How Long Should You Wait For an Epidural?

There's never a shortage of news in the parenting world — from differing parenting styles to new studies and beyond. But there are only so many hours in the day, and we can't cover every story that catches our eyes. Take a look at the seven stories you may have missed this week but need to read.

  • It's a question that's been debated in delivery rooms for years — when should women receive an epidural? Now doctors may finally have an answer. New research says doctors should administer the shot as soon as a woman asks for it, rather than waiting till she's four to five centimeters dilated. Hopefully the new findings will help women through their labor pains and, in turn, keep them from cursing at their doctors.
  • If you didn't already love Jennifer Garner, then this story will bump her to the top of your celebrity list. During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Garner addressed her "mommy bump" — aka the product of giving birth to three children. She assured audiences that her tummy isn't going away anytime soon, and she's actually OK with that. Way to go, Jen!
  • After a 4-year-old passed away in his sleep from enterovirus, parents across the country have had nightmares about the respiratory illness. For one mom, that nightmare came true when not one, not two, but three of her children were infected with the virus.
  • Could banning the words "boy" and "girl" benefit our children? Some doctors in Sweden seem to think so. After observing students at a local preschool, a Swedish linguist believes implementing a gender-neutral term for children would not only get rid of gender stereotypes, but also discourage discrimination. What do you think?
  • We've read plenty of parenting books, but we've never seen one as unique (or animated) as this one. Writer Brian K. Vaughan and illustrator Fiona Staples have teamed up to create Saga, the first-ever comic book series that addresses parents' daily struggles. Though this may not be the typical comic book (sorry, folks — no caped crusaders), there is bound to be plenty of action — especially when it comes time to change baby's diapers.
  • Parents of preemies take things one day at a time, worrying more about the upcoming days than future years. But an Atlanta hospital is encouraging neonatal intensive-care unit parents to have a little hope. In its newest campaign, From the NICU to the Moon, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta captures its tiniest patients doing big things. From winning the Olympics to landing on the moon, the initiative shows parents that their child will make it to tomorrow . . . and beyond.
  • Many moms are quickly learning that what's best for their babies isn't always best for themselves. Patients of baby-friendly hospitals — those that fulfill a 10-step rubric developed by UNICEF and the World Health Organization — are realizing that the rules may make it more difficult for them to adjust to motherhood. And we have to agree with them on this one. After all, would you want to be forced to breastfeed?