HealthBreak | Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous Oxide has been used for decades in Europe and Canada as a pain reliever for women in labor, and has no known side-effects for moms and babies. And now, the Missoula Family Maternity Center at Providence St. Patrick Hospital is proudly offering the option. "Nitrous Oxide is a colorless gas that's inhaled," says Mark Garnaas, MD - an OB/GYN doctor at St. Pat's. "A woman in labor can give it to herself, and it allows her to be mobile - she can still walk - and it leaves options open for other pain relief if she desires." "The technique is that the mom holds the mask up to herself," explains Dr. Garnaas. "It takes about 50 seconds to start to work, so ideally, she would start breathing in the Nitrous Oxide in and the medication would be at its most effective before the next contraction occurs." Nitrous Oxide is one example of the wide range of safe options to help laboring moms achieve the type of experience they're hoping for at Providence St. Patrick Hospital's Western Montana Maternity Center in Missoula. To learn more, visit http://providence.org/StPatsBabies.