Just when you thought “babymoon” getaways were hip, a new pregnancy celebration shows up. That’s right: The “hatchelorette” party is here, and boy is it a thing. Instead of a "final fling before the ring," the hatchelorette is a last hurrah before the baby carriage — a time for expecting moms to bond with friends before their new baby arrives (and before they find out just how good they had it before). And of course, it’s great Instagram fodder. But is this yet another hoop we're being prodded to jump through? Is it just a social media annoyance? A party for the privileged? Or actually a really fun idea?
Writer Laura Lane coined the phrase “hatchelorette” when she went on a girls getaway to celebrate her impending bundle of joy instead of having the traditional baby shower. As Lane explains it on PureWow: Bachelorette + hatching a baby = hatchelorette. It’s all about spending time with pals, sans booze (well, there might be a little rosé). Yoga, spas, pool time, lounging… all work perfectly at the hatchelorette. “Baby showers lacked the ‘fun’ part of celebrating for me,” says Lane, “so I wanted a change!”
Lane’s celebration with 12 friends included a two-night getaway at a Malibu rental home, (organic) crafts, movie night, pool lounging, games (like “Pregnant or Porn?”), a private chef, yoga, a “flower mandala ceremony,” hairstylists for a “braid bar” (also a thing) and swag bags for guests. “Let it be known that throwing a hatchelorette was by far the best decision I’ve made while pregnant,” Lane tells SheKnows. But would you make that decision? And how many pre-baby events are too many, anyway?
First, you’ve got the classic baby shower. (Lane substituted her hatchelorette for the baby shower, opting for a getaway instead of a boring event where friends oooh and ahhh over onesies.) Then there’s the potential gender-reveal party, babymoon, and maybe even a meet-n-greet or a "show and sip" after the baby's born. These are all separate events, says etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer, coauthor of Access to Asia. “Babymoons are great ways for couples to bond together before they embark on their new roles as parents. With the hatchelorette, the focus is on friends and not the couple.”
And how many parties you have is totally up to you from an etiquette standpoint, though Schweitzer adds, “The mama-to-be may want to seek advice from trusted friends about how much is too much.” But Schweitzer thinks a hatchelorette is a great idea. “When pregnant women are happy, they want to share their joy with their friends, extended family and colleagues,” she says.
But what do moms think? We polled a few who haven't yet experienced the hatchelorette phenomenon about whether they think it sounds brilliant or excessive.
“This is everything,” says Frankie Norstad, mom and host of the podcast Little Miss Addict of the hatchelorette, “Better than a baby shower.“ She hasn't had a hatchelorette but is already mentally planning one: “Let’s go to a spa and lie down while I get a pregnancy massage, a facial, a pedicure, a tarot reading, some reiki treatment and any other hippy bullshit. And then give me a bunch of cards to tell me how I don't look fat and how this child isn't going to ruin my vagina forever.”
Mom Carly Mottinger isn’t quite so keen. “What kind of a kick-ass time are you going to have while pregnant?” she asks. “I would much rather have a party where people take turns bringing me Taco Bell and rubbing my feet. Also, I would refuse to go to any hatchelorette if it involved a pregnant person wearing a sash or crown. That’s a deal-breaker for me.” Sounds reasonable.
Comedian and mom Lauren O’Brien thinks a hatchelorette sounds awful. “I'm a bah-humbug that already has enough of my weekends dedicated to bridal and baby showers, reveal parties, engagement parties and birthday parties, so I'd be like, ‘Fine,’ and go. But then I'd probably get inappropriately drunk and have a great time.” So it’s a maybe from O’Brien?
But you have to admit there are serious resources required to throw this type of fete. “Who has the time, money or energy to do this?” wonders mom and writer Lisa Hirsch Lozano. “When I was pregnant, I was saving all my vacation days to use during maternity leave. This honestly sounds incredibly privileged.” And it's true; a hatchelorette at a Malibu beach house with a private chef and braid bar is absolutely not in the cards for most moms. That said, perhaps a more affordable version of a "hatchelorette" (a good old-fashioned slumber party at someone's house?) could still be feasible.
Jennifer Jackson missed out on a baby shower (not to mention a babymoon) because she delivered her baby early. “It seems like a lot of pressure,” she says, pointing out that if hatchelorettes become widespread, it’ll be one more event that those who experience pregnancy complications, are mandated bed rest or go through premature birth will miss out on.
But even disregarding price tag and health issues, plenty of people will balk at the idea of yet another over-the-top, Pinterest-inspired life event that women might feel pressured to have/attend. “If you want to go get away with girlfriends to relax before baby comes, then cool,” says mom Allegra Hollenbeck, who works as a therapist. “But why make it into a whole thing? It sounds exhausting.”
It does. And when your body is busy creating a human, you may not feel up to party-orchestrating or traveling, period. Or maybe you’re one of those glowing, lucky preggos who are just full of energy. If that’s case, enjoy your hatchelorette — because before you know it, you’ll be trading in that yoga for My Gym and those chef-cooked meals will be a distant memory as you scarf down leftover baby food pouches.