First in Orange County to Offer Nitrous Oxide Pain Management Service
The Rowley Family Birthing Center at Orange Regional Medical Center is the first in Orange County, and one of the first in New York State, to offer nitrous oxide as a pain management alternative to laboring mothers. Among the many benefits of nitrous oxide to women in labor is the ability to move around more freely than with an epidural anesthetic which blocks pain below the waist.
“Women have very varied experiences with labor and delivery, and have many different preferences for dealing with the pain. It makes sense to have a wide variety of pain management options available for them,” said Clinical Nurse Specialist, Raizie Lutwak. “Even with nitrous oxide, patients get different degrees of relief. What many women like best is that nitrous is a non-invasive option that is self-administered. It helps them relax and can reduce the sensation of contractions. We have patients who find that nitrous is all they need throughout the entire process; others move on to having an epidural later in the labor.”
Nitrous oxide is a colorless and tasteless gas made for inhalation to provide analgesia during painful procedures. It is frequently used to relieve pain associated with dental surgery and has a long history of safe use in other countries during labor and delivery. It is self-administered through an on-demand flow delivery system, and can be used in all stages of labor without affecting the baby. When the mother stops inhaling the gas, the effects wear off very quickly. Nitrous oxide has also been used effectively for postpartum procedures immediately after delivery.
In addition to nitrous oxide, the Rowley Family Birthing Center is proud to offer moms-to-be other relaxation options. Hydrotherapy, performed in a shower or whirlpool tub, is soothing and relaxing to laboring women. Additionally, Reiki therapy, as well as Birthing and Peanut Balls are available to enhance the experience and promote a safe, healthy delivery.
Reiki is the Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by a trained therapist to balance the body’s energy. Guided imagery may also be used with Reiki to enhance the therapy.
Birthing and Peanut balls are positioning aids, used both for comfort and to help labor move along more quickly. Birthing balls give mothers strength and stability to help speed up dilatation and move the baby down into the pelvis. Peanut balls also provide comfort and help facilitate the progress of labor and can also be used while moms are in the bed.