Nitrous Oxide is an odorless, tasteless gas mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask. It’s also referred to as laughing gas because it can make you feel lightheaded or silly. It’s commonly used during dental procedures but with a constant flow and higher dose of oxygen.
Unlike at the dentist, laboring moms have 100 percent control of how much or how often they inhale the gas for pain management. Nurse DeMoe says it’s a safe, fast-acting method for easing pain and anxiety during childbirth. “It’s going to take the edge off and provide that relaxation,” said DeMoe. While an Epidural or IV pain medication may cause drowsiness, health officials say Nitrous Cxide wears off quickly, giving moms a chance to be more present for the birth experience.
There are also fewer side effects for the mother and essentially no side effects to the baby. Laughing gas during labor has been around for decades although its use is newer in the United States than in other countries. More hospitals are beginning to offer it. In addition to Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, Mayo Clinic Health System and Marshfield Clinic in Eau Claire also offer it to laboring moms.
Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s says they have received positive feedback from patients. Jessica Gast of Chippewa Falls gave birth to her daughter Aspen back in May. Gast says although she still felt some pain, Nitrous gas helped her stay calm and relaxed. She plans to use it again for her next birth.
“They come out and want to breast feed just like they would normally without medication and it also provides mom and option to be up, around and have more mobility during their labor,” says Nurse DeMoe. Nurse DeMoe says only the patient is allowed to hold the mask so how much laughing gas they use is 100 percent in their control which is comforting for most moms.
Post time: Aug-05-2019