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Becoming Mama: An Experiential Event for Pregnancy + Postpartum

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Motherly's Becoming Mama event is an experiential and informative full-day event for new moms and moms-to-be, exploring all three trimesters of pregnancy—plus postpartum!

The event will include engaging panels with industry leaders, interactive workshops with experts, intimate, honest stories from influential moms, and a chance to meet your new mom village IRL. We'll also offer some pampering, shopping and a curated baby registry experience.

Sat, October 26, 2019
10am- 3:30pm
WeWork Now
902 Broadway
New York, NY 10010

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Event Lineup:

10am: Registration + Breakfast

11am: Community Mother Blessing

featuring Erica Livingston @birdsongbrooklyn

11:15am: Navigating the 4th Trimester

sponsored by One Medical

featuring Radha Agrawal @love.radha; Samantha Huggins @carriagehousebirth; Margaret "Peggy" Chapman @onemedical; Deena Campbell @mother.ly

11:45am: Lunch + Wellness Break

12:45pm: Baby Steps to a Cleaner Lifestyle

sponsored by Pipette

featuring Erin Boyle @readtealeaves; Meaghan Murphy @goodhousekeeping; Caroline Hadfield @pipettebaby; Conz Preti @mother.ly

1:15pm: It Takes a Village: Self-Care for Mom

featuring Diana Spalding @mother.ly; Elyse Fox @elyse.fox; Rebekah Borucki @bexlife; Alexis Barad Cutler @notsafeformomgroup

1:35pm: Snack Break

sponsored by Stylish Spoon

2:35pm: The Motherhood Advantage in the Workplace

featuring Latonya Yvette @latonyayvette; Samantha Wasser @eatbychloe; Grace Bastidas @parentslatina; Jill Koziol @mother.ly

3:00pm: Fireside chat with Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety and a special guest!

PLUS:

Motherly's Gear Lab featuring the best gear for 2019

sponsored by Bugaboo

Bump + Baby Photos and DIY Nursery Decor

sponsored by Crate+Kids

Pregnancy + Postpartum Style Station

sponsored by Destination Maternity

Pampering for Mama in our Wellness Lounge

Plus
  • Enjoy a Light Breakfast & Healthy Lunch.
  • Bring home awesome gift bags filled with baby & mama goodies.
  • Meet a whole new mama community to help you on your journey!
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*While many of Motherly's events are family focused, there will not be specific activities or play spaces for babies or kids. this event is more mom-focused. Babies under 1 are welcome at this event, but a baby carrier is suggested as there's no room for strollers. Please use your discretion.

Speakers

Radha Agrawal is the co-Founder, CEO and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker, the early morning dance and wellness move-ment that currently holds events in 25 cities and over a dozen college campuses around the world with a community of almost half a million people. She is a successful entrepreneur (Co-Founder THINX, LiveItUp), author, speaker, DJ, inventor, and investor. Her new book BELONG answers the questions, "how the heck do I find my people?" and "How do I create large and meaningful communities in the real world?". She was named by MTV as "one of 8 women who will change the world." Radha lives in Brooklyn NY with her love Eli and her twin sister Miki – and lots of family and friends within a few blocks. You can most often find her tinkering with community and experience design projects, or on the dance floor at Daybreaker in New York City (if she's not dancing at sunrise in another part of the world.)

LaTonya Yvette is an author, stylist, and lifestyle blogger. Her eponymous blog covers motherhood, style, and beauty. Her debut book, WOMAN OF COLOR, recently published in April 2019. She lives in Brooklyn with her two children, River and Oak.

Rebekah "Bex" Borucki is a mother of five, TV host, meditation and yoga guide, birth doula, and author of You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life: Simple 4-Minute Meditations for Inspiration, Transformation, and True Bliss (Hay House 2017) and her brand new book, Managing the Motherload: A Guide to Creating More Ease, Space, and Grace in Motherhood (Hay House 2019). Her mission is to make mental health support and stress management tools accessible to all, especially BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color), LGBTQ+ folks, and other marginalized communities. Rebekah lives with her family and a barn-full of rescued farm animals on their 8-acre homestead in rural New Jersey. For more information, visit www.MotherloadBook.com.

Samantha Wasser is the Founder, Senior Vice President and Creative Director of popular plant-based, fast-casual brand by CHLOE. Samantha provides creative vision for the brand, overseeing brand identity, growth, menu development, and social media presence, all of which have been major credits to the brand's rapid expansion and evolution. Samantha Wasser has proven to be not only a veteran in the culinary space but an innovator and thought leader in today's restaurant industry. She was recognized in both Zagat's and Inc. Magazine's honorable "30 Under 30" for her work in restaurant development in 2014 and 2016. Samantha also serves an Advisor for WeWorks Food Labs. In December 2018, Samantha and her husband Mitch welcomed their son James Wyatt into the world. Following, in May 2019, Samantha led a women-run collaboration called Beyond Mother's Day with partners Kindbody and Robyn, that included a series of events held by by CHLOE with the goal to advance the narrative of improving support for all paths to parenthood. During Beyond Mother's Day, by CHLOE gave 50% of proceeds from their Beyond Mother's Day Cupcake sold throughout May to Baby Quest Foundation, a non-profit providing financial assistance to couples who struggle to afford fertility treatments.

Samantha Huggins is a co-founder of Carriage House Birth and an empathic full spectrum doula, doula trainer, childbirth educator, curriculum builder and parent. As a founding member of Carriage House Birth, Samantha works vigilantly to redefine doula work and contemporary parenting. She oversees CHB Education focusing on childbirth education, doula trainings, elevating the early parenthood experience and doula professionalism. Samantha is deeply committed to this work and creating a model of care that is sustainable and works for all family systems.

Erin Boyle is the writer and photographer behind the lifestyle blog, Reading My Tea Leaves, where she writes about all things slow, simple, and sustainable. Erin's first book, Simple Matters, came out in January, 2016. It's a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Erin embraces the notion that "living small" is beneficial and accessible to us all—whether we're renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two young children.

Meaghan Murphy is Good Housekeeping's executive editor. Known for her high-energy, upbeat personality and YAY lifestyle, Meaghan B Murphy is a multi-platform media junkie. In addition to her role as the Executive Editor of Good Housekeeping, reaching 30 million total audience, Meaghan regularly appears on shows like Live with Kelly & Ryan, Dr. Oz, the Today Show and shoots a series for NBC News titled "A Better Way," in which she shares MacGyver-style hacks. She also joined the fourth season of "Small Business Revolution" (Hulu) as its expert in building community spirit — something she effectively did as Chief Spirit Officer of her own suburban town and as the ambassador for the community-based app NextDoor. A New Jersey native, Meaghan married her younger brother's best friend, Patrick, and together they live in Westfield (aka @bestfieldnj) with their "Irish triplets," Charley (9), James (7) and Brooks (6), and labradoodle Dempsey. When she's not at the gym for 5AM workouts with her #goodvibetribe, Meaghan is busy penning her debut novel The Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Guide to Having Endless Energy and Finding the Yay in Every Day for Penguin-Random House.

Deena Campbell is the Experts and Lifestyle Editor at Motherly. Her work has been published in Allure, The New York Times, PopSugar, Essence and a host of others. She currently resides in New Jersey where lives with her husband and two young children.

Margaret "Peggy" Chapman, MD, MS, FA is a pediatrician at One Medical, where she focuses on establishing a trusting and respectful relationship with parents and children to forge a therapeutic alliance. She believes preventive care and parent education are key to raising happy, healthy children-and she feels privileged to be part of the process. She enjoys working with children of all ages, from newborns through adolescents, and is especially interested in child behavior, child development, parenting, and ADHD. In her time off, Peggy enjoys walking, gardening, skiing, hiking, baking, and reading. She graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and did a chief residency in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She's board certified in pediatrics.

Caroline Hadfield is President of Amyris' Pipette, a clean, safe and nontoxic personal care brand for babies and moms launching September 2019. Caroline a powerful force in the personal care and beauty markets, having previously launched the successful brands Sephora and Amyris' Biossance. Throughout her career, Hadfield has demonstrated her ability to identify opportunities in the market and deliver the highest quality results based on consumer demand. As a leader in the clean personal care movement, Hadfield recognized a need for a brand that caters to the sensitivity of newborn skin without compromising on safety or efficacy. She was instrumental in Amyris' decision to ban more than 2,000 potentially harmful ingredients from its labs. Hadfield's commitment to transparency is a driving force in her decision making as she continues to be an advocate and innovator in the emerging clean personal care market. Hadfield received her degree in Textiles and Management from Leeds University, and participated in Stanford University's Senior Executive Program. She resides in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two daughters.

Erica Livingston is the co-founder of Birdsong Brooklyn and a full spectrum doula supporting families through conception, pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Her birth work began in the postpartum sphere and she still is most passionate about bringing that time period into the light. Erica is also an herbalist, breathwork practitioner and hosts birth and threshold blessings for her community and clients as well. A trained comedienne and performer, Erica brings heart centered humor to all the spaces she creates. Erica and her business partner and best friend, Laura Interlandi, built Birdsong Brooklyn, their doula and parenting business together in 2013 when they saw the extreme lack of support for the postpartum period reflected in their own journeys and the journey of almost every other new parent they came across. Working outside of hierarchy and patriarchy took an acknowledgement and a new container which they've been building ever since including a 13 week mentorship program for doulas of all walks and their online learning lodge for parents, doulas and people. Their business mantra is "All boats rise when we tether together and the sun shines for everyone!"

More to come....

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As a former beauty editor, I pride myself in housing the best skincare products in my bathroom. Walk in and you're sure to be greeted with purifying masks, micellar water, retinol ceramide capsules and Vitamin C serums. What can I say? Old habits die hard. But when I had my son, I was hesitant to use products on him. I wanted to keep his baby-soft skin for as long as possible, without tainting it with harsh chemicals.

Eventually, I acquiesced and began using leading brands on his sensitive skin. I immediately regretted it. His skin became dry and itchy and regardless of what I used on him, it never seemed to get better. I found myself asking, "Why don't beauty brands care about baby skin as much as they care about adult skin?"

When I had my daughter in May, I knew I had to take a different approach for her skin. Instead of using popular brands that are loaded with petroleum and parabens, I opted for cleaner products. These days I'm all about skincare that contains super-fruits (like pomegranate sterols, which are brimming with antioxidants) and sulfate-free cleansers that contain glycolipids that won't over-dry her skin. And, so far, Pipette gets it right.

What's in it

At first glance, the collection of shampoo, wipes, balm, oil and lotion looks like your typical baby line—I swear cute colors and a clean look gets me everytime—but there's one major difference: All products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, with ingredients derived from plants or nontoxic synthetic sources. Also, at the core of Pipette's formula is squalane, which is basically a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient that babies make in utero that helps protect their skin for the first few hours after birth. And, thanks to research, we know that squalane isn't an irritant, and is best for those with sensitive skin. Finally, a brand really considered my baby's dry skin.

Off the bat, I was most interested in the baby balm because let's be honest, can you ever have too much protection down there? After applying, I noticed it quickly absorbed into her delicate skin. No rash. No irritation. No annoyed baby. Mama was happy. It's also worth noting there wasn't any white residue left on her bottom that usually requires several wipes to remove.


Why it's different

I love that Pipette doesn't smell like an artificial baby—you, know that powdery, musky note that never actually smells like a newborn. It's fragrance free, which means I can continue to smell my daughter's natural scent that's seriously out of this world. I also enjoy that the products are lightweight, making her skin (and my fingers) feel super smooth and soft even hours after application.

The bottom line

Caring for a baby's sensitive skin isn't easy. There's so much to think about, but Pipette makes it easier for mamas who don't want to compromise on safety or sustainability. I'm obsessed, and I plan to start using the entire collection on my toddler as well. What can I say, old habits indeed die hard.

This article was sponsored by Pipette. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Parents everywhere are feeling for Hamilton star Miguel Cervantes and his wife, Kelly, who just said goodbye to their daughter, three-year-old Adelaide. She died on Saturday, October 12.

Adelaide had been battling epilepsy prior to her death. Miguel and Kelly, who also share 7-year-old son Jackson, documented their daughter's life via Instagram, where they frequently shared updates on the little girl's condition.

But this week, they are sharing news of her death. "The machines are off. Her bed is empty. The quiet is deafening. Adelaide left us early Saturday. She went peacefully in her mother's arms, surrounded by love. Finally, she is free from pain + seizures but leaves our hearts shattered. We love you so much Adelaideybug and forever after," both Miguel and Kelly write alongside a photo of the girl's empty bed.

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Miguel, who played the title role in Chicago's production of the musical Hamilton, opened up about his daughter's diagnosis to the Chicago Tribune back in 2016. According to the report, Adelaide suffered around a dozen seizures every day. The seizures began when the little girl was just 7 months old.

Adelaide's mother, Kelly, documented the little girl's heartbreaking battle on her blog. Just a few weeks ago, she wrote her daughter a heartfelt letter. "You will not be getting better this time. The skills you have lost will not be regained. I am so sorry that your body has betrayed you in this way. It is not fair and it really, really, really sucks," Kelly writes."...As we make this transition I will be trying to understand what you want and need to keep you as comfortable as possible. Please forgive the extra pictures and videos I'll be taking, I know I'll want to hold on to all the memories I can. It's the things I can't capture that I will miss the most: the way you smell, and not just after a bath, but your sweet, "just you" smell. The feel of your forever baby soft skin and how tightly you squeeze my fingers even still. The way your hair feels when I run my fingers through it trying to comfort you and the weight of your body against mine in those rare moments when you let me snuggle you."

Our hearts are with this beautiful child's family.

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This new family would like you to know they "don't have to match!"

When we saw Sadie Sampson's story of how her baby boy Ezra came into her life, we just had to know more about this loving new mother and her husband, Jarvis.

Their journey to parenthood was slow and then happened practically overnight. The couple went through a complicated fertility journey and had come to terms with the idea that pregnancy and parenthood would not be in their future.

But everything changes when Sadie got a random text message from a friend: "Would you guys foster/adopt a child?"

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To understand their story you have to go back to the beginning of their story. After getting married in 2017, the Texas couple was determined to have a baby. When Sadie didn't get pregnant she sought medical help, and doctors were quick to suggest her weight was the issue.

" 'Lose weight, and you'll get pregnant right away,' said every doctor I saw," Sampson wrote on Love What Matters. "I had tried to lose weight on my own for so long without success, so I started seeking out other options. In February 2019, I underwent gastric bypass surgery."

Sampson has been chronicling her weight loss since then on her Instagram page. Jarvis joined her, getting his surgery this summer. But still, she couldn't get pregnant.

A week after deciding she was going to put her dreams of parenthood aside, Sampson heard from a good friend of hers who had a random question for her.

"Well, a friend of mine, and her boyfriend are considering foster care or adoption for their son," the friend said. "I told them that I thought you guys would be a great fit."

The Sampsons said yes. They were even prepared to be only temporary foster parents for the baby, who was born prematurely. Just over a week after that phone call, a caseworker informed them that the birth mother would like them to adopt.

"We went from not having any children, to the possibility of fostering one, to, 'You guys are parents!,' overnight," Sampson wrote.

Her whole family had been away on a cruise while this was happening, and returned the day before the adoption took place.

"My mom was very confused at first," Sampson told Motherly. "But once I was able to explain everything we stood in the kitchen and jumped up and down and then ran into the living room and told everyone else."

Because this was happening privately, they needed only a lawyer and no agency involved in the paperwork. They were able to greet baby Ezra in the NICU just an hour after he became theirs.

"The first time I saw him it was so hard for me to grasp the fact that he was mine," Sampson told us. "It took a while for me to realize that he is my son and I am his mom."

Ezra is the name his birth parents, who are white, had chosen for him. "When Jarvis and I looked up the meaning, which is 'helper,' we couldn't think of a better fit."


Sadie and Jarvis posed for photos proudly proclaiming their adoption story. "Not Showing Still Glowing" reads Sadie's shirt, while Jarvis' tee says, "Families Don't Have to Match #Adoption." Friends and followers on Instagram helped the new family, buying baby supplies on their registry and donating funds for their final adoption process. Now, social media is where they're sharing all the typical milestones of new parenthood.

"We had one plan and God changed the game completely," she wrote on Instagram. "Ezra has given us a larger purpose and we've learned so much from him in the short two weeks he's been with us. Families DON'T have to match! They are built on LOVE!"

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As an ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi talks to a lot of pro athletes. But as a parent he knows that sometimes raising kids is as hard as training for the big leagues (seriously, science proves that kids energy levels surpass endurance athletes' and parents are running after those kids).

Negandhi knows what it's like to be face-to-face with athletes that so many people idolize, but he also knows that a parent can be more influential than any big league idol, and that's why he's working with Dove Men+Care SPORTCARE to put real dads in the spotlight.

"We have a platform to showcase what they do as everyday athletes, but also as everyday men, everyday fathers," says Negandhi, who has three kids himself. He tells Motherly he tries to make sure he's active with his kids—playing sports with them so that they understand the importance of staying active—but also staying active with the kids when the touch football ends and the real parenting endurance test begins. Like many modern fathers, Negandhi is committed to doing more childcare than his own father did.

"My mom did everything in our house," he tells Motherly. "My dad worked, but my mom worked as well. And she did everything. She raised us. But at the same time she showed me another side. And many times growing up I said, 'How can I be different than my father?'"

Being involved with his kids and doing more of the unpaid work in his household than his own dad did is how Negandhi is doing it, and he's taking time to showcase three fellow dads who—while sharing their names with professional athletes—certainly don't get as much credit as the pros.

That is actually something of a problem in media right now. According to a recent survey by Dove Men+Care, 70% of men wish regular guys who are athletes (but not professionals) got more attention in sports media. Because as much as winning the Superbowl or making it to the major leagues should be celebrated, being a dad who is physically active and active in raising his kids should be celebrated, too.

Research shows that when kids grow up seeing dads exercise they are healthier, and while these three men happen to share their names with famous athletes, they don't get the same glory. So Negandhi and Dove Men+Care are giving these hard working dads some recognition.

Alvin Suarez

Alvin Suarez is teaching his kids that having a disability doesn't disqualify you from being an athlete. As a visually-impaired person, Alvin isn't the standard athlete we see represented in media. He plays Goalball, a sport that relies on keen ear-hand coordination, and he is certainly a keen father, chasing after his twin girls.

Alvin says the difference between sports and fatherhood is that you can train for sports, while parenthood takes you by surprise. "I try to be a good role model for my daughters and I want everyone to know that everyone has potential and that there is no such thing as a nobody."

Alvin has won championships as a Goalball player, but says holding his daughters in his arms for the first time was like winning a medal but multiplied by a million.

Sean Williams

Sean Williams is committed to his community and his kids. He uses physical fitness to connect with his kids and to, literally, save lives. A volunteer firefighter, Sean keeps fit so that he can use his body and energy to maximum impact. He isn't just changing the lives of people impacted by fires, but also his fellow dads.

The founder of The Dad Gang, an organization committed to celebrating and telling the real story of black fatherhood, Sean has created a space for dads to connect with their children and each other while staying active.

"One of the challenges we put out on social media is where you do pushups with our kids on our backs and that merges fatherhood and fitness," he explains.

If there was a Super Bowl for community service, Sean would be wearing the ring.

Chris Paul

A Marine Corps veteran, Chris needs a ton of energy to keep up with his blended family. It started out as an "all-girl Brady Bunch" he explains, as his wife and he had six daughters between them, but they've since added a boy to the family which now included seven kids. .

He's basically got his own sports team at home so it makes sense that Chris is super committed to staying fit for them. The Marine turned realtor takes time to help other dads in his community stay fit and knows when to draw boundaries to protect his time with his kids.

He's got some good endurance, but he's not going to work 15 hours a day when his kids are waiting at home for him. Chris says in former times dads were often passive figures in their kids' lives as the child rearing was done by others.

Like the other men, he's changing that. "I'm an active participant and I want to make sure that I can contribute to my children's lives."

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Back in 2017 when we learned Beyoncé was starring in a new remake of The Lion King I was thrilled. My son (my only child) was almost 2 years old and I told my partner I wanted The Lion King to be our son's first movie theatre experience. Going to see the original Lion King in a movie theatre was a big deal to me as a kid and I wanted to recreate that experience for my son.

Flash forward to July 2019 and The Lion King is in theaters—but my son and I are not. Turns out I really overestimated how long 3-year-olds can sit still. While my son loves watching 1994's Lion King at home (he always stands on the couch and lifts his stuffed animals to the sky during "Circle of Life") he's just not quite subdued enough for the cinema yet.

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So we have been waiting to see The Lion King at home, and now we finally can! October 11 marks the film's digital home video release, and the Blu-ray hits stores on October 22.

Rob Legato, a VFX supervisor on the film, tells Motherly that "the visuals are so well preserved on 4K and newer television sets that it is literally the mini theatre experience and you're not missing much by seeing it at home."

Basically, the digital version is going to be just as awesome as seeing it in theaters, except that we will be able to pause for potty breaks and my kiddo can stand on his seat pretending to be Rafiki without blocking anyone's view.

The movie is, of course, incredible, but so are the animals it's based on. Screening the movie at home is an amazing way to start conversations with your kids about the various animals in the film as they are of course more similar to the real animals they are based on then their animated counterparts were in 1994.

The filmmakers went to Africa to research the animals they were bringing to life and they also spent a ton of time at the Harambe Wildlife Reserve inside Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida watching various species to try to make their movements as realistic as possible. There, 34 species live on 110 acres and the filmmakers got to watch them closely, making this film incredibly detailed.

Some of the animal experts who work with these animals on a daily basis say that when they watch The Lion King, they can actually tell which characters are based on which of the animals they know in real life.

"This film presented a really wonderful and unique opportunity to bring the production crew to the animals here at Disney's Animal Kingdom. They spent about 6 weeks here collecting reference footage of the animals here and we partnered really closely with the animal care teams at Disney's Animal Kingdom to make sure that all of the filming that we were doing, the impact to the animals was minimized," says Jon Ross of Disney's Animals in TV and Film department

The film crew watched the animals from a distance, which is something families can also do at Disney's Animal Kingdom by taking the Kilimanjaro Safari or staying in Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where giraffes and other animals can be seen right from hotel balconies.

But the work Disney is doing with the animals is more than a tourist attraction. The company is serious about conservation and protecting the animal species featured in the park and in its films. "Tied to the Lion King film we launched the Protect the Pride initiative," Claire Martin of Disney's Conservation & Partnerships team tells Motherly. "We realized that we'd lost half of the world's lions since the first Lion King film debuted and we want to turn that around, so we're working with the Wildlife Conservation Network's Lion Recovery Fund to help their vision to double the amount of lions in the wild by 2050," she explains.

Marin suggests that parents watching The Lion King with their kids can use the film to talk to their children about conservation issues and continue the education long after the end credits roll. "We encourage people to learn more, visit the website, get involved and learn more about how they can make an impact on lions and other wildlife across Africa," says Martin.

Through the website, parents can even download an activity packet (you can print it and make your kids a cool book) with all kinds of information and cool activities and to help kids feed their lion obsession in an educational way even when screen time is over.

The Lion King is available to stream now and will be on Blu-ray October 22 (with even more educational features about the animals!)

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