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Why (and How) To Make Friends While You're Pregnant

When I was pregnant for the first time, I took a seven-week birth class and through it, was introduced to my first batch of soon-to-be-parents. About eight couples packed in to the living room of our birth teacher’s Park Slope brownstone, pounded crudité and flax crackers and shocking amounts of cheese, and listened to roughly three hours of baby talk. Each week, my heartbeat would steady, hearing my classmates talk out all their birth and postpartum anxieties and, most comforting to me at the time, commiserate about what a surreal and uncomfortable surprise pregnancy turned out to be. It was basically group therapy and I loved it. All but one of the friendships I made in that class have not endured the last three and a half years, but most of us still keep up with each other on Instagram or Facebook and I wouldn’t trade the warmth and connectivity I felt to all those expectant parents at the time for anything.

I’m convinced that finding friends while you’re on the rocky road toward parenthood is a balm for a tricky time, but I’m not sure I can explain exactly why. I just know it felt good! “Pregnancy is a point in time of dramatic change,” says Neelu Shruti, owner of the West Village-based Love Child Yoga, a community that provides not only prenatal and postnatal yoga, doula care, and birth classes, but new parent support as well. “Many people find the immediate postpartum period the most challenging and isolating. It’s great to have made connections beforehand so that you have someone you can text or call before you’re ready to be out and about and meet up.”

Shruti noted as well that many of us city-dwellers are away from the families that might have provided us much-needed daily support. And if our current friends aren’t necessarily having kids at the same time as us or, in my case, live a borough away, then expanding our networks becomes essential. Luckily, “NYC is a village,” Shruti told me. “Even though there are a million different ways to do things, we can share collective knowledge tips, tricks and resources.”

But if you aren’t taking a college-course style birth class like mine, how exactly do you make those friends? Well, one way is to try out Love Child’s Prenatal Circles, a six-week series that involves an hour of yoga followed by an hour-long new parent get-to-know-you conversation. If your schedule doesn’t allow, not to worry! Shruti has five tips for parents-to-be. They might take you out of your comfort zone, but so will motherhood and fatherhood. So, why not take the leap now?

5 Tips for Making Parent-To-Be Friends from Yogi, Doula, and Breastfeeding Counselor Neelu Shruti

1. Strike up a conversation! This can happen at work, in line at a store or cafe, a yoga class or birth class, or in a doctor’s waiting room. If you're not confident they’re pregnant, start with small talk. If you can tell they're pregnant, ask how far along they are and how they’re feeling.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask to exchange information! Get your future friend’s email, phone numbers, Instagram handle, whatever suits you best. But remember to follow up! Suggest taking a walk together or going to a yoga class.

3. Avoid ‘mom’ shaming. There are a million different ways to be pregnant and be a parent, so remember to respect everyone's choices.

4. Seek out prenatal meet-ups and spaces like yoga studios, neighborhood cafes, or baby stores that cater to expecting parents.

5. Join groups online! And don’t be afraid to share your story, questions, concerns. Internet parenting groups are the most active so if you cant find an existing one in your neighborhood, start it yourself!

I’m now a month away from having my second child and finding myself, like a child on the school playground, scanning the vicinity for anyone who might be in the same boat as me. It’s nerve-wracking, but, I know now, so necessary. Parenting is a lovely and, at times, lonely haul, and finding friends along the way can make even the hardest and most overwhelming moments that much easier.

Photography by Ren’ee Kahn Bresler for Well Rounded.

Shot on location at Love Child Yoga.

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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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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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