Nitrous oxide is a safe alternative to traditional pain and anxiety medications. It allows you to actively participate in labor and delivery while getting fast, easy pain relief.
What is nitrous oxide?
Nitrous oxide is a gas that, when inhaled, can relieve pain and anxiety. The nitrous oxide mixture used at Middlesex Health is 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen. Our special equipment ensures that you get a perfect 50/50 blend with each breath.
How does it work?
Nitrous oxide works in seconds and can immediately help with your symptoms. When you need pain relief—for example, when you feel a contraction starting—you can simply breathe into a mask that you hold until the pain passes. You can use nitrous oxide at any time during labor, right up to birth. You will still be able to move around and push, when the time comes.
Nitrous oxide does not have any long term effects. The gas leaves your system in just a few breaths. It does not impact the progress of your labor.
Are there side effects for me? Does it affect my baby?
Some women report nausea when using nitrous oxide, but taking a few deep breaths without the mask will eliminate the nausea.
Additionally, there are no known effects of nitrous oxide on a baby during labor. This is because the gas is cleared from your body through the lungs in just a few breaths.
Will I need extra monitoring if I use nitrous oxide?
No, there is no extra fetal monitoring required if you use nitrous oxide.