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The Home Stretch

Get Some New Clothes and Last-Minute Alone Time

Wear Something New

Cherie Serota knew how to avoid that sick-of-my-clothes feeling even when she was well into her third trimester -- and it's not just because she's the cofounder of Belly Basics maternity wear. She dug in her closet and experimented. "When you've been wearing the same clothes for five or six months, you want a little pop," she says. "Mix and match things in new ways, or go through your husband's closet. If a sweater no longer fits, wrap it around your shoulders for a different look."

 

Many women talk themselves out of a new purchase at this stage by reasoning that they won't wear it much longer. Treat yourself anyway -- it doesn't have to be expensive. Accessories or shoes can be great pick-me-ups.

 

Savor The Solitude

When you're pregnant, you're the star. After you give birth, your baby will be. Take advantage of these final months to do things that will become much harder once you're a mom. Read the paper in bed. Take lavender-scented baths. Go shopping.

"The last trimester is a betwixt-and-between place. You're not your old self, but you're not a mom yet," says Jennifer Louden, author of The Pregnant Woman's Comfort Book. "If you allow no time to prepare mentally, motherhood can be a rude shock." Nurture yourself now to create a reserve you can call upon later.

Ditto for spending time alone with your partner. This is your last chance to slip away without feeling guilty or having to worry about babysitters. Eleven days before I was due with my first child, my husband and I took the day off from work to go out to lunch and take a walk. I cherish the memory of it -- that evening, I went into labor.

Even if this isn't your first baby, remember to set time aside purely to indulge yourself, whether it's going to a movie while your partner spends time with the kids or hiring a sitter so you can dine à deux. Though it involves some planning now, getting away will soon be much harder.

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