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How to Focus on Self-Care during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one whirlwind roller coaster, and moms-to-be often see their needs falling by the wayside as they’re prepping for baby. But pregnancy isn’t just about baby -- it’s about mama too, and it’s a time when some self-care is essential for emotional wellbeing. Because we all know: a happy mama makes a happy baby.

That is why we hosted our Tips by Trimester event -- to treat some of New York City’s expecting mums to an indulging evening of conversation, healthy foods, delicious drinks and some much-deserved prenatal pampering.

Since we know there’s no shortage of questions when you are expecting, we gathered some of NYC’s foremost pregnancy experts for our guests to get a little pregnancy p(r)ep talk! Arielle Fierman Haspel, nutrition and lifestyle expert, talked about some of the foods that helped her cope with pregnancy discomforts. Kate Lynch Bieger, a psychologist with the Seleni Institute, addressed mental wellness during pregnancy. And Natalia Hailes, from Our Brilliant Bodies, advised attendants on how to get the birth of their dreams. Here are 3 noteworthy tips we got from them:

1) When you’re pregnant, eating in bed is ok...in fact, it can help fight morning sickness. “I kept a stash of healthy snacks near my bed in case I got hungry. I’d keep a few almonds on my bedside stand or have a hard boiled egg. It helped stabilize my blood sugar and prevented me from throwing up. I was so tired during my first trimester, I also made sure to eat every 2 to 3 hours, even if I wasn’t hungry. Not only would it help ward off nausea, I would stay energized. My favorite snacks? Apple or sprouted pretzels with almond butter, almond flour crackers with an organic mozzarella stick, a handful of almonds, and smoothies with chia seeds.” Arielle, from Be Well With Arielle.

2) Loosen your expectations of what childbirth and motherhood is “supposed” to be.Be gentle with yourselves. Women often feel a sense of loss when childbirth and the early weeks of postpartum don’t match the cultural expectation of a natural and joyful time. Women’s real birth and mothering stories are much wider than this — they may include feelings of fear and inadequacy, loss of an old identity and anxiety about what will takes its place. I encourage women to make room for whatever mix of emotions and experiences arise, remembering that mothering is not about being perfect and getting every moment right. We are better mothers when we are gentle with ourselves.” Kate, from the Seleni Institute.

3) Take the time to prepare emotionally for labor. “We tend to spend a lot of time in our heads and keep busy checking off items on our to-do lists. But it’s important to slow down, connect with our bodies (and the little people growing inside them) and find tools that can help us cope with what’s ahead. These are of course different for everyone, but can include sounds and music, massage, visualizations, meditations, breathing exercises, or a candlelit bath. Whatever it is that quiets your 'monkey mind,' start using it and PRACTICE. The more you practice, the more effective and helpful it will be during labor.” Natalie Hailes, from Our Brilliant Bodies.

Bonus tip: If you’re in third trimester, “manspread” as much as you can. “You want to create lots of room in your pelvis for baby to get settled in a good position and engage in your pelvis before labor starts. Manspreading (aka sitting with your legs spread wide apart) and leaning forward both help do that.” Natalie Hailes, from Our Brilliant Bodies.

Our Tips by Trimester event, which took place at Second Floor of Hotel Eventi, provided the perfect opportunity to mingle with other mamas-to-be while also getting a peek at some of the best pregnancy and baby brands. Among them were Bugaboo, Bamboobies, City Family Legal Planning, NYDJ, Ergobaby, Teat & Cosset, Babyganics, Icon, Ubbi and SNOO.

As they scouted around for products that would make their lives easier during and after pregnancy, guests filled up on wholesome, tasty bites from Meisterdish and treated themselves with scrumptious sweets from Sprinkles Cupcake. Little Spoon concocted delicious pregnancy mocktails using organic baby food ingredients and Balance Water ensured everyone stayed hydrated. And for those who weren’t getting enough me-time at home, the gals at Earth + Sky Healing Arts came to the rescue with their relaxing touch. Head and upper-back massage, anyone?

Of course, we wouldn’t let all these wonderful mamas-to-be leave empty handed. Our guests had the opportunity to try on NYDJ maternity jeans and got to even snag the pair that fit them best. They also received a LeSportsac bag filled with goodies from event sponsors, as well as some extras from Bebe au Lait, Munchkin, Nine Naturals, Baby Brezza and June & January.

We are so thankful for our community of Well Rounded mamas and for everyone who stopped by. What, you missed it? Check out some photos below, and et your ticket to our next pregnancy event, The UNshower, on April 24! Register here.

Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.

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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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