Birthing a baby is a breathtaking experience, but that can be interpreted in one of two ways. While having a baby is a blessing from God, in reality, the process is very painful.
During labor, pain relief epidurals may be used, but these injections could be losing popularity to an even better medical intervention. New mom, Kathryn Kingsley, recently refused an epidural while in labor at Seton Medic Center in Austin, Texas.
The mom insisted that she still “wanted to be able to move around.” Epidurals are known to have a numbing effect on patients, so doctors knew exactly what to do for the pain.
They instead suggested nitrous oxide — laughing gas used for pain and anxiety. With some safety measures set in place, Kingsley was allowed to self-administer the drug.
“It’s all patient controlled,” OB/GYN Dr. Sally Grogono told KVUE-TV. “So every time they have a contraction, they breathe the nitrous oxide.”
Grogono also stated it was safe to inhale the gas anytime during labor, except for when an epidural or IV medication was also used. “It doesn’t necessarily take pain away, but it makes the patient not care about the pain,” she said.
Soon enough, Kingsley couldn’t stop laughing. Although most of her pain was still present, it helped her breathe through her contractions.
The new mom is now recommending the alternative method to other pregnant women. As innovative as it sounds, using nitrous oxide during birth is nothing new.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the practice is widely accepted in countries like Canada, Australia, and the U.K. High doses of the compound have been known to carry some health risks.
Overall, experts say that laughing gas doesn’t harm the mother and baby when taken in safe dosages — 50 percent oxygen and 50 percent nitrous oxide. With proper ventilation equipment, it’s a decent alternative.
Does laughing through the pain sound better, moms? Tell us what you think.