We strive to provide mothers plenty of birth options, and we’re proud to be the first in Nevada to offer nitrous oxide during childbirth. Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is a non-opioid pain relief option that usually takes effect within seconds and offers immediate relief of pain and anxiety.
Using nitrous oxide for pain relief provides many benefits:
Some women may experience nausea or sleepiness, but this can be relieved by taking in a few deep breaths without using the mask.
Here are a few commonly asked questions and answers about this pain relief method.
What is nitrous oxide and how is it used for labor?
Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is a non-opioid pain relief option commonly used during delivery. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and breathed through a mask or mouthpiece while you’re in labor.
Why use nitrous oxide while in labor?
Here are a few benefits of using nitrous oxide during labor:
How is nitrous oxide administered?
Nitrous oxide must first be approved by your physician. You hold your own mask, and you can start to breathe in the gas about 30 seconds before a contraction begins. Also, you can put the mask or mouthpiece down between contractions and use it on and off as you choose. Your nurse will guide you and supervise your positioning and movement.
Do I have to choose between using nitrous oxide or having an epidural?
No. However, an epidural and nitrous oxide are not usually used at the same time. Some women use nitrous oxide before they have an epidural. You may choose to use only nitrous oxide, or you may choose to use nitrous oxide first before moving on to other methods of pain relief.
Will nitrous oxide affect my baby?
No. Nitrous oxide is the only method of pain relief used for labor that is cleared from your body through your lungs. As soon as you pull the mask away, the effects of breathing the gas are gone in a few seconds.
Does nitrous oxide have any side effects?
Some women experience nausea, but this can be relieved by taking a few deep breaths without using the mask. There is a chance that you can pass out for a minute if you breathe in too much gas, and that’s why you’re the only person that can control the amount of gas you receive.