Epidural analgesia is widely available and increasingly popular in the United States for pain relief in childbirth. Although it provides superior pain relief for most women, it is not without significant short- and long-term side effects. It is costly and requires the use of numerous other technologic interventions. Because women have information needs surrounding childbirth and value self-determination, full informed consent regarding epidural analgesia should be a priority in patient care. The best time and place in which to accomplish this is during the prenatal period.