Post # 1
The hospital I am delivering at in a few weeks has nitrous oxide as one of their pain relief methods during labor. They’ve been only doing it for a few months and from what I am reading it is fairly new to the US but much more common in Canada and Europe.
Do any bees have experience using it? If you did use it I am very curious what you thought.
Post # 2
Im not even TTC yet but I hope this is an option for me because I love NO2 for dental stuff. You have much much more control- take the mask off and it wears off very quickly. I dont want to be paralyzed by a epidural.
Post # 3
I did use it for half of my labour. It was very nice, it really took the edge of the contractions off. I’ve a really long labour and I would say the pain was reduced to half? When I was breathing it.
I don’t know how it would work in your hospital, here in Switzerland they have the valves above the bed in the delivery room, the nurse adjusts the ratio between N2O and oxygen according to your needs. You have this long flexible tube ending in a mask that allows you to move.. Around the bed. (Walking away to the toilet meant feeling the real intensity of the contractions.)
I didn’t use it during transition or the pushing phase because my labour was too slow and they had to give me pitocin, so they suggested an epidural and I accepted.
MrsBuesleBee : my epidural was the drip one, set to the minimum. I had the option of turning it up if I wanted, but I chose not to. The pain was gone, I only felt the pressure, but I was allowed to walk around the room (preferably with someone next to me).
Post # 4
ke_murphy : I never knew this wasn’t a thing in the US! In the uk we call it ‘gas and air’ which is a diluted nitrous oxide. It’s extremely common.
Post # 5
MrsBuesleBee: I too really don’t like the idea of being paralyzed by the epidural and much prefer the idea of being able to move around…. but I guess I won’t know until the time comes if I can handle the pain without the epi!
turante : That is very intersting to hear your experience. At the hospital I’ll be at the mixture is a pre-mixed 50/50 mixture of N2O/O2 and it is portable. You can walk around, be in the tub etc while using the N2O. Once you get an epidural you are tied down to the bed and no longer allowed to move around.
abouttodoit17: Do you have any experience with it?
Post # 6
I used it after my fentanyl wore off and before the anesthesiologist arrived for my epidural, when I was about 6-7 cm dilated and had been in labour for about 14 hours. It took the edge off a little bit, but I’d say that it was effective mostly in the way that it helped me focus on my breathing instead of the contractions. I had the option of walking around with the tank, but I was so exhausted that I just stayed in bed haha.
It did make my mouth super dry, though, and some angel/nurse snuck me a bottle of water because ice chips were not cutting it, haha.
Post # 7
Yup as pp said it’s very common here even for home births and seen as a very low intervention way to help with breathing/relief with no particular side effects for mama or baby. Popular with mums doing it ‘naturally’ as it’s known to just take the edge off and can be used with water births or whatever.
Post # 8
ke_murphy : I really really wanted to use it and they brought it in the room since I was asking for it but I didn’t have time (the kid came out literally 15 minutes after I made it to the delivery room and I was already pushing on the gurney as they wheeled me in lol). I’ve been told it doesn’t so much relieve your pain but just makes you not care that you are in pain. I never wanted an epidural and now that I’ve done a completely unmedicated birth I’m confident in that choice but if the next kid takes longer I’ll plan on the nitrous again.
Post # 9
ke_murphy : I’m in the UK and gave birth to my son in a pool with gas and air as my only pain relief. I had a really painful early labour as my son was back to back, so I was in a lot of pain before I was in established labour (4cm) which is when they allow you to use the gas and air. It made a huge difference for me. I felt relaxed and comfortable throughout my labour once I was allowed to use it.
I think the main benefit for me is that it forced me to breath deeply and helped me remain calm during my contractions. Before I was allowed to use the gas and air I was panicking a bit when the contraction started and it definitely made the pain worse. Because of the way you use the gas and air it made me control my breathing and made the contractions much more bearable. I would definitely recommend trying it, you can always move on to other options if it doesn’t help.
Post # 10
I’m in the UK and used gas and air during the earlier stages of active labour and thought it was great! It helped me focus and breathe properly like pp have said and took the edge off the pain.
I had an induction though so things quickly got too much for me to handle and I got an epidural (no regrets – had a sleep, felt enough to push effectively, baby out in under an hour and up straight away for a shower) If I’m lucky enough to have another baby and not need an induction I’d have a go at doing it with gas and air alone.
Post # 11
Never got on with it.
Tastes gross and made me feel drunk and hungover, slurred speech and all.
I had no pain relief in the end and had a fab delivery, a complete breeze compared to my first which was a nightmare.