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Should I Use Gas & Air?



Entonox, commonly referred to as ‘gas and air’ is a very accessible pain relief option used across all birth settings in NZ, including at home BIRTHS. Gas and air is delivered via a mouthpiece at intervals of your choosing, you are fully in control of when you decide you need to use it and it takes 15-20 seconds to take effect Many people describe it as ‘taking the edge off’ or separating themselves from the sensations. It does not and is not meant to numb any sensations like anaesthesia. Possible side effects include dizziness and nausea but as it wears off very quickly this does mean that if you had any side effects that you didn’t like, you could simply stop using it and let it wear off. Everyone’s experience of using gas and air will be different. Jade thought that all of her birth team were speaking another language whilst using gas and air during her third birth. Whilst Alix thought that time was warped and that each surge was several during her first birth! Many people rave about gas and air and urge others to try it (birth partners too, have a little go on it yourself if you fancy!) but it is of course up to you if you wish to do so. Gas and air doesn’t have any impact on labour progress or the parent or baby after the birth so is a low risk option to try. Some use gas and air throughout the whole active labour, some just towards the end and others don’t use it until after the birth during stitches. I hope this helps you to understand a little bit about gas and air. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to keep comfortable during labour then get booked onto our Hyonibirthing Antenatal course now.


Donna x



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