“Women should be made to pay for epidurals, says the Royal College of Midwives, unless there is a medical need for them. Yup, we feckless bloody women, at it again, in our constant selfish quest to go through an imperfect biological process without dying, or suffering the agony we deserve. Does it count as a medical need if otherwise we might end up "accidentally" biting a midwife in our blinding pain throes?”
I love Jenny Colgan. And while we’re at it, why set broken legs under anaesthetic? It’s perfectly possibly to manage without if the patient is tied down, and a general anaesthetic always carries a risk, you know.
Seriously, work to reduce the number of epidurals given, because it is expensive (not in itself, at £500, but due to the resulting slowing-down of labour and resulting complications), and it is a procedure carrying risk to both mother and child and so unnecessary ones should be avoided where possible. But do this by improving Britain’s underfunded maternity services, such that, oh, women in labour in hospital aren’t left completely alone for an average of two hours, and the smaller units that have better rates of natural delivery aren't closed down, not by charging women in agony for pain relief that should be theirs by right of calling ourselves a humane society. /rant