This is another common question that I hear frequently that has a simple yet complicated answer. Is an IV necessary?
However, very few hospitals will allow you to labor and deliver without one, even if you plan to have an un-medicated birth.
This is a precautionary measure, like not allowing you to eat, in case there is an emergency and you need a c-section or other surgery of some kind. IV access is important in those cases and can be difficult to get if needed quickly. This is why most doctors will require you to have access, known as an INT, a hep-lock or saline lock, if you are delivering at a hospital.
If you plan to be induced or plan to have an epidural, an IV is necessary because of the medicines given for induction, and an IV fluid bolus is necessary for an epidural.
For those who are healthy and have had an uncomplicated pregnancy who are completely opposed to an having an IV, consider a home birth or going to a birth center to avoid an IV.
What is your experience with IVs?