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You've rocked the last nine months, mama. You've conquered morning sickness, overcome swollen ankles, and dealt with every kick your baby threw your way. And now that you're in the home stretch (literally!), you're on your way to a #bossmom labor and delivery. Here are six items that will get you from these last few weeks to the final push.


1. To remove the guesswork of labor: Bloomlife Contraction Monitor

No more asking, “Was that a contraction? Was that a contraction?" Bloomlife is a rentable, award-winning, clinically validated pregnancy wearable that sticks onto your lower belly to help you see, recognize, and track real-time contractions. The Bloomlife app also automatically times and counts for frequency and duration and displays contraction patterns, so you have the information you need to make confident decisions. Even better, you can easily share your results with your partner, relatives, or even your doctor. Once you're done with your sensor, simply send it back to Bloomlife—the shipping is all free!

Pro tip: Ran out of patches? Don't worry! Bloomlife will ship new patches to you for the length of your rental for no additional cost.

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2. To keep that pregnancy glow going: basqNYC Skin Care Collection

We highly suggest a hefty dose of self-care to keep you comfortable during those last few weeks of pregnancy. The basqNYC beauty care line is one of our favorites to treat everything from sensitive, itchy belly skin to the aches and swelling common in the third trimester. They've even got a line to treat that pesky pregnancy acne—genius! And thanks to a commitment to high-quality ingredients and a sizeable “do not use" ingredient list, you can have confidence that you and your baby will both benefit.

Pro tip: Pack the Oh Baby! Hospital Essentials Gift Set in your hospital bag to make your first post-labor shower a spa-like experience. You'll have earned it, trust us!

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3. For a belly-approved seat: URBNfit Exercise Ball

When it comes to labor, what soothes one mama doesn't always work for another—that's why it's good to be prepared. A quality birth ball is the perfect way to try out all those labor positions you learned about in birth class, and it can even help you feel more comfortable in those last few months before baby arrives (because that chair at your desk is seriously not cutting it anymore). The URBNFit ball is made from high-quality PVC material and can be inflated in minutes thanks to the included dual-action inflation pump. Hello, instant relief!

Pro tip: Buy two so you can have a ball at home and work—and keep the extra pump in your hospital bag so you have one less thing to remember when it's go time.

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4. For reliable labor support: The Birth Partner

If we know one thing about birth, it's that it always helps to have an experienced partner. In the fourth edition of Penny Simkin's pregnancy and postpartum guidance book, mamas + partners get expert tips and suggestions for a smooth last few weeks of pregnancy, labor, and beyond. It's also a great resource for anyone who wants to be helpful in the birthing room—looking at you, nervous first dads!

Pro tip: Skip the e-book format for this one in favor a paperback edition. The book is filled with tables and pictures that don't translate as well in the digital edition.

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5. To answer every other question: Momseze

Wouldn't it be great if your doctor or midwife was always by your side to answer every question that came up as you prepped for a new baby? Well, we can't make that happen (sorry), but we've discovered a great alternative: Momseze. This easy to use app connects you with a range of pregnancy, baby, and lactation experts and consultants to answer your every question from the comfort of your home for a reasonable fee—24/7!

Pro tip: A one-month subscription would make a great gift for a new mama.

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6. For a labor gown that gets you: James Fox Co. Birthing Gown

Listen, labor is going to come with plenty of uncomfortable moments. Your birthing gown should not be one of them. Skip the scratchy hospital number in favor of something comfortable and pretty, like a James Fox Co. birthing gown. Made from 100% cotton (and totally “hospital approved," thanks to a back panel that fully unsnaps and snaps on shoulders for easy nursing and skin-to-skin bonding post birth), these soft, feminine gowns are a definite upgrade—plus they'll look gorgeous in all your new mama photos.

Pro tip: After the big day, machine wash your gown with cold water and hang to dry to maintain the softness. Because you should totally wear this while you recover at home!

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Brought to you by Motherly in partnership with Bloomlife. For more info on our advertising guidelines, click here. We only include products we've tested and loved in MotherlyLoves. Through affiliate programs, we may receive a revenue percentage if you purchase through our website.

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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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