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Moms, it's time to relax. You've earned it! While watching your belly expand before your eyes, odds are that your shoulders are tight and tense, your lower back is aching or those poor feet are begging for some love (hopefully not all of the above!). Enter the prenatal massage and the greatest city to get one in: NYC! We've rounded up a few of our favorite spots around town to lie back and be pampered for an hour or two.

But first, a few pointers before you go:

  • Most doctors advise delaying prenatal massages until you are in your second trimester as there are specific pressure points that could disrupt that tiny little baby in the early days of pregnancy. Be sure you hold off or better yet, check with your OB or midwife before scheduling.
  • Some prenatal massages feature a table with a pillow or net for your growing belly while others will set you up with a pillow while you lie on your side. Which do you think you would prefer? Be sure to ask before making an appointment so you can relax and enjoy in comfort.
  • Many prenatal massages include light, soothing strokes rather than deep tissue work. If it takes real force for you to relax, mention it to the receptionist when you call and see if any of the therapists are able to accommodate you. If not, look elsewhere (or savor the quiet time to relax and schedule that swedish massage for postpartum).

Don't put this appointment off for another second (think of it as something for the baby)!

1. Exhale Spa. Still hitting the barre for your pre-baby workouts? Good on you! Wrap up one of those thigh-burning sessions with a laid back stretch known for improving circulation and reducing swelling in your hands and feet. Their prenatal massage session is designed specifically for women in their second and third trimester (they won’t take women who are still in the first trimester of pregnancy) and it’s great to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and take some of the stress off of your body. $140 for 60 minutes

2. Graceful Services. While the decor leaves much to be desired (think of this as a step up from those quickie massage stops on your block), the price is right, and you'll leave feeling relaxed and restored. While receiving your massage, they encourage you to place your hands on your belly letting the baby know you're getting a massage. $90 for 60 minutes

3. Medical Massage. Ranked as one of the best prenatal massages by New York Magazine, Medical Massage is a must for any pregnant mommas in or near the Upper East Side. Ask for Molly if you're hoping for a deep, intense stretch and be sure to look into their early bird discounted pricing if you're able to schedule in the morning. For those who can't make it out of the house or have just too much on their plate, Medical Massage also provides at-home services, bringing relaxation right to your home. $140 for 60 minutes/ $210 for 1hr 30 minutes

4. Sage Brooklyn. For our Brooklyn-based moms, Sage is a great option for holistic-oriented services. At Sage, all of the staff receives training in prenatal massages. So you can relax and relieve some of your pregnancy- and postpartum-related pain, tensions and discomforts -- not just with the magic touch of the massage therapists, but also with the sound machines, aromatherapy and the dim lights all over the spa. Sage even offers a partner massage class for pregnancy so you can get your partner involved as well! Their 40 Weeks and Waiting massage is known to induce labor once the time is right (we have their number on speed dial just in case). 60 min $125 | 75 min $150 | 90 min $180

5. Earth & Sky Healing Arts. At Long Island City's Earth & Sky Healing Arts, a massage is more than a massage -- it's an experience that allows you to connect with your body and the changes it goes through during and after pregnancy. There, they offer prenatal and postpartum full-body massages -- yes, that even includes your bulging belly -- that focuses on the areas that need most of your attention during that time in your life: your hips, your lower back, your neck and your shoulders. Simone, who also offers Mayan Arvigo massages, is a true healing force. She is grounded, listens to what you want and leaves you with advice on how to prepare for labor and take care of your body once you are back at home. $120 for 60 minutes/ $160 for 90 minutes.

6. Red Moon Wellness. Owner Lena DeGloma, M.S., is a licensed massage therapist, a clinical herbalist, a certified birth doula, a certified lactation counselor, and a certified childbirth educator. In other words, she knows all about the pregnant and postpartum body (and all of the woes it goes through during this transformative time). Back pain and sciatica, swelling, insomnia... You name it -- even if you don't quite know what is causing your pain, Lena will find the culprit and work hard to heal your body. At the end of a session, Lena shares what she learned about your body and leaves you with valuable tips on what you can do to feel good and prepare for childbirth. The whole experience is relaxing and intimate, and you leave the studio feeling like you know your changing body a little bit more. $80 for 30 minutes/ $120 for 60 minutes/ $160 for 90 minutes

7. Holistic Hands. Nicole Libschik is also a licensed massage therapist, a certified in Prenatal and Postpartum Massage, a DONA trained birth doula and even an infant massage therapist! That's why if you're experiencing tension in your neck, back, ribcage, hips, legs or ankles, Nicole will bring your whole body to a deep state of relaxation to not only reduce pain and discomfort, but to also help with lymphatic and blood circulation. Nicole also offers childbirth classes and private consultations, postpartum massages and... wait for it... baby massages. During that session, you will learn about different massage techniques, infant body language and ways to relieve gas pain and colics. Plus, it's a great way to bond with your little! $150 for 60 minutes/ $225 for 90 minutes.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

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2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

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3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

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4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

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5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna

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With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

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


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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

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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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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