While many people know about nitrous oxide use in dental procedures, this inhaled gas is used around the world to ease labor pain. It is quick-acting, safe, effective and easy-to-use, and it is not associated with any increase in adverse maternal or newborn effects.
Nitrous oxide is a unique pain-relief option. It’s blended with oxygen and inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask that the laboring person holds themselves. Nitrous oxide is effective while actively being inhaled during a contraction, and then it quickly wears off. This is a great option for someone needing support with their contraction pain while wanting to maintain mobility.
For many of our patients, this is an ideal option given their wishes and hopes for labor and birth. It allows the person the ability to move and reposition themselves, which can be helpful in finding what works best for their bodies and what may aid in the progression of labor.
If nitrous oxide is not providing the right type of pain relief, it can be discontinued, and other options can be used. We continue to provide epidural and IV pain relief options as well as non-pharmacologic methods. To find out if nitrous oxide might be right for you, and more of what to expect with use, ask your midwife.
Having support as you navigate the early weeks of feeding a baby makes a big difference.
At McKenzie Midwives, we provide lactation support services to the entire community. Regardless of where or how you birth, we can help with breast/chestfeeding, pumping and baby weight checks. We help manage complex lactation issues as well as routine check-ins for reassurance and guidance. We also offer a lactation preparation class during pregnancy as well as ongoing postpartum lactation support as long as needed.
Anne Ziemba, MSN, CNM
McKenzie Midwives & Lactations Services
960 N. 16th St., Ste 104, Springfield (541) 744-8660