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Baby bump, will travel — a how-to packing guide for pregnant bellies

TANYA ENBERG, Chic Savvy Travels TANYA ENBERG, Chic Savvy Travels

There sit the skinny jeans. And the hip-huggers, along with the shapely boot cuts. Oh, and the sexy fitted off-white jeans purchased in Stockholm, Sweden — worn a total of two times. They will not be joining me on my upcoming trip to Cayo Largo, Cuba. None of these aforementioned items will be, actually.

As Operation Suitcase Packing got underway last night, I was forced to face the innards of my wardrobe.

Photo Credit: iStock

Essentially, it is filled with items that no longer fit over my volleyball-sized belly, which is temporarily playing the role of house and all-you-can-eat buffet.

See, it is now home to our baby, my partner’s and mine, a baby I hope will be born bouncy and healthy and happy.

I also hope that this small stranger living inside me will have at least some appreciation for the hauling around of a rounded tummy and the extra difficulty this tends to bring to otherwise simple tasks, such as jogging, walking up stairs and, sometimes, just staying upright without losing balance.

Oh, and if our baby could additionally have some appreciation for the incredibly tasty, yet healthy, food I’ve been feasting on for these past months (without the accompaniment of a fragrant, full-bodied wine), that would be great, too.

Small sidenote here, relating to the word volleyball. On sunny mornings (when the orangey, yellow glow is bursting through my curtains like a big morning kiss) I’ve woken up recalling slight variations of the same dream several times now.

In it, I am heading to the beach to kick off my flip flops and feel the golden sand granules between my toes during a marathon of sweaty beach volleyball.

Then, it dawns on me — my upcoming summer will be carried out sans volleyball. We will be welcoming our baby, who will also — surprisingly wise beyond those dizzy newborn days — have an appreciation for my missing v-ball as well.

Yes, I know, I know, volleyball is not a monster issue, but hey, I will not apologize for where my subconscious mind travels.

Packing, not too long ago, was an easy affair. It involved tossing, somewhat hastily, a pile of cute wears, an appropriate number of functional shoes, and a bag of personal grooming goodies into a suitcase and going.

The task at hand now is anything but simple.

I find it odd to be going to a beach destination without a beach-bod in tow. It has been replaced by a baby-beach bod. But it gets better — Cayo Largo gets top billing among the nudist crowd. Yippee!

Certainly nothing can make a pregnant chick feel more svelte, sexy and confident in her ever-changing body than a bunch of non-pregnant nudists prancing about.

I realize, of course, my anxiety is nothing more than an indulgent moment of flippant vanity. Still, doesn’t make packing any simpler, does it?

So, out came the summery selections. Read: Out came the roomy and forgiving summery selections, the new beachwear du jour, if you will.

I’ve purchased a belly-friendly bathing suit from a rather evil corporation I’d prefer not name (due to complete humiliation for actually perusing its clothing racks); have packed the handful of maternity clothes I’ve borrowed from a friend because, when it comes to spending money on items with a short shelf life, I’d prefer to borrow than own, and tossed in the few stylish items that, thankfully, still fit.

Had they not, I suppose I could always take up with the non-clothing club, volleyball-belly and all. I am breathing a big sigh of relief that it didn’t come to that.

Here are my top packing tips for pregnant travelers:

• Don’t get too bummed when the little halter top you once wore suddenly rides up so high, it has almost become a bra. Save skin (and emotional well-being) by skipping the teeny, tiny items. Remember, it’s temporary, and you’ll be flaunting your pre-pregnancy wardrobe in no time.

• Accessories are your best friend. While you may be feeling squishier than ever, accessories know no size. Pack them liberally, along with a dazzling clutch or two to dazzle up those maternity wears for nice evenings out.

• For beach destinations, I highly recommend sarongs. The waist ties mean they’re flexible in size and will be kind to your growing belly. Added bonus: They can also serve as an excellent lightweight, quick-dry beach towel as well.

• Comfort needn’t be unsexy. Going somewhere warm? This is the chance to play up your cute belly with pretty summer dresses and flowing skirts. Stay clear of restrictive buttons or zippers around the waistline and instead opt for elastic waist bands or drawstrings for the best relief.

• I finally caved and gave maternity jeans a try. A friend lent them to me and swore by them, but I struggled to wrap my head around the extra bit of stretchy fabric designed to cover and support the belly — and my personal belief that denim should never, ever have an elastic waist band! But, I’ve come around — they are my new best bud. Seriously comfortable and they look almost as good as regular jeans … honest!

• Find a bathing suit that is comfortable and supportive. This may not be the time for a string bikini, gals. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there. Get suited up in a tankini, boy-cut briefs or sporty one-piece (helpful if you’re planning on snorkeling or doing other water activities).

Most of all, have fun with it. This may just be your last time traveling without bottles to pack, diapers to change, and baby cries to tend to. Happy travels!

Copyright @ 2012 Chic Savvy Travels

Date Added: February 23, 2012 | Comments (0)

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