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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...


Where we're selflessly sticking to the gas and air before tonight's webchat about epidurals (Thursday 3 March, 8-9pm) with consultant anaesthetist David Bogod, President Elect of the Obstetric Anaesthetists' Association.

Then on Tuesday 8 March (and International Women's Day), we've got Sarah Brown dropping in for a lunchtime chat about her life as the ex-PM's better half.

Do come and post your financial and money-saving Qs to money expert Holly Thomas. And tell us your Best Gifts For a Mum, quick – so the list's nice and full before, ahem, People We Know start searching for Mother's Day inspiration.

Oh, and KateMumsnet is off to Strasbourg next week to ask those MEPs what they're doing for us wimmin. If you have a killer question or two to skewer them with, she'd love to hear from you!

Now for this week's parenting news...

Children's 'tsar' criticises schools admissions reforms: Children's Commissioner Maggie Atkinson says the new education bill could increase social segregation in schools. Speaking to MPs on the day that half a million children discovered which secondary-school they'll go to next year, she said the reforms could encourage schools to flout the law governing fair admissions. (Guardian 02.03.11)

Parents 'overdoing' fever meds: Parents may be putting their children at risk of accidental overdose, say US experts, by resorting too often to doses of ibuprofen or paracetamol to bring their child's slight temperature down. And, as a fever is usually the body's way of fighting an infection, it's possible that trying to bring a temperature down with meds could actually lengthen the time a child is ill. (Telegraph 28.02.11; join the discussion on Talk)

THE GRUFFALO RED NOSE DAY BOOK is out now to raise money for Comic Relief. Visit the special Gruffalo Red Nose Day website to find out more: there's prizes to be won every day from now until Red Nose Day, and lots of great fundraising ideas.

Other stories in brief


Hot threads

Quote of the week: ChickensHaveNoEyebrows reassesses her lifelong love affair with romantic fiction: "I have to confess to enjoying them more when a teenager. Now I read them and think, 'Ooh, he's a bit controlling.' That's Mumsnet's fault, that is."


Try your luck with our March competitions. Here's what you could win:

Don't forget to keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name comes out of the hat...

MOTHERS OF INVENTION, Wednesday 16 March (6.15-9pm). In celebration of International Women's Month, a group of pioneering and inspirational female entrepreneurs will be speaking about the secrets of their success – and taking questions. Book your ticket now!


Aitch's TV round-up: 23 Weeks - The Price of Life, Wednesday 9 March, BBC2, 9pm
As the mother of a premature baby (albeit a strapping 33-weeker), I found this documentary genuinely moving but a tough watch. There but for the grace of God and all that... Award-winning director and science writer Adam Wishart cannot deny that, were he a doctor, he'd want to help these babies, born incredibly prematurely at just 23 weeks, in their struggle to breathe. But spending six months on the neonatal ward at Birmingham Women's Hospital, watching the painful interventions, the bruising, and the brain damage, and hearing the professionals say that they wouldn't put their own kids through it, he starts to question his assumptions, and wonder if the NHS is defaulting on its responsibility to these tiny patients by leaving the decisions in the hands of their traumatised parents...
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week: Anon's Fish pie to die for
Probably the least fiddly fish pie in the world. Which qualifies it all the more as Utter Comfort Food...
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all from us. We're off to find a pancake recipe now we've realised Sarah Brown's webchat is on (Shrove) Tuesday...
Love, MNHQ

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOUR AND YOUR FAMILY? The Office for National Statistics is currently debating how to measure the nation's wellbeing. Do please take a moment to let them know what's important to you.

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