CUTS to NHS maternity services mean that women in labour will now simply be offered a stick to bite.
The move is the latest cost-saving initiative from health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who hailed it as a welcome return to traditional delivery methods.
He explained: “The biting stick has been a trusted birthing tool for centuries, used by women all over the world – granted, it doesn’t do much about the pain, but really, how bad can it be?”
“What we are giving these mothers is choice. Rather than being trapped in a clean, safe environment with trained professionals, they are free to give birth wherever they choose – whether that’s out in the garden so they don’t mess up the carpet, or in the back of an Uber.”
Conservatives have offered enthusiastic support for the plans, while some critics have speculated that Hunt’s lack of empathy for the birthing process could be because he was not born of woman but arrived fully formed from the nightmares of NHS service users.