From “Get the Epidural” at NYT.com:
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.”
First, women get root canals done, too, so this is terrible gender-baiting. Second, a root canal is a medical procedure designed to treat a diseased tooth, while a vasectomy is an elective surgery designed to prevent a man from transmitting his sperm during intercourse.
Pregnancy isn’t a disease and neither is the process of giving birth. The attempt to analogize between disease treatment, elective surgery and the very natural process of experiencing a pregnancy and a birth after sexual intercourse fails miserably, in this case.
Now, two completely separate questions are: 1.) Is it “desirable” to experience the pain of child birth if you can avoid it by injecting drugs? and 2.) Does anything in the drugs administered during an epidural a.) represent some kind of toxic risk to mother or child b.) potentially inhibit hormone-release and other natural processes within the process of birth that might further complicate either the birth itself or the natural bonding of the mother with her newborn?
But to inquire about such issues thoughtfully, one wouldn’t be able to right an angry NYT op-ed. And one certainly couldn’t eat a sugary cookie with the resultant unnaturally stimulated mental state it might entail!
As such, our motto here will continue to be, “If you find it in the NYT, treat it to an extra dose of skepticism!”