Update: I wanted to let you know that Texas Health Presbyterian Denton does not currently offer Nitrous Oxide. As with many things in the hospital system, change does not happen quickly. We will be excited when this option does become available but it has not come as quickly as it was expected. (2/2/18) - Rebekah
Dr. Bartos had a great way of making a sometimes not so fun topic really enjoyable and relatable regardless of your knowledge about the medical induction procedures. She used the comparison of your cervix to an avocado. She said that sometimes we really want guacamole -it's what we're craving and all we can think about. So we go to the store and get avocados except none of them are ripe. You want guacamole so badly that you're willing to buy that unripe avocado that you know isn't any good for your guacamole. You take it home and put it in a paper bag, you put the paper bag in the window. You try everything you can to try to ripen the avocado so you can hopefully make your guacamole. Sometimes it's just ripe enough after all your tricks to make some okay guacamole but not always. Sometimes all those tricks and methods you used to ripen those avocados before they were ready isn't enough and try as you might, that avocado is too tough and just won't make guacamole.
This is sometimes what it's like to be pregnant, all you can think about is getting the baby here and not being pregnant anymore! Or maybe we have high blood pressure, diabetes, pre eclampsia or many other medical issues that would be an indication we need to medically induce and not be pregnant anymore. Regardless of the reason you're looking at inducing. We can try all kinds of non-medical induction options like evening primrose oil, sex, increased physical activities and combine them with medical options for cervical ripeners, augmentation like pitocin and many others. Sometimes these things work and labor is kick started and we get guacamole... er, a baby! Other times no matter what we try your body isn't ready, your cervix isn't ripe and labor won't keep going on it's own. Depending on the individual situation, sometimes there is time to wait until labor can start or if it was a medically necessary induction for health reasons it might end in birth by cesarean.
At the end of the meeting Dr. Bartos announced that she is excited to share that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Denton will be offering Nitrous Oxide for patients as a new pain relief option very soon!
Nitrous Oxide is a pain relief option that fell out of favor in the US in the 60's when the epidural came on the scene and gained popularity. According to the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health Nitrous Oxide is a safe pain relief option for both baby and mother. Since it doesn't disrupt the release of the hormone Oxytocin it doesn't change the normal progress of labor or affect baby's alertness at birth. The Nitrous Oxide or "laughing gas" doesn't take away the pain of labor, women still perceive pain but it helps them relax through it and it seems like the pain is less. Nitrous Oxide is a great pain relief tool if you would like to have some medicinal relief from contractions but aren't comfortable with epidurals or narcotic pain relief.
Dr. Bartos also made mention of the potential of a very new and exciting option for pregnant families in and around Denton birthing at Presbyterian Hospital of Denton... but it's still a secret - I hope it's something I can share soon! It's an exciting time to have a baby in Denton and the DFW area! We have more options than ever for expecting families to have the birth they desire!
If you're in the Denton County area feel free to join us for a Denton County Birth Network meeting! They are free and open to the public! We meet every other month on a Monday night at 7:00 at the North Branch Library. Meetings are always announced on our Facebook page you can check out here! The Denton County Birth Network is your local resource for mother-friendly care, connection and community!
Rebekah Lewis is a Birth Doula serving families in Denton Texas and the surrounding areas. Contact her today to schedule a consultation.
Rebekah Lewis provides birth doula services in the North Texas area including Denton, Decatur, Gainesville, Krum, Aubrey, Flower Mound, Grapevine, Coppell, Highland Village, North Fort Worth, Keller, McKinney, and surrounding areas.