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Over the years, I've helped thousands of women detox their bodies in preparation for a healthy pregnancy. The transformations that take place can be life changing – as patients learn how to properly nourish themselves, a renewed sense of vigor and enthusiasm often follows. This incredible skill set will last not only the patients, but also their babies and families, a lifetime.

When a woman comes to me feeling unwell or is struggling to conceive, one of the easiest and quickest ways to get her on her way to optimal health is an elimination diet, which can remove toxins, reduce inflammation and bring a body back into balance.

Being aware of the connection between what you eat and how you feel may sound simple, but so many of us are used to being chronically over-satiated, bloated and burdened by processed foods. By eating clean and being in touch with your body, you’ll begin to develop and refine a sort of ‘food intuition.’ (Note: Before starting an elimination diet, it’s important to make a comprehensive list of health complaints, however recent or chronic the symptoms may be, so you’ll be attentive to any important changes as they occur.)

Detoxing is a remarkable way to:

• Enhance fertility and chances of conception

• Relieve stress and decrease anxiety

• Decrease side effects from fertility treatments

• Lose weight and reduce cravings

• Improve energy

• Regulate hormones and stabilize mood

• Experience vibrant skin

• Improve sleep

• Decrease pain

• Increase mental clarity

• Rebalance after postpartum

• Improve digestion

If you’re interested in shaking off the sluggish remnants of winter, ready to explore eliminating chronic health problems through eating clean, or preparing your body for a healthy baby, I invite you to bring clarity back into your life by embarking on a cleanse.

A few tips to get started:

• Prepare by shopping and cooking in advance - this will be crucial for success

• Detoxing is easier with a friend. Enlist your partner, your best friend, a coworker - anyone!

Exercise lightly to restore strength

• Keep a food journal, noting how you feel in each entry

• Eat plenty of vegetables and add in green juices and green smoothies

• Rest is important - try to get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep during any detox

• Eat small amounts regularly throughout the day

• Use restorative yoga and meditation to support a mind-body detox

If you are considering a spring cleanse the following are the most important foods to eliminate from your diet:

• Sugar – Highly addictive and connected to ovulatory disorders, infertility and hormonal imbalance

• Soy – Contains toxic phytochemicals that can disrupt endocrine and thyroid function

• Gluten – Exacerbates auto-immune issues and causes inflammation; triggers celiac disease and digestive issues

• Dairy – Common allergen that increases mucus and may contribute to cyst formation and immune dysfunction; often contains steroids, antibiotics and pesticides

• Corn – Almost all sweet corn is genetically modified and could negatively impact fertility

• Alcohol – Studies find as few as four drinks a week are associated with a decrease in IVF success

• Caffeine – May increase risk of miscarriage and contribute to adrenal fatigue

This modified elimination detox will move you towards a whole foods diet free of processed foods. It is ideal to remove these foods for a minimum of three weeks, which gives your body enough time to reset its immunity and for you to feel the maximum benefit. If you are feeling great after three weeks, you may continue eating this way for as long as you’d like. However, if you’re interested in uncovering hidden food sensitivities, start adding items from one of the eliminated foods back in, one at a time (for example, gluten), and pay very close attention to how you feel.

If after three days you don’t have a reaction, move on to reintroducing items from the next eliminated food. If what you’ve added provokes a reaction (which can show up hours or even days after the culprit has been ingested), you now know of a potential food sensitivity. Be sure to return to the elimination diet for at least three days before moving on. If you are considering starting a family soon, I suggest maintaining the elimination diet for at least three months before trying to conceive or beginning fertility treatments.

I understand how difficult making these changes can be. Recently, a patient and I co-wrote an article that touched on how challenging her journey to change her diet was. During a detox, your body will release stored up toxins and you may experience anything from headaches and irritability, to fatigue and mild flu-like symptoms. Rest assured they typically only last a few days to a week, and afterwards, you’ll be left with the health benefits that eating well and cleansing your body have to offer.

Detoxing is appropriate for everyone, but make sure to start at the beginning -- wherever that may be for you. If the elimination suggestions describe your regular way of eating, try juice fasting or more advanced cleansing programs. If an elimination diet sounds impossible, start with removing foods like sugar, dairy and gluten from your diet. Wherever your starting point may be, honor that and begin laying the foundations for greater health and enhanced fertility today.

The blissful feelings of renewal and restoration that follow a detox can be difficult to describe, but I’m confident the results will speak for themselves as you set your intentions for a spring full of health and vitality.

Happy detoxing! (Note: If you suffer from a serious medical condition, are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, please make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.)

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Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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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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