Your education doesn’t end when your doula training is over! Stay informed on the latest trends, like this new pain management option for laboring mothers.
We promise that your doula training with the International Doula Institute will be the most comprehensive training available. However, things are always changing in the world of birth. Doulas need to be committed to learning about new trends in birth and postpartum, long after their doula training concludes.
For example, women in America may soon have another option for pain management in labor.
As reported by NPR, South County Hospital, located in South Kingstown, RI has recently added nitrous oxide as an option for laboring women. More commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide was prevalent in US in the early 20th century. It fell out of favor as more potent pain relief options became available. You’ll learn more about these options during your doula training with IDI.
Nitrous oxide can be a great option for women who want to avoid an epidural. One such woman, Amy Marks, recently gave birth to her son, Ethan, at South County Hospital. She reported that the laughing gas “really took the edge off” of her contractions.
Marks’ nurse-midwife, Cynthia Voytas, describes its effects like this: “It gives you a euphoria that helps you sort of forget about the pain for a little bit.”
The use of this intervention is becoming more widespread.
According to Porter Instruments, one of the main manufacturers of nitrous oxide systems, it is used in close to 300 hospitals and birth centers nationwide. Michelle Collins, the director of midwifery at Vanderbilt University, touts the effort to bring nitrous oxide back as “being in line with what midwives have always done: advocating for women to have more control of the experience of giving birth.”
As its use continues to spread, it is important to build on your doula training and learn about its pros and cons. This way, you can help your clients decide if laughing gas is something they’d like to consider for their labor.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about nitrous oxide:
- It does not reduce pain. Instead, it gives the laboring woman a sense of euphoria and helps her feel relaxed.
- It leaves the body quickly. Although it will pass through the placenta, and into fetal circulation, it’s gone as soon as the baby takes a couple breaths.
- It does not need to be administered by an anesthesiologist. It can be done by any trained hospital staff.
- Since it has been used regularly in Europe, there is data showing its safety.
Keeping up to date on pain management is just one example of how your learning will continue when your doula training ends. In addition to proactively keeping up on birth trends, the International Doula Institute has also got you covered. Make sure you check out our options for continuing education.