How To Use Gas and Air

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How To Use Gas and Air
When you are in labour you will be able to have gas and air whenever you want.

There are two ways to use gas and air. You can either breathe it in through a mask or you will be given a mouthpiece. It seems that most women prefer the mouthpiece but it's up to you!

All you have to do is bring the mask up to your face or just put the mouthpiece between your lips or teeth.

Then you have to keep it there while breathing deeply and evenly. Both the mask and the mouthpiece have a two-way valve that releases the gas and air (Entonox) for you to breathe in and takes away the carbon dioxide you breathe out.

You will be told by the midwife to continue to breathe deeply until you start feeling a bit light-headed. At this point you should move the mask or mouthpiece away from your face. Literally within seconds you will feel 'normal' again.

Breathing Gas and Air

When you're breathing the gas and air, it takes a bit of practice to get the timing right but you'll get there in the end. It takes around 30 seconds or so of breathing for the gas to build up in your bloodstream to give you some benefit/pain relief. Some people say they don't get the full benefit until they've been breathing it deeply for around a minute.

As soon as you feel a contraction beginning, you should start breathing the gas and air straightaway. If you wait till the contraction really hurts, and then start breathing the gas and air, it will take effect between the contractions.

July 2012

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