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New pain relief option for laboring mothers

  • Category: Health & Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Marketing Director
New pain relief option for laboring mothers
Watching nitrous oxide levels
Jelena Frey watches the monitors as Women’s Health Center Director Megan Jacobsen explains how the nitrous oxide machine works in the Obstetrics Department at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.

Nitrous oxide is noninvasive and does not affect the baby

Porter MaskLaboring mothers now have the option of using nitrous oxide to ease pain and anxiety when giving birth at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s Labor and Delivery Unit.

“We are proud to be one of only three hospitals in Wyoming to offer this choice for women,” said Megan Jacobsen, director of Women’s Health Clinic of Sweetwater Memorial. “This allows women more options and lets them have more control during their labor experience.”

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, “Research has supported the reasonable efficacy, safety, and unique and beneficial qualities of nitrous oxide as an analgesic for labor and its use as a widely accepted component of quality maternity care.”

Nitrous oxide is often called “laughing gas.” It’s a safe anesthetic gas targeting the pain receptors in the brain.

Jacobsen said there are a lot of benefits in using nitrous oxide:

  • Self-administered so the patient has complete control over her pain management
  • Noninvasive
  • Does not affect the baby
  • Does not affect breastfeeding
  • Does not stop or slow labor
  • Allows mom to maintain mobility and move around the room

Nitrous oxide is a good option for women who want a low-intervention birth or before the use of an epidural.

For more information, call MHSC Labor and Delivery at 307-352-8340.

Nitrous oxide demo

Jelena Frey, right, listens as Women’s Health Center Director Megan Jacobsen explains the process of using nitrous oxide as an anesthetic during labor. Frey, an obstetrics nurse at MHSC, is due in late October, and says she “definitely” will use nitrous oxide when laboring.