A New Pain Relief Option for Mothers in Labor


The St. Elizabeth Family Birth Place is dedicated to making your labor and delivery as comfortable, relaxed and joy-filled as possible. Our beautiful private birthing suites set the tone for the parents-to-be and our skilled Labor & Delivery team is here for you on your labor journey, ready to welcome your little one into this world.

At St. Elizabeth, we know it’s essential for mothers to have options during labor. We are continually adding to our menu of services to offer comprehensive, cutting-edge care that gives mothers even more options as their labor progresses. From aromatherapy to new pain relief options like nitrous oxide, the St. Elizabeth Family Birth Place is committed to helping you bring your little one into this world as smoothly as possible.

How does nitrous oxide work during labor?

Nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) is an odorless and tasteless gas that is easily inhaled through a breathing mask. Nitrous oxide can be used throughout labor as a versatile pain relief option. It is non-invasive and moves quickly through the body, helping to control pain within a minute.

While nitrous oxide doesn’t completely eliminate contraction pain like an epidural, it does relieve pain during labor. It also significantly reduces the stress and anxiety surrounding labor and delivery, helping to calm down mom – and in turn, putting less stress on the baby.

Mom is in the driver’s seat

Nitrous oxide is self-administered by the mother during labor, putting her in control of how much to use and when to use it. It can also easily be switched out if the mother wants to try a different pain relief option. Some patients use nitrous oxide while waiting for their epidural because it’s easily accessed and effective.

“We’re excited to offer another pain management option to our laboring mothers,” says Debbie Cinque, Family Birth Place Nurse Manager at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Nitrous oxide puts the mother in the driver’s seat, taking the edge off of her pain and the anxiety that can start to build up during labor.”

Breastfeeding-friendly pain management option

Nitrous oxide is also a breastfeeding-friendly option. Unlike other pain management options, nitrous oxide clears the mother’s system quickly. Using nitrous oxide doesn’t affect the newborn’s alertness or ability to breastfeed immediately after birth. Some patients even choose to use nitrous oxide for pain immediately following birth.

We’re here to help

Nitrous oxide is one of the many pain management options offered during labor and delivery by the St. Elizabeth Family Birth Place. Our expert labor and delivery team recommends discussing all birth plan options with your OB/GYN throughout your pregnancy. Our team is here to help and we’ll do everything in our power to make your baby’s birth a positive and unforgettable experience.

For more information on labor and delivery at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, please call the Family Birth Place at (859) 301-2440.