Pain management alternative making a comeback for childbirth
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is making
a comeback for use in labor and delivery and is now available at Baton
Rouge General’s Birth Center. A less invasive alternative to an
epidural, nitrous oxide can reduce anxiety and ease the pain of childbirth,
empowering patients to help manage discomfort while staying in control.
Best known for its use in dentists’ offices, the colorless, odorless
gas can be used safely during all stages of labor and after birth without
harming mom or the baby. In the labor and delivery setting, nitrous oxide
is used with oxygen on a demand flow, so the patient only receives what
“Women today are really taking charge of their childbirth experiences,”
said Dr. Candee Moore, an OB/GYN at BRG. “Some want a natural childbirth,
others want an epidural to help them through it, and now many women are
starting to turn to nitrous oxide. And part of our job as healthcare providers
is to empower them to make decisions that meet their own needs.”
Nitrous oxide works right away and has few side effects, as it leaves a
woman’s system quickly when she stops using it. It also rapidly
leaves a baby’s system once the baby is born and starts breathing.
No additional monitoring of mom or baby is required afterward, and the
mom can walk and move around normally.
The use of nitrous oxide used to be fairly popular prior to the 1950s,
but physicians moved to more powerful anesthetics. The gas became obsolete
for use in childbirth in the 1970s with epidural anesthesia coming on
“Each mom, baby and pregnancy are different, so I encourage women
to talk openly and honestly with their OB/GYN about a birth plan, including
pain management options,” Dr. Moore added.
For more information on BRG’s Birth Center, to schedule a tour or
take a virtual one, click
here or call (225) 763-4141.
About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community
hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General
opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community
with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital
since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University
School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including
a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine
Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine
Fellowship Program. For more information, visit
BRGeneral.org, find us on Facebook at
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