Thursday, August 27, 2015
The Birth Center at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital now offers pregnant women the choice of using Nitrous Oxide during labor and delivery. Nitrous Oxide is a blend of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide to relieve pain and anxiety during labor and delivery. Several countries with high standards for health care, such as Canada, Sweden, Australia, Finland and the United Kingdom have used nitrous oxide for years.
The Pro-Nox Nitrous Oxide delivery system is a small, portable machine; nitrous oxide is self-administered by the mother simply by placing a mask over her nose and mouth and gently breathing in. It’s easy to use and takes effect quickly. The use of nitrous does not have adverse affects on the infant or the mother, during or after delivery and does not affect breastfeeding. Women who use nitrous oxide may still have an awareness of labor pain, but it helps them relax and decreases their perception of the pain. Nitrous is the only pain relief method used for labor that is cleared from the body through the lungs, so as soon as you pull the mask away, the nitrous effect is gone within a breath or two.
“We are very pleased to be offering the option of nitrous oxide to the women who choose our Birth Center. Our goal is for every mother, partner and newborn to experience the labor process in a loving, supportive, professional atmosphere. The introduction of nitrous oxide as a self-administered option offers the mother a decrease in the fear-tension-pain cycle that may accompany labor,” said Mindy Warren, BSN and Director of the Birth Center.
Sarit Shatken-Stern and Certified Nurse Midwife at NVRH is “thrilled that we have a new choice for pain relief in labor, especially one that will not impair patient movements. Not only can nitrous oxide be used at any point during labor, it clears so fast that even if a patient does not like the effects, there is no long term impact on their labor. The use of nitrous oxide could help turn childbirth from a very intense experience into a less stressful one.”
The Birth Center at NVRH supports natural childbirth and emphasizes the strong bond between mother and infant. The 8 bed labor, delivery, recovery unit is staffed by three OB-GYNs and three certified nurse midwives. The nursing staff is experienced in labor support, breastfeeding and provides postpartum support and education; a full-time lactation specialist is also available.
NVRH is Baby Friendly™ – the only Vermont hospital so designated by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother and baby bonding.
To schedule a tour of the Birth Center, or if you have questions about Nitrous Oxide, please call Mindy Warren, Director of the Birth Center at 802-748-7339.