Nitrous oxide for labor is a newer technique in the US, though it has been in use in other parts of the world for decades. Read a few articles this week on it. The first article covers about what Nitrous oxide is – and isn’t – for laboring moms. I think this article makes a good distinction between analgesia and anesthesia. The second article is written by the same midwife, and addresses her likes, dislikes and the philosophy behind offering nitrous oxide in the birth center setting. Good food for thought.
Another lesser known technique is TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Yes, this is the same tool used in so many of those dumb “let’s make men feel what labor is like” videos, but when used *correctly* it can be an effective and beneficial tool for laboring moms.
My friend Deena Blumenfeld has started a fascinating new project called “The Silent Mother” where she will be looking at the strange and twisted history of childbirth and women’s health. No whitewashed history here!
Five things you can so to build a calm labor room.
It’s important to remember that there is not any one “ideal” cesarean rate for all populations and areas, but one thing is clear: The cesarean rate in this country is too high, and there’s no improvements in outcomes from the high cesarean rates.