The Mercy Hospital Family BirthPlace is pleased to now offer nitrous oxide, also known as "laughing gas," as another option to ease the discomfort of childbirth.
"The use of nitrous oxide has become an effective and safe choice for expectant mothers who are looking for a less invasive way to manage pain during natural childbirth," said Susan Littler, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the OB/GYN Department at Mercy Hospital. "Nitrous oxide allows the patient to stay awake and alert during childbirth while helping to lessen the discomfort from the intense contractions of labor. It can also be used as an alternative for mothers who arrive too late to receive an epidural or are not eligible to receive an epidural due to medical concerns."
"We are proud to be the first in the area to offer nitrous oxide as a pain relief option for laboring mothers," said Mary Ann Murphy, director of Maternal Child Services. "We believe in providing a birth experience which gives women a full array of choices including hydrotherapy/whirlpool tubs, birthing balls, peanut balls and other comfort measures to support non-medicated births, as well as 24/7 anesthesia coverage for epidurals."
During childbirth, women self-administer the nitrous oxide as needed.
Expectant mothers who are interested in nitrous oxide for childbirth are encouraged to discuss this option with their physicians and to learn whether they medically qualify to use this method of pain management.