Nitrous oxide is a mixture of nitrous gas and oxygen that is inhaled through a mask. The gas is self-administered by the laboring woman, who breathes it in with a contraction and stops using it once the contraction is over.
“Nitrous oxide is a great option for women who want a more natural childbirth,” says Brenda Pearson, clinical nurse manager of Labor and Delivery at Kettering Medical Center. “The woman can administer as much or as little as she wants during labor.”
Women who have questions about whether to use nitrous oxide during labor should consult their physician or midwife.