Laughing Gas Possibly A Safer Alternative To Stronger Labor Drugs
Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) may be one of the safest choices in labor pain relief, but that doesn't mean it'll...
Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) may be one of the safest choices in labor pain relief, but that doesn't mean it'll be available to you at your local hospital. While it's easy to get an epidural, it's not so simple to ask for and get laughing gas. Although advocates claim that laughing gas has fewer side effects, and although laughing gas is being used in other countries regularly for labor pain relief, laughing gas hasn't caught on in the U.S. Suzanne Serat, CNM, MSN, a nurse midwife at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. has this to say about why laughing gas may be a better choice in some cases, over an epidural:
"Because the body doesn't metabolize nitrous oxide [laughing gas], its quick-on, quick-off effect makes it a flexible tool in the delivery room. Women can get up to go to the bathroom, for example, whereas an epidural tethers them to the bed."While it appears that laughing gas may be a safe choice, it's not well known, so it may be hard to request. In order to administer laughing gas, hospitals need the correct equipment and that can be costly, especially when practitioners and women don't necessarily ask for laughing gas on a regular basis. Learn more about laughing gas used for labor pain relief. *Source