Gas & Air - Do You Know How to Use It?
I had a conversation with a new mum at my son’s Nursery this week who was telling me her birth story, about her induction experience - her 2nd stage was only 5 minutes! - and she mentioned that the midwife offered gas and air but she said she had no idea to use it so turned it down.
Now she went on to have a positive experience but the conversation really made me think about how we can talk about Entonox (gas and air), not just going over it’s benefits and risks but really how to use it without making assumptions that everyone knows what to do.
So I wanted to give you my top tips for using gas and air:
Breathe in as soon as you start to feel the sensation of a contraction begin. This means that by the time it kicks in (after 30 seconds), you will get the benefit of pain relief at the peak of your contraction.
Don’t bother using it in between contractions otherwise you might find yourself too relaxed - stick with using it for the contractions only.
Keep that bottle of water with a straw nearby as you may find your mouth can get very dry. Like Sahara dry.
You can use it in pretty much most birthing situations so know that it’s there for you to use - you never know you may not need it!
Some people find they can feel a bit nauseous but more likely you’ll feel light-headed and possibly calmer! It doesn’t effect baby like some other drugs so keep it in your toolbox of comfort measures.
Remember you’ve got this!