Written by on August 23, 2018

Brenda Hodnett, RN (left) and Kim Chamberlain Danser, WHNP, CNM (right)

Press Release:

Warsaw, NY, August 23, 2018 – Wyoming County Community Health System (WCCHS) is very excited to announce that we will now be offering a non-narcotic pain management option for our patients on the Labor and Delivery Unit. The Praxair Nitronox inhaled nitrous oxide unit will be available as an alternative labor and delivery pain management for our clients.

The Praxair inhaled nitrous oxide system is a self-administered minimal sedation that delivers a mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen, also known as “laughing gas” and is meant to decrease anxiety and pain sensation for mothers in labor.

Kim Chamberlain Danser, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife, was instrumental in obtaining the new unit. Kim tells us that one of the greatest benefits of using nitrous oxide is that it gives the patient total control, and research shows that it has no negative effects on the baby during labor or at delivery.

If a patient chooses to use this new pain management method, they are given complete control by physically holding the mask on their own and deciding how much and how often they inhale from it. While each patient has a different experience using nitrous oxide, most women report that it helps “take the edge off” of contractions and allows them to better cope with the pain associated with their contractions. A laboring mother may switch from nitrous oxide to a stronger pain relief method, such as an epidural, five minutes from their last inhalation.

Nitrous oxide is a safe, non-narcotic option for pain management that will not interfere with maternal/newborn bonding in the “Golden Hour” after delivery. Research shows that immediate skin to skin, and initiating breastfeeding within the first hour after delivery is best for bonding and successful breastfeeding.

While several larger birthing hospitals in Rochester and Buffalo are now offering their patients nitrous oxide during labor and delivery, WCCHS is the first hospital in the area to provide the service. The WCCHS Maternity Unit would like to thank the Wyoming Community Hospital Foundation for the generous grant that funded the cost of the unit and training. Thanks to the Foundation’s donation, WCCHS is able to empower our women with more choices in labor and delivery pain management.

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