Entonox For Labor, Is It Safe?

5 min read

Written by Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha is engaged in content creation and editing for more than 6 years and has the additional experience of being the mother of two children. She is part of content team.

Entonox For Labor

With the technological development in medical science, medical practitioners are using several new procedures and techniques to simplify or resolve complex situations. Even during the delivery of a baby, doctors take advantage of modern technologies. Entonox for labor is one of such advanced techniques used during delivery.

In many countries, doctors use Entonox or the gas and air method to reduce labor pain. This method provides relief to the patient indirectly by reducing the anxiety and tension involved in this situation. Not only in other countries, but this method is also now gaining popularity in India as well. This article will provide you the ideas on the Entonox process, how it is conducted, what are the pros and cons, and more.

In This Article

What Is Entonox?

Entonox is a mixture of an oxide and oxygen, which is used to reduce the tension and anxiety of the patient during the delivery process. The oxide used is a nitrous oxide that is mixed with oxygen. Usually, 50% nitrous oxide is mixed with 50% oxygen to create Entonox. Nitrous oxide is also famous as laughing gas. It does not reduce the labor pain, but the effect of this laughing gas helps the patient to relax.

Should You Use Entonox For Labor?

Should You Entonox for Labor_

At the time of delivery, it is very common for a woman to get nervous and panicky. As the panic level increases, the pain increases and this cyclic pattern of behavior are also known as the “fear tension pain cycle.”

But whether Entonox is really helpful to reduce the pain during delivery or is it safe?

As per the studies of the National Library of Medicine, Entonox is safe during delivery and provides significant pain relief. This study also suggests that Entonox can be used during painful labor.

How Is Entonox For Labor Used And Administered?

Doctors use Entonox whenever there is painful labor and even you can also ask for the same. This procedure requires you to breathe a mixture of air and gas through a mouthpiece or mask. Below is the step-by-step process of using Entonox.

  • The process is different depending on whether it is a mouthpiece or a mask. If it is a mouthpiece, hold it by your lips or teeth. And in case of a mask, cover your face with it.
  • After you set your inhaling device, take deep and even breaths. The mask or mouthpiece consists of a two-way valve that enables you to take the gas (mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide) and the carbon dioxide is removed out of the mask.
  • Keep on breathing normally. Due to the effect of the gas, after a certain point of time, you will feel light-headed, and then you can remove the mask or mouthpiece.
  • After some time, you will feel normal.

To get the desired results, you need to practice for around 30 seconds. The reason behind, it usually takes this much time to build the gas in the bloodstream. Initially, you need to take deep breaths to enhance this system and then become normal.

How Long Does Entonox Take To Work?

The effect of Entonox starts very quickly. Usually, it only takes 2 minutes to start reflecting its effects. When you take your first few breaths of Entonox, you can feel the effect immediately.

Similarly, the effect also ends fast, as soon as you stop taking in the gas, you will not feel any effect of it.

What Are The Advantages of Entonox?

How Long Does Entonox Take To Work_

Due to its several advantages, this is now attracting the attention of would-be parents and the medical fraternity. Here are some of the major advantages of Entonox.

  • The procedure is very easy to use. Therefore, any experienced medical staff can operate and supervise this process.
  • There is no requirement for a trained anesthetist to guide and closely monitor the method.
  • The method has a quick response period.
  • Entonox is user friendly for the mother.
  • It can help to relieve pain.
  • Controlling the inhaling device like the mask or the mouthpiece is easy for the patient.
  • Most interestingly, the mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen does not stay in the respiratory or blood circulatory system. As soon as you stop inhaling this Entonox, your lungs clear it out and there will be no side effects.
  • Entonox does not have any bad effect on the baby. It is totally safe.
  • You can feel energized while having Entonox. This is because of the presence of oxygen and the effects of the analgesic.
  • It will not prevent your mobility.
  • It can be used by almost all categories of women.
  • Entonox is also a pocket-friendly.

What Are The Disadvantages of Entonox?

What Are The Disadvantages of Entonox_

Though Entonox is advantageous as every process has its own drawbacks or is not suitable for certain people, you must know the problems related to Entonox before you opt for it.

  • This laughing gas can make you feel a little drowsy
  • It might dull the pain, not reduce it enough
  • You may also feel dryness inside your mouth and nausea. But as soon as you stop inhaling Entonox, this will disappear.
  • If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you must let your doctor know.
  • Entonox can cause a tingling sensation and even temporary muscle cramps.
  • You may feel lethargic and have an overall feeling of uneasiness due to the effect of Entonox. But this is temporary and goes away as you remove your mask or mouthpiece.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Entonox During Pregnancy?

This mixture of Nitrous oxide and oxygen is not harmful to the baby and also does not have any ill effect on the mother. Due to the properties of this gas, you may feel uncomfortable and dizzy which will stop once you stop inhaling the gas mixture.

During pregnancy, Entonox gives you a light-headed feeling which in turn causes some side effects like dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. If you overdose on it, you might feel dizzy or briefly unconscious. But that is for some minutes only. The body removes this gas within 5 minutes, and you get back to normal.

Labor pain is one of the most severe types of pain and with the use of Entonox for labor, it can be reduced significantly. This mixture is effective in reducing the stress level and anxiety of the patient, which is very common inside the doctor’s chamber. Entonox is affordable, safe, and easily available.

Though it has some minor side effects, during painful delivery, doctors use this as a quick and safe remedy. Along with the analgesic effect, nitrous oxide is effective to reduce the duration of the active phase of labor which provides a happy and pleasant experience for a mother.

FAQs

1. Is Entonox Better Than Epidural?

As per experts, Epidural analgesia gives more relief to labor pain. Entonox helps to reduce the stress level and anxiety, but cannot help to reduce the pain in the later stage. Therefore, Epidural analgesia is usually more desired.

2. Does Entonox Affect The Baby?

Though there are not many extensive studies and research available on this, Entonox is considered safe for the baby and does not have any side effects.

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Ambili Kartha,B. Sc Zoology (St Xavier’s college for women)

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