Entonox (Gas & Air)
This is a mixture of half nitrous oxide and half oxygen, also known as ‘gas and air’. It is simple, quick to act and wears off in minutes.
Gas & Air (aka Entonox) is a popular option during labour! It is used, by breathing through a mask or mouthpiece. It alters your sense of the pain, making it easier to manage. But as fast as it works, it wears off!
It can be used at any time during labour.
You are in control of how much you have. As it is a gas, it can be breathed out of your system very quickly.
Very effective pain relief
Very quick acting
Few known risk to you or your baby
Provides extra oxygen, which may help your muscles to work effectively and help your baby's well-being through labour.
It may make you feel light-headed or a little sick
It will not take the pain away completely.
It makes some women feel drowsy or nauseous
It can make a woman feel disorientated or detached from the birth experience if she has too much
If used for a long period of time, e.g.oer 24hrs it can deplete the body's stores of vitamin B12,
especially in women already prone
to B12 problems
Starts working in 15-20 seconds. The timing is important in the use of Entonox . You breathe the gas through a mouthpiece and
to get the full benefit you should start breathing it as soon as the contraction begins and stop as soon as it ends. Breathing the gas between contractions can make you feel light-headed and tingly.
Why is Entonox used in labour?
Nearly 80% of women use Entonox in labour because many find it to be the best option from a range of inhaled pain killers. Entonox has no negative effect on contractions, and you and your baby quickly get rid of it from your bodies.
How effective is Entonox?
Entonox is said to be of ‘moderate’ help with pain and is, surprisingly, more effective at easing pain than opioids. https://www.nct.org.uk/labour-birth/your-pain-relief-options/labour-pain-relief-gas-and-air-entonox