Open Accessibility Menu

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Now Offering Nitrous Oxide for

Pain and Anxiety Relief During Labor

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to begin offering women the option of nitrous oxide for pain and anxiety relief during labor. Nitrous oxide is a safe, excellent option for a non-narcotic or noninvasive pain reliever that you have complete control over.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a tasteless, odorless gas that has significant medical uses because of its pain- and anxiety-reducing effects.

Is nitrous oxide safe?

Nitrous oxide has been used around the world for dental procedures for decades. Studies have shown that it is non-addictive and even decreases the need for other pain medication, like pills. This pain management alternative has also been used by hospitals and surgery centers for labor and delivery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, urology and dermatology.

How is nitrous oxide administered?

Nitrous oxide is self-administered by holding a small mask to your mouth to inhale the gas, so you feel more control over pain relief. The effects are typically felt within just a few breaths, offering immediate relief of pain and anxiety. No needles necessary. Once the mask is removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide quickly wear off.

At what point in the labor process might you use nitrous oxide?

Some women prefer to use nitrous oxide during contractions, and others prefer to use it to help relax between contractions. Your registered nurse or provider will teach you how to use it and answer any questions you may have.

What are the benefits of nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is an option for women who want to control their pain during labor without the use of narcotics. Nitrous oxide does not limit mobility, slow labor or cause significant risk to the baby. It has a quick onset after it is inhaled and leaves the system quickly once its use is discontinued. Nitrous oxide will not completely eliminate pain, but it can help dull pain and lessen anxiety. It is a good option for women who are prone to anxiety or want the ability to move around during labor. You can safely breastfeed after delivery even if you used nitrous oxide.

Does nitrous oxide have side effects?

Some patients report nausea, but taking a few deep breaths without the mouthpiece or mask to your mouth will eliminate this feeling. Speak to your provider if you think you are feeling any unusual side effects.

Does nitrous oxide make you laugh uncontrollably?

Nitrous oxide does not make you laugh uncontrollably. The gas slows the nervous system, which makes you feel less inhibited. It also can create a sense of well-being or euphoria. This combination can make you feel sillier than usual, but most women don’t laugh hysterically.