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Nitrous Oxide Now Available for Moms in Labor at Baton Rouge General

  • Category: News, Baby
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  • Written By: Baton Rouge General

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 she inhales.

“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 the scene.

“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, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.