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Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital Offers New Pain Relief Method for Laboring Mothers

Date: 07/24/2019

Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital is excited to announce a new pain management option for women in labor.  Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is now available in Ellsworth. An effective option, safe for both mother and baby, that helps reduce pain while not taking it away completely.

The colorless, odorless gas is given through a mask, of which the patient is in control. Sunshine Strout of Milbridge delivered her daughter, Nora, on July 9.  The mother of two referred to the nitrous as her “life-line” and that it “took the edge off” as she described her pain during labor.  “I felt almost euphoric when I had the mask on, but the feeling was immediately gone when I removed it,” explains Strout.  “I was in complete control; the nurse was always present…and there were no lingering effects.”  Many patients, like Strout, are familiar with Nitrous Oxide from use in their dentist’s office.  Side effects are uncommon but may include nausea and unsteadiness.

“This is a fantastic option for our laboring mothers,” explains Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital certified nurse-midwife Kristen Hayward.  “It is great for women interested in non-invasive pain management and for those wanting to stay mobile during labor.”

Certified nurse-midwives and physicians from both Northern Light Blue Hill and Northern Light Maine Coast Hospitals are now offering Nitrous Oxide to their patients.  Currently seven other Maine hospitals are offering this pain management alternative.  For questions, please call Northern Light Women’s Health in Blue Hill (374-3940) or Ellsworth (664-5650).