No matter what time of year you deliver, the final weeks of pregnancy can be, to put it mildly, challenging . I gave birth to two late summer babies nine and fifteen years ago respectively, but still remember the discomfort and frustrations like it was yesterday. I was a sweaty mess, but also, I never had to contend with fighting to get snow boots on my feet while carting around a watermelon belly. Checks and balances, right?

It’s a time that you alternatively want to last forever and also can’t stand one more minute of. On one hand, aw ! These are the final days of feeling their kicks and hiccups! And on the other: It’s the final days of an actual human performing Riverdance on your bladder. If you’re currently making it through the final weeks of pregnancy, we’ve pooled our collective experiences to gather up the must-haves that can make the home stretch just a little more liveable. Best of luck!

Honest Co. dead sea salt bath + mineral soak for pregnancy

Honest Co. dead sea salt bath and mineral soak for pregnancy So long as they’re not hot enough to raise your body temperature, baths are an über pregnant mama’s BFF. They can help relieve some of the aches and pains, make sleep easier, and just make you feel (deservingly) pampered. The simple but nourishing Dead Sea salt bath + mineral soak from Honest Co. has been a must-have for mom of four (and Motherly’s co-founder) Liz Tenety through each of her pregnancies.

Omega DHA supplements

Honest Company DHA In my experience, growing a person in my uterus meant the rest of my body was like, “Oh, sorry, can’t help with that! Got bigger fish to fry!” So weird things started to happen like even the tiniest cut would get infected, or I’d get congested for seemingly no reason. But most uncomfortable of all, one day, my eyes just started burning . Like couldn’t open them, tearing like mad, couldn’t leave the house kind of burning. With research, I realized it’s common to struggle with dry eyes during pregnancy (which threw me because watery eyes seem the opposite of dry, but you learn something every day, right?). I tried a dozen different drops, which helped in the short term, but once I started taking Omega DHA supplements, it cleared up completely. Small miracles. ??

Electrolyte powder

Hydrant electrolyte powder During this home stretch of pregnancy I find myself getting suddenly SO THIRSTY out of nowhere (this happens with hunger, too). So hydration is key for me as I continue to nurse my toddler + try to keep my body prepped for go-time. I love coconut water as a natural electrolyte source, and have also taken to dropping an electrolyte supplement powder in my water bottle at least 1x/day to help me feel stronger and more prepared for the work ahead. I’ve also been known to pair either with a little seltzer + ice in a wine glass at night if I’m feeling festive :dancer: Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

Sitz bath

Sitz bath Let’s be real. The final days of pregnancy aren’t the sexiest. I mean, maybe for some blessed people out there, but speaking from my own experience, nope. Same goes for the items that make those days a bit more bearable. In fact, this sitz bath might even be the least sexy thing you buy besides enemas if it comes to that. But hear me out. EMBRACE it. Put your comfort first, ease up on whatever scraps of dignity you’re holding onto and channel your inner Chrissy Teigen . Then fill this plastic savior with warm water and your choice of epsom salts, herbs, witch hazel, or sea salt and nest it right in your toilet. Perch on top for a bit, letting the steam relieve everything from hemorrhoids to dryness. It also will come in handy in those postpartum weeks when everything is tender and working its way back to normal.

Blanqui shorts

Blanqui shorts These Blanqui shorts helped with that feeling of “omg my belly is so heeavy” during the last weeks of pregnancy. It gets a double shout out because it also helped prevent me from getting chub rub and made walking a bit more comfortable, and by walking I mean from the couch to the toilet and back. -Motherly Editor

Earth Mama herbal perineal spray

Earth Mama Perineal Spray Consider this your sitz bath on-the-go. I kept this in the fridge to spritz my bits throughout the day to soothe itching and discomfort. It was a legit lifesaver. And trust me when I say you’re going to want to have an ample supply after delivery as well.

A sound machine

Yogasleep Dohm Connect Sound Machine I might be in the minority, but my sleep was worse in the final weeks of pregnancy than it was in the first few weeks with a new baby. My cholestastis-induced itching was worse at night, keeping me wide awake and grappling with my sanity. So when I finally DID manage to fall asleep, the bang of a snowplow or barking dog waking me up would have me in tears. A sound machine provided that much-needed sleep insurance policy. This one is not only a classic, but it also can be controlled through an app so you don’t have to get up to adjust the volume once you’re comfy.

Belly Band

Belly Bandit 2-in-1 pregnancy hip and belly wrap Walking around near the end of my pregnancies felt like at any moment my hips could just turn to jello. Stabilizing that part of my frame not only felt more comfortable but it also just felt like good sense. This simple wrap helps support your hips, back and belly both when you’ve got a baby on board and in those first weeks postpartum.

Nurture & glider

Nurture& glider The Nurture& glider has been like a pregnancy self-care tool for me—it’s a little oversized but has clean lines, is firm and super comfortable. It has been a great way to elevate my feet while reading, unwinding with some TV at night or getting some work done. I love how the width of the seat can comfortably fit me (and my full-term belly) + my 2YO for storytime or nursing, and I know I’ll spend countless nursing hours here when my new baby is born. The two thoughtful features I love the most: the fabric is incredibly spill-proof (!) but still non-toxic, and the arms have a low profile, which I find ideal for using a nursing pillow and/or keeping your sitting options flexible. The power recline settings are great for when you have a baby on your lap and hands are in short supply, and the USB plug-in is a nice touch, too, for the times when you trapped under a nursing or sleeping babe + your phone inevitably dies. So if you’re looking for a splurge item, and a quality piece of furniture that can live in your nursery and beyond—this is a great option to look into. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama

products for end of pregnancy 10 My one regret about never being pregnant again is that I won’t ever get to experience having my brilliant friend and colleague (who also happens to be a Certified Nurse Midwife) coach me through it. This is not true for you, however, because she wrote Motherly’s Guide to Becoming Mama—a book that I could only have dreamed of a decade ago. It’s filled with down-to-earth encouragement, non-judgmental advice and answers to your middle of the night questions that put your mind at ease. It’s like having your very smart doula BFF perched right on your nightstand.

Cosmic Kids yoga program

Cosmic Kids Yoga Program The Cosmic Kids Yoga program is one of my most favorite mom hacks—especially when I’m too exhausted from gestating and need my kids to reset or self-entertain while I catch a quick moment of relief on the couch. Both my 5 1/2 and 2 year olds get fully engaged in these colorful yoga videos, and I really do think they benefit from the movement + mindfulness practice. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

The First Forty Days by Heng Ou

The First Forty Days by Heng Ou This book is like a warm security blanket for me in the final stretch of pregnancy and through the fourth trimester. I have followed her sage (and time-tested) advice on postpartum self-care and nourishment in a lot of ways—stocking my pantry with her recommended healing foods and creating a lot of her easy and nutritious recipes. I find the ritual of cooking postpartum meals during these final weeks as a great way to mentally prepare before you cross over to this new phase of your family. My favorite recipes within: Chicken, red dates + ginger soup, joyful green smoothie, her granola + ceremonial hot chocolate. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

Clothes that make you feel like yourself

Dr. martens 1460 Speaking of New England weather— these shoes are the only ones on my feet these days. I’ve been wearing 1460s forever and keeping them on during pregnancy helps me feel like myself while the rest of my appearance gets a bit weirder each day. Keeping them untied is clutch for when bending down is a little too much to handle. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

Extra long handled shoe horn

extra long handled shoe horn On that note, it might not come to this, but if it does, no judgement.

Or Formé to help stretch your shoes

FORMu00c9 SHOE SHAPERS Feet grow when you are pregnant (and if you are unlucky like me, stay bigger after baby is earth side), these shoe shapers by Formé will help you slightly stretch your fave shoes to make them more comfortable during the most uncomfortable days. -Motherly Editor

Moisturizer specifically created for pregnancy

Matrescence brilliance protection Pregnancy can cause all kinds of skin freak-outs like acne, dryness, dark spots and hyperpigmentation which in regular life, there are a million creams and potions for fixing. But when you’re pregnant, not everything is safe to slather on your face. I made my way through a lot of pregnancy-safe products but have generally found they don’t pack the same punch. If I were pregnant again though, Matrescence would be my go-to. Targeted towards typical pregnancy-related skin issues, they use only certified organic, safe, and sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients to create powerful botanical formulas that actually work.

A maternity + postpartum parka

Seraphine 3-in-1 maternity parka This is awesomely warm, roomy + flattering for my walks (read: waddles) through New England weather. The faux fur quality is cozy + my favorite feature is the zip-in kangaroo panel I’ll start using when my baby joins us on the outside. With that extra room, I can’t wait to babywear him close while keeping him bundled against the elements. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

Reflux pillow system

products for end of pregnancy 18 With all my pregnancies I’ve had terrible wake-me-in-the-middle-of-the-night level of heartburn. While buying a new pillow for my husband, the man at the store noticed how heavily pregnant I was (20 weeks with twins looks like 45 weeks with a single baby) and suggested a pillow wedge (we called it a ramp). It allowed me to sleep on an incline and feel more comfortable. I would use the incline to elevate my legs to prevent swelling while watching movies on the couch. -Motherly Editor

Birth ball

Birth Ball The final weeks are all about setting the stage for as smooth an arrival as possible. And while you might want to just laze around on the couch pretty much exclusively, you’ll find the flat surface just isn’t comfortable after awhile. Bouncing and sitting on a birth ball is a super beneficial daily practice since the curve of a birthing ball can help relieve pressure in your pelvis, lower back, and spine. While it might not totally induce labor, it can encourage the opening of your pelvic muscles and help the baby drop down and get into position for their big arrival.

Momma Strong membership

Momma strong membership Courtney Wyckoff is a gift to women, and the very real, no-B.S. program and community she has created is something I always recommend to my pregnant and new mama friends. Highly recommend her ‘beached whale’ workouts for the days when you feel too pregnant to move but still need to work out body kinks. Her five-minute ‘hacks’ and ‘fix-me’s’ are also genius for specific pain points—the spinal decompression and pregnancy-specific stretch routines can make a real difference in how your body feels at this alien stage. It’s also great to get acclimated to her platform now, as her ‘hazy days’ and postpartum programs are a truly great resource for reconnecting with your body and starting your rehabilitation journey post-birth. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video

Pimple patches

Ollie Belle acne patches Oh, hello teenage face. Is that you again? Sigh. Pregnancy acne is the actual pits. Luckily, these non-medicated patches can help you manage. They’re great because you don’t have to worry about ingredients like you would with a cream, and they’re so flat that you can cover them with make-up while they do their thing and go about your business undetected.

Honorable mention: Bananas

bananas True story. One night, a couple days past my due date I woke up flailing about fighting off an agonizing charlie horse in my calf. (Pro tip: Flex your heel, drawing your toes toward your shin as much as humanly possible. Breathe. It will pass.) I woke my partner up from a dead sleep certain I was in labor. Don’t be like me. Get your potassium (and plenty of water.)

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