Must I get an IV during labor?

Q: I've heard that I have to get an IV once I go into labor. Is that true?

A: Here’s a little-known secret: You don't need an IV just because you're in labor. If you plan on having an epidural, then it’s a good idea to get an IV soon after you’re admitted to the hospital. But if you’re planning on having a natural delivery, ask your doctor or midwife about other options, such as skipping the IV altogether or getting a hep-lock, which will keep a vein open just in case you need IV medications or fluids.

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