Utah Lawmaker Wants to Cut Epidurals to Save Money

Jeanne Sager
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epiduralEver heard of an elective epidural?

It's one thing a Utah lawmaker says needs to be taken away from pregnant women with Medicaid in order to help balance the state budget.

So, any guesses on this lawmaker's gender?

Ding, ding, ding, give the reader a prize.

Sen. Dan Liljenquist is male. And a Republican.

And along with Sen. Howard Stephenson, another man, he's convinced that there are thousands of out-of-state college students racing to Utah to give birth on the state's dime.

And darn those young women. They don't want to be in devastating pain through the entire thing.

So let's amp up the contractions and maybe they'll stop opening their legs?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say neither of these men has ever been pregnant. And neither has spent the months leading up to giving birth in a state of no sleep because every time they settled down to go night night, someone settled on their bladder, forcing them to rush to the bathroom.

I resisted my epidural as long as I could. But with pitocin screaming through my veins, and Nurse Ratched keeping me from moving around to get comfortable, I can tell you the epidural is the only way I got through the end of my labor.

It gave me a bit of rest after all those sleepless nights and more than 24 hours without food so I would have the power to push.

Although there have been studies that claim epidurals slow labor, there are just as many showing stress slows it down ... prompting the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to suggest women should be allowed an epidural when requested -- regardless of the stage of labor.

There's not even proof the epidural is increasing expenses by risking a costly c-section -- a study just last year found the rate of c-section was equal whether women opted for an epidural or used natural methods to combat the pain.

I feared a c-section. Having been induced, I was at a higher risk for one. But I dare say the epidural allowed my body to move along and deliver naturally.

If the state of Utah wants to save money, maybe they should look at how to make women's time in the hospital more pleasant -- to help them give baby a healthy start to the world and save costs down the line.

Or they can just punish women for opening their legs.

 

Image via Bramus!/Flickr

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