Currently, women who give birth in Belgium can only use an epidural to ease their suffering . However, the Flemish Organisation of Midwives (VLOV) calls for the reintroduction of laughing gas, already used in obstetrics in the past, to relieve pain. In the UK, the method is very popular.
According to the daily De Standaard, the Flemish midwives wish to establish this technique still relatively unknown in Belgium. The method is simple: the patient in labor inhale a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide, which reduces the most severe pain. In addition, as the name suggests, laughing gas makes her happier users.
Joke Muyldermans, president of the association, cites some other benefits of laughing gas in the Standaard. “The method provides more opportunities for midwives. Thus, unlike a woman in labor with an epidural, the inhaling laughing gas may well move his legs.” In addition, the laughing gas is not harmful for the child.
However, the laughing gas also has some disadvantages. “If you wait until you hurt to inhale, it is too late. It takes thirty seconds for the gas act” explains Marc Van de Velde, anesthesia service department manager at UZ Leuven, the daily De Standaard.