A recent article in the Sunday Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/25/women-labour-denied-epidurals-nhs-amid-concern-cult-natural/) suggested that women are being denied an epidural in labour.
As an experienced midwife, I can only see that comments such as these will scare monger women, who after carefully researching all methods of pain, have made an informed decision to choose an epidural for pain relief in labour.
When I support clients for their births, yes I see the NHS is stretched and staff are over challenged by sheer volume of work, but I see staff – midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists, listening to women and their requests and choices for pain relief, and providing that care within a safe framework. Yes sometimes client’s have had to “wait” for their epidural as there is an emergency on Labour Ward – but I witness good support in the meantime whilst they have to wait etc. So I seek to reassure that it is unlikely that you will be refused or denied an epidural, if requested. All pregnant women need to be mindful that of course sometimes all the best laid birth plans can be over ruled by Mother Nature though!
This is a balanced article written by an Anaesthetist you may find helpful to read!