Useful information on the advantages and disadvantages of using Entonox (gas and air) as a form of pain relief during childbirth.
Entonox also known as gas and air or 'laughing gas', is commonly used for pain relief during childbirth. It is a mixture of oxygen and a gas called nitrous oxide that you inhale through a mouthpiece or a face mask (the preference should be yours). Research shows that women find it useful but it may not be very effective in actually lessening the pain.
The advantages of Entonox:
- You decide when to use Entonox, so you feel more in control.
- It works in 30-40 seconds but has no lasting effect.
- It apparently has no unpleasant side effects on your baby.
- It doesn't stop you wanting to push
- You can use it right up to the moment of giving birth.
The disadvantages of Entonox:
- You may need a bit of practice with the mouthpiece and timing with your contractions, before you feel the full effects.
- It can make you feel sick, dizzy or light-headed
- It may limit how much you can walk about.