The birthing experience can be vastly different for every mom now that women have more control over their own labor.
Some moms opting for a natural birth are replacing epidurals with a new form of pain management during labor and delivery.
More and more women in the United States are asking doctors and midwives for laughing gas instead.
When someone thinks of Nitrous oxide, they may recall non-stop giggling at their last dentist appointment. But apparently, laughing gas has made its way back to delivery rooms, reports WZZM.
New mom Amelia Awalt explained why she chose a 50/50 blend of oxygen and nitrous to help get her through labor. She told WZZM:
“I want to do it all natural. Mostly I wanted to be able to walk around and move and have the freedom to get up out of bed if I wanted to.”
Dallas-based labor and delivery nurse Jill Reynolds said:
"Previously, the only options we had were IV narcotics which were very sedating to the patients. They make them very loopy, they make the baby very loopy as well...
We found that the population wanted another option that was safer for mom and safer for baby that could be used all the way until the end without having to get that epidural."
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the gas is a safe pain relief option used during birthing to diminish pain by primarily helping a woman relax and leaving her less aware of her pain and discomfort.
Simi Lujan told WZZM she tried birthing her first child naturally, but it didn't go as planned.
Reynolds, her delivery nurse, used laughing gas through contractions during her second birth. Reynolds explained:
“It's not supposed to take the pain away completely. But it also has anti-anxiety effects and also relaxation effects so it helps them relax through the contraction which is really important.”
According to Lujan's husband, Tony, his wife had a much better birthing experience this time around. He said:
“After she took that first inhale, I could feel her body just relax and I could hear by the tone of her voice that she was pleasant.”
Parents reports that Nitrous oxide is an age-old pain relief option used in various parts of the world. It's estimated that 50 to 75 percent of moms use the 50/50 “air and gas” blend during birth.
Not every birthing facility in the U.S. offers laughing gas, however. If interested contact your birth provider to learn more about the option.