Yeah I'll be saying **** off to that.... I hate them cos they can't get a vein in my hand they have to put it in the elbow fold... Hurts like a *****
Its only really necessary if they need to administer anything to you during labour eg fluids, pain meds, antibiotics etc
I didn't have one when my son was born. It is standard protocol at most places including the birthing center I was at but I refused and they said okay. If I had needed antibiotics later on they would have needed to start one but I made the cutoff and delivered less than 24 hours after ROM so it wasn't necessary.
The forearm is a better spot than hand or antecubital anyway - if you need one, ask for that.
Not only fluids. Sometimes they need an iv access to give blood for emergencies too. Or any other meds to help with the pregnancy itself. You just never know what can happen in the hospital
I don't think most hospitals allow a woman in active labor to drink a lot (usually get ice chips) or eat, so the iv keeps you hydrated and allows them to be able to administer any meds that you may need like an antibiotic. They do hurt, but I am sure the pain from an iv will be the last thing on your mind when you are in labor.