one day!)