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DCMH to offer pain alternatives during labor

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As a designated Baby-Friendly birthing facility, Stork's Landing obstetrics unit at Delta County Memorial Hospital will be offering nitrous oxide to women during labor as an alternative, or alongside of other pain-controlling measures. "It's a wonderful opportunity that our patients have another option for pain management during labor," stated Dr. Brian Eades, OBGYN for DCMH.

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as "laughing gas" which has been widely known for being used in dental office procedures, will be offered to expectant mothers during delivery at DCMH. However, this is not the first women who have been using nitrous oxide to control pain. Countries such as Canada, Australia and areas in Europe have been using nitrous oxide for decades.

During labor the nitrous to oxygen concentration is at 50 percent and at a self-administered dose. "We are very excited to start using nitrous oxide at Stork's Landing," states Carol Swingle, clinic nurse manager. "To be able to offer women an alternative to opioids is amazing. While it [nitrous oxide] does not take all the pain away, it is another method to fill the gap prior to other options, like epidurals."

Nitrous is easy to administer, less invasive, safe, and can be cost effective for families. "The cost to the patient is far less than that of narcotics and/or epidurals," said Swingle. "It should be a huge adjunct in alleviating anxiety as well. But it also does not leave her feeling out-of-it, but rather allows her to still be in the moment during what should be beautiful bonding experience for the whole family."

Stork's Landing at Delta County Memorial Hospital is a six-bed unit equipped with jetted tubs in every room. Each room is set up for labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum (LDRP) family-centered care in one homelike room. LDRP rooms are specifically designed so the mom and baby do not have to be moved after delivery to another room.

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