Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide provides good, practical and well documented pain relief during childbirth, greatly appreciated by midwives and mothers-to-be. Nitrous oxide is also used during surgery and in dental procedures.


Nitrous oxide is a chemical compound of nitrogen and oxygen. It is a colorless gas with a slightly sweet scent and taste. A combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen is delivered by the breathing mask. The normal concentration is 50-70% nitrous oxide but this concentration may be adjusted as needed. Nitrous oxide may be combined with all other pain relievers.

There are no known negative side-effects on breathing, circulation, labor in childbirth or other bodily functions. Additionally, there are no known negative side-effects for the infant in the delivery process. Nitrous oxide is also the only pharmaceutically-based pain relief method that the woman in labor may control by herself.

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