Get This Woman Some Laughing Gas! Other countries use nitrous oxide in the delivery room. Why don’t we?Photo by George Ruiz

Get This Woman Some Laughing Gas! Other countries use nitrous oxide in the delivery room. Why don’t we?

Nitrous oxide has a lot going for it. It merely blunts pain, but it also lets a laboring woman walk, perch on a birthing ball, whatever. It’s comparatively cheap, and it’s fast-acting, offering relief in less than a minute. Perhaps most key from midwives’ point of view, it is easily administered by the laboring woman herself. She grabs the mask when she knows a contraction is coming. She stops as the contraction ends. In other words, she is empowered to manage her own pain.

Continue reading...