Pregnancy
More and more women are opting for laughing gas during labor
What's your take on this?
Irene Markianou
09.07.22

Any pregnant woman approaching the third trimester starts having mixed feelings regarding labor.

Unsplash - freestocks
Source:
Unsplash - freestocks

Many women are exhausted by the seventh month of pregnancy. They may have suffered from nausea, cramps, headaches, and they may possibly want the whole pregnancy thing to be over.

At the same time, the mere fact that they are getting closer to their due date just makes them excited. Many have already prepared the baby’s room, they have bought everything they will be needing for the hospital and the first days at home with a newborn.

Unsplash - Toa Heftiba
Source:
Unsplash - Toa Heftiba

And, let’s not forget about those women who suffer from back pain because their belly has gotten so big since they entered the third trimester. They just need to get rid of this huge belly and really hold their baby in their arms!

Whatever the case, most women just can’t wait for labor day. As long as their baby would not be considered a preemie and would not need to be sent to the NICU, they would be more than happy to go into labor any minute.

Unsplash - Jimmy Conover
Source:
Unsplash - Jimmy Conover

Still, many of them are afraid of the pain that labor involves- and, trust me, it’s serious pain!

While over the last few decades an epidural has been the go-to pain relief for women in active labor, it seems that young women opt for non-invasive alternatives.

And, while things like hypnosis meditation are still among their options, many women go for nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, as it is commonly known.

YouTube - ChristianaCare
Source:
YouTube - ChristianaCare

Nitrous oxide has been used at dentists’ offices as an analgesic for years, and it has worked. So, people started thinking, why not use it in labor as well?

Laughing gas has been a popular analgesic during labor in northern Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, and it has recently started gaining ground in the US as well, with more and more states offering it as an alternative to the epidural in their hospitals.

Unsplash - Annie Spratt
Source:
Unsplash - Annie Spratt

Mothers who have used it before explain how it made them feel.

“You’re cognitively aware of everything that’s going on. If you don’t want the effects of it, you can simply stop using it,” Laura, a 41-year-old mother from NY, told TODAY. “You’re not confined. With the epidural there’s a lot of movement restriction.”

YouTube - ChristianaCare
Source:
YouTube - ChristianaCare

As Stephanie Knapp, a mother from Delaware, explained, using nitrous oxide during labor helped her feel more relaxed and strong without medicines.

Still, although the use of laughing gas during labor has not been found to affect the mother or the newborn, there are some concerns about it.

YouTube - ChristianaCare
Source:
YouTube - ChristianaCare

“[S]ome animal studies have shown effects on animal babies and it is not known if in the future there may be proven negative effect on human babies,” experts warn.

At the end of the day, it’s only good to have options in life and pregnant women are able to get informed, listen to their doctors’ advice, and decide on the best analgesic for them.

Unsplash - Rian Ramirez
Source:
Unsplash - Rian Ramirez

In the video below, you can watch a mother talk about her experience with laughing gas during labor.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Irene Markianou
hi@sbly.com
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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