Access Magazine Online Winter 2018

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baby and mother

New Choice for Pain Management for Moms in Labor 

Moms who deliver at Saratoga Hospital have a new choice for pain management during labor—nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas.

The Hospital became the first in the region to offer nitrous oxide last fall. “We are giving women another option—one that fosters a greater level of control over pain management during the course of labor,” says Carrie Inglee, Director of Women's Health Services.

Saratoga Hospital joins more than 200 facilities nationwide—including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals in Boston, Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, New York, and Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley—in offering nitrous oxide.

The gas offers several advantages, especially for women who prefer a more natural childbirth experience.

  • It is generally safe for mother and baby.
  • It is self-administered, giving the mother more control over pain management. She decides when to use the nitrous oxide. She can stop at any time and begin using a different pain management option instead.
  • Nitrous oxide is short-acting and is cleared through the lungs. The nitrous effect stops within a breath or two after the mother removes the mask.
  • Nitrous oxide can be used during all stages of labor.

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