3 hospitals in Arizona use what is similar to 'laughing gas' with a mix of oxygen for women in labor

3 hospitals in Arizona use what is similar to 'laughing gas' with a mix of oxygen for women in labor

Giving birth can be one of the most beautiful, painful experiences in your life.

I know. I just gave birth four months ago. Let's just say I am good for another 10 years to stay away from the labor room.

What if I told you there's another option you can go through labor before you decide to get an epidural?

Don't worry -- of course an epidural is still an option.

Mountain Vista Medical Center is introducing nitrous oxide.

"We do have nitrous, which is a blending of nitrous gas and oxygen, it's self-administered by the patient so they're really controlling it," said Patricia Rollins, the director of women and infant services at Mountain Vista Medical Center. 

Other hospitals that offer nitrous oxide are Tempe St. Luke's Hospital and the first one that ever tried in Arizona is Phoenix Indian Hospital.

Rollins says she is uncertain if they are the only ones in the country that offer this, but she is certain these three hospitals are the only locations that have it in Arizona. 

Patients are able to have both an epidural and the nitrous oxide, but it's completely up to the patient.

"We have a window of about two hours, sometimes it's a little more, and then we can offer alternatives and we explain that to the patient," said Rollins.

Rollins also said  it's very safe for mommy and the baby. There are side affects such as, nausea or numbness, but it eventually goes away.

Nitrous oxide is commonly known as "laughing gas," often used at a dentist's office.

"This nitrous is different because it's a blending of nitrous and oxygen -- it's a 50/ 50 percent," said Rollins.

She says there has been nothing but positive feedback and is sure that many other hospitals in Arizona will jump on the bandwagon.

 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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