Nitrous at Meritus Family Birthing Center!

What? Yes, you read that right!

The years of asking has finally paid off, nitrous oxide is now available at Meritus Family Birthing Center!

And we are excited about that!

If your’e not familiar with nitrous oxide (commonly called laughing gas) it is an analgesic that reduces pain reception systemically (across your whole body). While it is commonly used in dental procedures, its use during labor and delivery for pain management has been rising steadily over the years, and the results are proving to be positive!


Nitrous oxide is a gas, so the method of consumption is through inhalation with a special mask. The amount of nitrous consumed is up to the discretion of the laboring person.


Nitrous can be used at any point during labor, including immediately after delivery of the baby and placenta, should any repairs need done.


Nitrous helps to reduce pain as well as reducing the stress response in the body. It also has a biological half life of about 5 minutes so if you decide that you do not like it, you can discontinue use and be free of the effects very quickly.

Is it for me?

As with all medication options, there are some patients who may not be able to utilize nitrous oxide during labor. If it is a pain management option you might like to try, talk to your provider to determine whether it may be an option for you.

But what about safety?

For anyone who may be wondering about safety of nitrous oxide use during labor, Evidence Based Birth has a great video you can watch here, but to quell your fears, nitrous oxide has shown to be very safe during labor and delivery, with the most common (but rare) side effects being nausea and drowsiness.

So, what does this mean for those that are giving birth at Meritus?


Nitrous oxide is another option that can be considered for comfort during labor and delivery. Because it is not as potent and does not last as long as Stadol or other intravenous medications, and does not reduce mobility the way that an epidural does, it may allow more freedom during labor.

As doulas, we love options for our clients and we are so glad to see this option brought to Meritus for the families that we serve, as well as everyone else who chooses Meritus Family Birthing Center to welcome their newest family member.

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