Nitrous Oxide: A Safe Alternative for Labor Pain Management

(LONGMONT, COLO.) Longmont United Hospital - Centura Health, the region’s health care leader, announced today that nitrous oxide will now be available in their birthing center to all expectant mothers for pain management during labor.

Nitrous oxide is a safe alternative to intravenous opioid medication and epidurals for managing pain. It is simple to administer and has no adverse effects on breastfeeding or infant alertness. Unlike epidurals, which can make it difficult to move around and can prolong the second stage of labor, nitrous oxide does not affect the physiology and progress of labor.

“We are excited to be able to offer this option to our expectant mothers,” said Bobbi Buchanan, BirthPlace director at Longmont United Hospital. “Our goal is to empower women by helping to create the best birthing experience for both mom and baby.”

Nitrous oxide is self-administered by the mother so that she can control how much to use and when to discontinue. Because the effects of nitrous oxide disappear within five minutes after cessation, women can discontinue it any time and try another method of pain relief if she so desires.

“More and more women are seeking alternatives to epidurals and opioid medications for managing pain during labor,” said Kathryn Hoch, MD, OB-GYN at Longmont United Hospital. “Nitrous oxide is incredibly safe for both mom and baby and can be used in combination with other pain relief options such as aromatherapy, breathing techniques, TENS units, or while an epidural is being prepared.”

The side effects of using nitrous oxide are mild and include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, or drowsiness. Due to these possible side effects, patients will be monitored by a member of our care team.

We want to provide the best possible experience for expectant moms as possible and we encourage you to discuss nitrous oxide as a potential pain management alternative for labor with your OB-GYN.

To learn more about the birth experience, visit Longmont United Hospital BirthPlace website.


About Longmont United Hospital
Longmont United Hospital, part of Centura Health, is a non-profit community hospital with specialty areas in Women’s & Children's Services, Heart and Vascular, Orthopedics and Spine, Neurosciences, Comprehensive Surgical Services, Cancer Care, Trauma Services, Primary Care, and Acute Medical Services. It offers quality in-patient and out-patient healthcare services including Physician Services and a 24-hour Emergency Department. The Emergency Department is a Level III Trauma Center, as designated by the state of Colorado. Visit Longmont United Hospital website.

Media Contact
Kirsten Pfotenhauer
Communications Manager, Longmont United Hospital
Phone: 303-678-4036

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