NO doubt they have a "right" to epidural anesthesia; I never argued not. But to get it before active labor has really ensued???? It is nice to say you wait til the "right time" before calling the doctor for regional anesthesia, but if that "right time" is already pre-determined by the patient and her dr. before she comes to me, it is very hard to talk her into waiting a little longer. Especially, if the doctor orders "give her what she wants"., w/o bothering to come in and assess the situation him/herself.
Here is my typical exchange w/the dr when the patient shows up:
ME; "So and so is here, 39.5 weeks in early labor. Bag intact,1-2 cm, 80% , 0 station, reassuring strip...".her whole history, you know how it goes, yada yada.
Dr: "Ok get her comfortable, and I will be in in a bit to break her bag and get it over with."
Sound familiar? Yuck.
Personally, I think some re-education of medical and nursing staff, as well as the patient population is in order. I just think we somehow have almost "trained" the public (and ourselves, in a way), to expect a labor that is PAINFREE, PICTURE-PERFECT (ala Baby Story on TV), and FULL OF artificial intervention, before it is really necessary, and NOT TO TRUST their bodies to know what is best!!!
The title of this thread was "too much intervention". I think it is apropos and worthy of careful consideration. I think we need to get back to trusting women's bodies a bit more and not be in such a rush to "save them from themselves" the way we tend to do in Obstetric medicine. It is partly why I consider working in a midwife-run birthcenter all the time. Maybe one day.... JMO anyhow.