Skip to Main Content

Pain Relief Options

We understand that everyone has different preferences for their labor and delivery, so we offer mothers plenty of options when bringing their little one into the world. For example, you can choose between a natural birth and delivery with an epidural, where anesthesia is inserted into your spine to numb the lower half of your body and relieve discomfort during childbirth.

The birth centers at St. Rose Dominican are also the first in Nevada to offer nitrous oxide as an option to relieve pain during labor. This non-opioid option has been safely used for years in other states and countries and can replace narcotic medications that are commonly used for pain.

Comparing natural birth and pain relief options

There are several advantages and disadvantages to all three options.

Natural Birth


  • There are no side effects from medication.
  • You are able to walk around as you labor if you’d like.
  • Some women feel empowered with a great sense of achievement.


  • You will feel intense pain during childbirth.
  • You may feel fatigued if labor progresses slowly.
  • Delivery may take longer if you are in extreme pain or exhausted.

Delivery with an Epidural


  • You will feel little or no pain during labor and delivery.
  • You may feel more rested during labor and pushing.
  • Some women say that having less pain gives them a more positive birth experience.


  • You will not be able to get out of bed after the epidural takes effect.
  • The epidural could slow contractions.
  • Sometimes the epidural does not work and may need to be repeated.

Your OB may advise against an epidural if:

  • You are on blood thinners.
  • You have an infection.
  • You are not dilated past four centimeters.
  • Your baby is too close to delivery.

Delivery with Nitrous Oxide


  • Does not interfere with labor, pushing, or breastfeeding and bonding with baby
  • Easy to use — it’s self-administered by mom
  • Lowers levels of anxiety
  • Fast-acting pain relief
  • Mom can move around while in labor
  • Quick recovery. As soon as you pull the mask away, the effects of breathing the gas are gone in a few seconds.


  • Some women experience nausea or sleepiness, but this can be relieved by taking in a few deep breaths without using the mask.

Whatever delivery option you choose, our specialists will be there to help you recover after your delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.