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NYC’s Best Prenatal Yoga Teachers Share their Favorite Moves

There's so many incredible benefits of prenatal yoga, for both the body and mind. Practicing yoga throughout pregnancy can not only keep you centered as a mom-to-be, but also help you prep for birth, and create a strong foundation for motherhood.

Luckily, here in New York City, we have some of the best prenatal yoga teachers out there. We asked the very talented photographer and birth doula Laura Vladimirova to document some of those prenatal yoga teachers in their favorite prenatal yoga poses. Below, find Laura’s beautiful portraits, ordered in a very special prenatal vinyasa sequence you can do at home. Namaste.

  1. Neelu Shruti, Love Child Yoga

    Pose: Squat

    We do squats because it’s the widest position for our pelvic floor. It’s why we go to the bathroom in a squat. Not only are we building flexibility in our pelvic floor but we’re also building strength in our glutes and our quads to help carry our belly more efficiently. This way we can avoid hip pain, low back pain, climb stairs and go to Italy even when we’re 80!

  1. Mia Borgatta, Lila Yoga, Dharma & Wellness

    Pose: Goddess Pose

    This goddess pose is from a partner intensity practice that we sometimes do in class. Intensity practices have the intention of familiarizing us with our reactions to physical challenge and discomfort. The exploration of this edge helps uncover responses that involve inner resources such as breath, focus and movement. Each woman is different, and prenatal yoga classes help her discover her innate powers and also introduce more tools for coping. Birth challenges us to uncover who we can be and find new levels of acceptance for who we are.

  1. Sage Caprice Abowitt, Prenatal Yoga Center

    Pose: Triangle Pose

    All standing poses that are appropriate for a prenatal class can be useful in building endurance and confidence during pregnancy and labor. Additionally, Triangle Pose offers so much for the pregnant body: lengthening of a compressed spine, an opening of rounded or tight chest, sides, and ribcage, and a stretch for tired or achy legs. Triangle is also a pose that is easy to flow into other wonderful standing poses. Vinyasa is the basis for our classes at Prenatal Yoga Center, so I love including Triangle in the flow of class for our students.

  1. Shahar Lion, Kula Yoga Project Williamsburg, 14th Street Y

    Pose: Warrior II Pose

    Warrior II is a pose that demonstrates how beautifully the body and mind can work together. This pose strengthens the muscles of the legs, lengthens the inner thighs, stretches the pelvic floor muscles and stabilizes the pelvis. The posture naturally boosts the mama's confidence and sense of empowerment. It can be done in all three trimesters and may be easily modified when needed.

  1. Lara Kohn Thompson, Bend and Bloom Yoga , Kula Yoga Project, Integral Yoga Institute

    Pose: Spinal Twist from Table Position

    This gentle spinal twist is a wonderful way to open the chest and create extension all the way through to arms, wrists and fingers. It Increases the feeling of length in the spine as she twists, all the while providing stability and strength. It can be done in a flowing sequence with breath and is wonderful to fit within a warm up sequence.

  1. Keiko Niccolini, Yoga Shanti

    Pose: Seated Spinal Twist

    Always stability over mobility for my ladies! I believe that self care is a necessary method of motherhood which begins during pregnancy. I use the postures of yoga to teach women how to practically and safely strengthen and carry themselves through the transitions of gravity. I use these same postures to help women access the inherent, embedded wisdom which resides deep in the body to nurture and build confidence in the emerging mother-to-be. I love this posture, it offers gorgeous rotation of the spine which helps with back stiffness, it broadens across the collar bones, opens the heart offering relief to the shoulders and neck, and is very precise in its seat. Proper arrangement of your hip joints and the use of your pelvic floor to support your structure is the name of the game for lower back care, ease, and safety during pregnancy and postpartum. Comfort, confidence, security, ease and an open heart - this is what I want for all brand new mothers and mothers-to-be.

  1. Kasia Sanvee, Golden Bridge Yoga

    Pose: Keep-up Exercise

    This is an exercise to build your mental stamina. You will feel increasing discomfort and burning sensation in your arms after about a minute, and your negative mind will tell you to drop your arms. Just observe those thoughts coming through your mind, bring your focus back to your breath and KEEP UP. You are stronger than what your mind is telling you. Say to yourself that you can do it, that you’re strong, that there’s just a bit longer to go, that you’re already doing it and that you’ve come so far. This exercise is excellent in preparation for labor and birth. It is helpful in building strength of mind and character. Done every day, it will make you stronger and prepare you for the mental challenge of labor and birth. You will find your own ways of coping and of overcoming the dialog your mind naturally goes into at first. This exercise in Kundalini Yoga is also known for extracting fear from your body, it will help you break through fear when it threatens to overwhelm you. It is excellent at any point in pregnancy and in labor.

  1. Hess Kim, Yoga Union

    Pose: Prone Savasana

    I love being able to offer this variation of savasana to bring respite to pregnant women that have been unable to lie on their abdomens or backs. As a doula, this also gives me easy access to the back so that I can apply additional comfort massage. The bolster over the sacrum acts as counter pressure and helps neutralize the often hyperlordotic spines of pregnant women. The pose can be adjusted to accommodate all body proportions! A great add on is the forehead facing the bolster and resting on a blanket to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and quiet the mind.

All portraits by Laura Vladimirova for Well Rounded NY.

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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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