Nitrous Oxide

Seeking a more comfortable birthing experience? St. Vincent now offering another option to personalize your birthing experience. Nitrous oxide or, as it’s more commonly known, laughing gas available at St. Vincent.

Overview of service: Nitrous oxide is a nonflammable, tasteless, odorless gas. It is commonly used for labor pain management in many Western countries and beginning to be used more in the United States.

Why a woman would use: Nitrous oxide is a non-narcotic option for pain relief. Nitrous oxide is safe for both mom and baby. The gas works very quickly (two to three breaths) and is eliminated very rapid within a few breaths of breathing normal room air. The patient controls the flow of the nitrous oxide by applying the mask to their face to get a tight seal and then the gas flows as the patients breaths normally in and out.

Who is a good candidate: Patients in early and active labor are candidates and those wishing for a natural childbirth. Your nurse and physician will determine if the patient is not a candidate due to medical history.


  • Non-narcotic pain management option
  • Patient controlled
  • Quick onset and elimination

Nitrous oxide is meant to be an adjunct pain management option. We have many tools in our labor and delivery toolbox that the nurses are trained in to support a mother coping with labor pain. Those include labor balls, labor tubs, aromatherapy, wireless fetal monitoring for more mobility, IV narcotic pain medications, nitrous oxide, and epidurals. Our goal is to ensure the patient gets to design and have the labor and delivery experience they want in the safest place possible for them and their baby.