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Gas and air (Entonox) for labour

Entonox is a gas made up of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen. It is sometimes known as gas and air.

  • You breathe Entonox through a mask or mouthpiece.
  • It is simple and quick to act and wears off in minutes.
  • It sometimes makes you feel light-headed or a little sick for a short time.
  • It does not harm your baby and it gives you extra oxygen, which may be good for you and your baby.
  • It will not take the pain away completely, but it may help.
  • You can use it at any time during labour.

You control the amount of Entonox you use, but to get the best effect it is important to get the timing right. You should start breathing Entonox as soon as you feel a contraction coming on, so you will get the full effect when the pain is at its worst. You should not use it between contractions or for long periods as this can make you feel dizzy and tingly.

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