The Family Birth Place at Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville has started to offer nitrous oxide as a non-pharmacological option for pain management during labor, and Springdale-based healthcare provider Northwest Health announced Monday (Dec. 3) the hospital is the first in Northwest Arkansas to offer the pain relief option.
Nitrous oxide is part of the hospital’s overall low intervention birthing program, and it includes personal aromatherapy inhalers, TENS units for back pain, shower hydrotherapy, birthing bar, balls and wireless fetal monitoring to accommodate movement and positioning during labor.
The patient-controlled nitrous oxide delivery system is a pneumatically-driven gas mixer, delivering a 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide mixture, and helps patients with the relief of pain and anxiety. The use of nitrous gas has been used in dentistry and the general medical field, but the use of a 50/50 gas mixer is new in the United States during labor and delivery, according to a news release.
The new system was added as a result of requests for alternative methods of pain relief, said Whitney Tolbert, director of the Family Birth Place.
“We want to provide maternity care that meets the needs and expectations of our patients,” Tolbert said. “Childbirth is one of the most beautiful and memorable times, and we want the very best experience for the families we serve. Understanding our patients’ preferences and providing a tailored labor and delivery plan is part of what helps us ensure the very best experience. We are very excited to be able to offer nitrous oxide as an alternative pain relief measure during labor and delivery.”
The Family Birth Place is a 24-bed labor and delivery and couplet care unit with an eight-bed level II neonatal intensive care unit. More information about the low intervention birth program or other maternity services is available by calling 479-553-1266 or by visiting this website.