Are you curious what it means to give birth with nitrous oxide? Read this blog! Here we tell you what nitrous oxide can do as pain relief, what the benefits are and how it works. Licensed with nitrous oxide is chosen by many women who want a natural delivery without heavy pain relief, but still want a little relief. If you have experience with nitrous oxide: let us know!
Pain relief childbirth options
There are several during the delivery options for pain management. Which pain relief you may have depends on whether you have a home birth or hospital delivery.
- Pain relief during hospital delivery: spinal puncture, remifentanil infusion or pethidine (injection).
- Pain relief during home birth: water injections, aromatherapy, phytotherapy, Birth TENS or breathing exercises.
If you have opted for a home birth, the choices in terms of pain management are limited. This is because most medications must be administered under the supervision of a specialist.
In addition, you can also opt for nitrous oxide in case of a hospital birth and a home birth.
Laughing gas home birth
Some obstetricians also give laughing gas during the home birth. You can check this out for certainty. Because nitrous oxide is not a heavy medication, has a mild effect and has been developed quickly, it can also be used in a home birth.
Laughing gas as pain relief
Laughing gas as a pain relief is a bit back. In 2004 it was still banned in the Netherlands because it was suspected that laughing gas would be harmful to the baby. After numerous investigations it has now been established that it is completely safe.
Yet it is not as popular in the Netherlands as in America or England. Do you happen to know the television program 'Born every minute' by TLC? In that program you can see how often nitrous oxide is used in England. It even seems to be used with every birth. That is not yet the case in the Netherlands.
How does nitrous oxide work?
Laughing gas is actually a very mild pain relief. Milder than the other drugs that you can receive in the hospital. Laughing gas is a mixture of oxygen with nitrous oxide. The latter substance does not sound very healthy, but because the substance is mixed with oxygen, it is not harmful.
If you start giving birth with nitrous oxide your consciousness will be slightly lower. You can compare it a bit with being tipsy after a glass of wine. You relax and you feel the pain less. Laughing gas stimulates the body to make more endorphins (body's own painkiller) and ensures that the conduction of pain stimuli is inhibited.
It already works after 30 seconds and has been worked out after a few minutes.
Benefits of laughing gas as pain relief
Delivering with nitrous oxide really has a few good advantages. You can relax better, it works fast, it takes away the sharpest pain so you are better able to cope with contractions. And it does not hurt or nothing needs to be pinned. In addition, it has no influence on the course of your delivery and you can experience everything very consciously (only then a tad 'tipsy').
The disadvantages are that it is not available everywhere and you can not walk around or easily take different poses. The nitrous oxide is actually administered with a mask. Some women experience some unpleasant side effects such as nausea or dizziness.
How is laughing gas administered?
Laughing gas is administered by means of a mouthpiece (you can do it yourself) or by means of a chin mask. You can use it from the moment you have access to it. Laughing gas can then help you to relax and absorb the contractions better. When you start squeezing, you have to stop the gas because you need full concentration at that moment.
Where did you give birth with nitrous oxide?
Laughing gas is now on the rise again in the Netherlands, but it could very well be that the hospital in your area does not yet offer this option. If you would like to give birth with nitrous oxide, it is good to check in advance which hospitals in your area offer this option.
Do you want a home birth, ask your midwife or you can give birth with laughing gas. Bear in mind that laughing gas is not reimbursed by every insurer.
Laughing gas delivery experience
What I have found so most of the experiences of giving birth with nitrous oxide are very positive. Women notice that they can really relax better so that they can rest equally well between the contractions. It also helps to alleviate the pain. It is a very good way to still have a small form of pain relief that is not immediately as intense as a spinal puncture. Ideal for women who want a natural delivery, with a little relief. The disadvantage is that in the Netherlands it is far from being everywhere. So you first have to figure this out.