I've been watching this show, and well I'm finding it hard to comprehend! Based in the U.S, these women giving birth are 'diagnosed' and 'prescribed'. 5cm dialated and an epidural shot, or are getting to the point of needing an epidural, I'll get you one.
Very rarely do they speak of going through labour without it. It's just a part of the process over there.
Call me crazy, but I've never seen that before, and always though an epidural is an option to help when things have gotten tough, eg: long labour, large baby etc