Providence St. Patrick Hospital Family Maternity Center to Offer Nitrous Oxide for Pain Management during Labor

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Missoula, MT—Effective June 1, the Family Maternity Center at Providence St. Patrick Hospital will offer nitrous oxide as a pain management alternative to laboring mothers.

Among the many benefits to women in labor is the ability to retain full mobility, whereas alternatives such as epidurals can compromise short-term muscle movement for many patients. Patients can still choose to have an epidural after nitrous oxide use.

Women’s Health Director Kathy Schaefer explains, “It’s no secret that labor and delivery can be incredibly painful and physically taxing on mothers. We’re thrilled to offer our patients another choice for pain management during labor. Nitrous is a minimally invasive option that the mother can administer herself. It dulls the senses and can reduce the sense of pain throughout the process.”

Providence St. Patrick Hospital Chief Operating Officer Joyce Dombrouski adds, “Nitrous is a low-cost option that has been widely used in Europe for decades, and has been gaining popularity in the United States in recent years. Our patients have been asking for it more often, and we’re excited to be able to meet their needs.”

Nitrous oxide is a colorless and tasteless gas made for inhalation to provide analgesia during painful procedures. It is frequently used to relieve pain associated with dental surgery. It is self-administered through an on-demand flow delivery system, and can be used in all stages of labor, including the third stage of labor to assist with managing pain during immediate postpartum procedures.

Providence invites patients to consult with their OB-GYN or midwife to learn more about if they would be a candidate for nitrous oxide.