Hospitals Are Offering Laughing Gas During Labor

laughing gas for labor

I remember it very clearly, I went into labor for my first son and thought it would be easy, the idea of having laughing gas may have completely changed the outcome.

I find it amazing and glad that the women giving birth at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center have a new option to make labor a little easier: nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas.

Legacy Emanuel is the first hospital in Portland to offer the gas during labor. Says KPTV

Unlike commonly-used pain relief methods like epidural injections, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a face mask. Legacy says that allows mothers to control how much they receive by breathing as much or as little of the gas as they want.

Legacy says the nitrous oxide is mixed with 50 percent oxygen and the effects of the gas dissipate within a few seconds of taking the mask off the face.

Cheryl Thiele gave birth at Legacy Emanuel this week using nitrous oxide, and she said she liked having it available as an option.

“I didn’t want anything too invasive or extra needles or poking that I didn’t want, so when they said it was available and I’d get to try it for the first time, I was ready,” Thiele said.

Thiele said she had a good experience with nitrous oxide and was glad she didn’t need any additional pain medication during labor.

“I felt like it really did take the edge off and made me feel like I can get through this labor without anything else,” Thiele said.

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