When Is the Right Time to Get an Epidural?

If you’ve ever requested an epidural in childbirth, you know that you want that pain relief just as soon as you ask for it. And new research suggests that, indeed, the very moment you ask is exactly the appropriate time to get it.

A review published in the Cochrane Library looked at the effects of epidurals given early in labor versus late, and found they were very comparable.

Researchers reviewed data from nine studies, for a total of close to 16,000 first-time mothers, who were randomly selected to receive their epidurals early or late in labor. The data showed that the administration of earlier epidurals had no impact on the chances of deliveries requiring the use of forceps or suction, or to the amount of time moms spent pushing.

Some previous studies have suggested that the timing of an epidural can play a role in prolonging labor, as well as up the chances the mom-to-be could end up with a c-section delivery.

On the contrary, the study’s head researcher Dr. Ban Leong Sng wrote, “The right time to give the epidural is when the woman requests pain relief. If they request an epidural early during their labor, the evidence we have does not provide a compelling reason why this should be refused.”

Did you opt for an epidural, and did it affect your delivery outcome?

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Labor & Delivery: Epidurals
Labor & Delivery: Epidurals
Labor & Delivery: Epidurals

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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Jennifer Garner Confirms She Has a Baby Bump! (But It’s Not What You Think)

Actress Jennifer Garner went on Ellen Degeneres’ show to confirm the rumors once and for all: Yes, she has a baby bump. But no, she is not expecting baby number four with husband Ben Affleck!

The star said, “I get congratulated all the time by people that I know, saying, ‘I hear you’re pregnant!’… So I asked around and apparently I have a baby bump. And I’m here to tell you that I do! I do have a baby bump.” At that, the crowd went nuts with applause.

But Garner hastened to clarify. “Hold up, I am not pregnant. But I have had three kids and there is a bump,” she said. “From now on, ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. Let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere.”

Watch the awesome clip here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to a celebrity mama who actually cops to the physical realities of postpartum life!

Sure, some people—thanks to a combination of genetics, effort, and a merciful pregnancy—bounce right back to a flat stomach after delivery. But others, apparently like thrice-pregnant Garner (although, I hadn’t noticed) continue to struggle with a round tummy.

And no, I’m not talking about carrying around a few extra pounds—a simplistic understanding of what goes into the postpartum appearance. I’m talking about diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles common after multiple pregnancies—or a pregnancy with multiples, as I had. That’s a major culprit behind a belly that may still look pregnant long after delivery, and it’s something that’s not widely discussed or understood. But it should be.

It might be a little too optimistic to think that one star’s appearance on a daytime talk show might actually shed light on a matter troubling to many moms, no matter the age of their kids. But hey, any awareness—especially coming from such an unlikely source as Hollywood—is a step in the right direction toward a mom-friendlier society!

Pregnant? Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters to give you the inside scoop, every step of the way. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news.

Have Your Abs Separated After Pregnancy?
Have Your Abs Separated After Pregnancy?
Have Your Abs Separated After Pregnancy?

Photo courtesy of Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.com

 

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Pregnant (and Gorgeous!) Kelly Rowland Poses Nude for ‘Elle’

Sure, many of us take pregnancy selfies. But few of us have the glam squad of a major fashion magazine at our disposal to polish up our bump pics like true works of art. Kelly Rowland is among those few, having just posed for pregnancy portraits in Elle magazine that are beyond gorgeous.

Rowland shared a couple of the shots by photographer Lance Goss on her Instagram feed (the same place she announced her pregnancy, by the way).

In one, she looks like a fearless power broker, all decked out in chic black pants, blazer, and stilettos—shirtless, with her hands strategically covering her breasts. In a second, she’s barefoot, draped in billowing white fabric that blows gracefully behind her. In a third shot, she poses in a floor-length gown.

And in a fourth, she poses completely naked, with hands covering her unmentionables, behind white curtains.

As for the nudity, Rowland told Elle, “I don’t know why [pregnant women] would get flack [for nude photos]. It’s really amazing… watching your body carry a human. I took a birthing class and I was amazed by all the things this woman was saying to me about birthing and what the body does naturally. Why wouldn’t you want to celebrate that? The body should be celebrated.”

Pregnant? Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters to give you the inside scoop, every step of the way. Plus, don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news.

Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump
Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump
Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump

Photo courtesy of Instagram/Kelly Rowland

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See Model Coco Rocha’s Sweet Video Pregnancy Announcement!

Add two more celebrities to the “who’s expecting” club! First Blake Lively announced her pregnancy, and now it’s model Coco Rocha.

As as become the de rigueur approach to spilling the pregnancy beans, both the model and her husband, artist James Conran, took to social media to reveal their big news. On Instagram, Rocha wrote, “@JamesEdwardConran and I are absolutely thrilled to announce that after 4 years of marriage we are expanding our family and expecting our first child spring of 2015!”

The caption accompanied a video in which the camera rotates 360 degrees around a nude leotard-clad Rocha and her teeny baby bump, accompanied by a music box-like melodic backdrop. The words “Baby Conran Arriving Spring 2015″ appear on the screen.

How did you announce your pregnancy?

Pregnant? See how your belly will grow over the next weeks and months. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!

Photo courtesy of Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com

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Blake Lively Is Pregnant!

Blake LivelyBlake Lively may be trying to follow in the footsteps of Gwyneth Paltrow by adding “founder of a lifestyle blog” to her title—but now she’s following in the GOOP actress’s footsteps in another way: she’s starting a family!

Yep, 27-year-old Lively and her hubby, actor Ryan Reynolds, 37, are expecting their first child together! Lively shared the news on her website, Preserve, in a pretty low-key way: A family-centered post featuring a pretty baby shower celebration for expecting moms ended with one very special photo—a shot of Lively caressing her very own baby bump. See it here!

Blake Lively baby bump

Lively has been open about her desire to start a family and her desire to have lots and lots of kids, so we’re thrilled for the couple. Congrats!

Pregnant? Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters to give you the inside scoop, every step of the way. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news.

Your Pregnancy: 5 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Most Women Deal With
Your Pregnancy: 5 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Most Women Deal With
Your Pregnancy: 5 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Most Women Deal With

Images Top: Blake Lively: Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.com; Bottom: Eric Lively courtesy of Preserve

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