The best mom moments of all time
The First Mother's Day (May 1914)
President Woodrow Wilson designates the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day, calling it "a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."
Video: Parents vs. grandparents
The Epidural (1930s)
Before John Bonica, M.D., invented the epidural block, relief for the pains of labor meant being knocked out. Today, women can be awake for the momentous occasion that is birth.
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (1946)
Once upon a time, doctors (mostly men) preached a strict, one-size-fits-all approach to raising children. Pediatrician Benjamin Spock gave moms permission — revolutionary at the time — to trust their own instincts. Since then, Dr. Spock's guide has sold more copies worldwide than any other book besides the Bible.
Folic Acid (1940s)
A groundbreaking medical discovery: This nutrient helps prevent birth defects. In 1998, food companies begin using it to enrich bread, pasta, and other cereal grains. Birth defects of the brain and spinal cord drop by 26 percent.
Lucille Ball's Pregnancy (1952)
The star's pregnancy is written into I Love Lucy — a TV first. Scripts are reviewed by a priest, a minister, and a rabbi, and CBS insists on using the word "expecting" instead of "pregnant." But fans love it, and the episode featuring Lucy's delivery sets a new ratings record.
Bing: Lucille Ball's TV pregnancy
La Leche League (1956)
At a time when formula was très fashionable, seven determined moms banded together to create a breast-feeding support network. Today, LLL boasts more than 7,000 volunteers dedicated to educating and supporting (and, okay, sometimes annoying) women in the nursing process.
Are You My Mother? (1960)
The book summed up our love for our mothers — and every child's longing to belong to someone. That message of mother love still rings true for moms and kids today.
Bing: Dr. Seuss books
Disposable Diapers (1960s)
Invented in the 1950s, they weren't widely available until 1961, when Pampers were introduced. No more diaper pins!
JFK's Funeral (1963)
The endlessly reproduced photo of stoic widow Jackie Kennedy with her young children, Caroline and JFK Jr., is now a classic image of maternal strength and grace.
The Breast Pump (1960s)
Even after mom goes back to work, babies can still have breast milk. and now dads can help feed the baby, too!
Husband-Coached Childbirth (1965)
Robert Bradley's book was an influential first step in opening the delivery-room door to dads. (In 1973, only 27 percent of hospitals even allowed fathers to be in the delivery room; today, it's taken for granted that Pop will be in on the birth.)
Doctors begin monitoring babies just weeks after conception. Nowadays, mothers can even order a sonogram in 3-D. No more waiting for the birth to wonder, "Does he have his dad's nose or mine?"
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
No matter how colicky your newborn seems, Rosemary's baby is worse. Which is oddly comforting.
When the government calls for an easy, universal emergency phone number, AT&T suggests 911. Even a child can remember it — last December a 4-year-old girl in Salt Lake City used it to save her mom's life.
Sesame Street (1969)
Designed to help preschoolers transition from home to school, it was the first children's educational show of its kind. And it's arguably still the best.
Shirley Partridge (1970)
The Partridge Family's Shirley Jones plays TV's ultimate single mom -- so cool, she's in a band with her kids.
Free to Be ... You and Me (1972)
Marlo Thomas's children's album (and TV special and book) helps moms teach their daughters to be strong and their sons to be caring — and all kids (and parents) to be a little more open-minded.
Rise of Midwifery
Even if natural childbirth isn't for you, the increase in midwife-attended births (up 13-fold since 1975) has led a broader trend toward a woman-centered approach to birth — and more choices, from at-home water births to "walking" epidurals, for all moms-to-be.
Hewlett-Packard (the computer and electronics company) is the first to institute flexible working hours, or flextime, letting moms schedule work around their kids, and not vice versa.
The First Home Pregnancy Test (1977)
The test takes two hours and includes a test tube, a medicine dropper, and premeasured ingredients to be mixed together — a far cry from today's pee-on-a-stick technology!