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St. Luke's Birthing Center First in Northland to Offer Nitrous Oxide

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Dr. Susan Goltz, St. Luke's OB/GYN and instrumental in implementing nitrous oxide in the Birthing CenterSt. Luke’s Birthing Center has a new option for pain control during labor. Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, debuted in the St. Luke’s Birthing Center earlier this month. St. Luke’s Birthing Center is the only facility in the Northland to offer this to women during labor.

Nitrous oxide is an option for women seeking to mute contractions and other pain during childbirth without using narcotics or epidural anesthesia. It is given in controlled doses and can be managed by women themselves during labor. Laughing gas can help women cope with pain from contractions or other procedures related to childbirth, and effects can be felt after about 30 seconds of inhalation via a face mask.

The use of nitrous oxide during delivery is a growing trend nationally. “This gives women wanting a more natural delivery another option for pain management,” said Lori Swanson, St. Luke’s maternal child health nurse manager. Women using nitrous oxide often want a lower intervention birth, but sometimes need the additional options to cope with pain and ease anxiety during labor and delivery. “We are excited to offer this to our patients,” said Swanson.