I love this editorial in the New York Times. Titled "Get the Epidural," the author Jessi Klein explores why some women think it is better and more natural for deliveries to be performed without the comfort of an epidural anesthetic.
Says Ms. Klein, "But how often do people really want women to be or do anything 'natural'? It seems to me the answer is almost never. In fact, almost everything natural about women is considered pretty horrific. Hairy legs and armpits? Please shave, you furry beast. Do you have hips and cellulite? Please go hide in the very back of your shoe closet and turn the lights off and stay there until someone tells you to come out. (No one will tell you to come out.) It's interesting that no one cares very much about women doing anything 'naturally' until it involves their being in excruciating pain. No one ever asks a man if he's having a 'natural root canal.' No one ever asks if a man is having a 'natural vasectomy.'"
There it is. Not only do women have to undergo unnecessary pain during labor for the questionable benefits of "natural" delivery, it is also a highly sexist attitude to condescend women who do choose to have an epidural. So get the epidural. You and your newborn baby will enjoy their birth day more.