Newsroom

St. Joseph BirthPlace Now Offering Nitrous Oxide for Pain Management
May 17, 2017 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – Women giving birth at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph have a new option for managing pain while in labor. The hospital recently became one of only two in our region (west Michigan and northern Indiana) to offer nitrous oxide for patients giving birth. Traditionally known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide used for labor pain is a mixture of 50 percent nitrous gas and 50 percent oxygen. The nitrous gas is self-administered by the laboring woman and inhaled through a mask. There is no risk of overdose to the mother or child.

 “Each woman’s birth plan is different and as we continue to provide the best pain control for our laboring moms, we also want their babies to be safe and have the least amount of exposure to long acting medications,” said Tammy Jerz, RN, Manager of the BirthPlace in Niles and St. Joseph. “Nitrous oxide in a 50/50 mixture with oxygen could be the answer for some women as it is fast acting and leaves the body just as quickly. We are proud to be one of the few hospitals in our area to provide another safe option for our patients’ pain control.”

Nitrous is the only pain relief method used for labor that is cleared from the body through the lungs, so as soon as the mask is pulled away, the nitrous effect is gone within a few breaths. Although nitrous and an epidural cannot be used together, women may choose to use nitrous oxide first and then move on to a different type of pain relief if needed as labor progresses. 

Continue Watching

We're Ready for You at Spectrum Health Lakeland

While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all in new ways, we want you to know we are here for you.

Lakeland Sets Aside $50 Million to Address Racial Equity and Health Inequities

The Board of Directors of Spectrum Health Lakeland approved an expanded strategy to address racial and ethnic health equity in Southwest Michigan.

COVID-19: Lowell Hamel, MD "The Fight of His Life"

Lowell Hamel, MD, never imagined he would soon be battling for his own life in the fight against COVID-19.

We're Ready for You - Loren Hamel, MD

If you have a health need right now, then it deserves our attention right now. Whether you want to see us virtually or in person, don’t delay your care. We are ready for you.

We Stay Home For You

Thank you to all those serving on the front lines. You are the true heroes. Together, we are strong. Together, we will see this this through.

Lakeland has a Heart to Serve now with Spectrum Health

Improving health, inspiring hope, saving lives. Spectrum Health Lakeland is now part of Spectrum Health offering an expanded care team, additional specialties, and new technology for you and your family.

Spectrum Health Lakeland: Your 100 Top Hospital

IBM Watson Health™ published its 100 Top Hospitals® 2019 study naming Lakeland among the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. based on overall organizational performance.

We Are Lakeland

Video of our team members

© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2020