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YOU HAVE IT?

YOU HAVE IT?

ENTONOX/ GAS & AIR

' Makes some women feel sick.

At home or in hospital.

Any stage of labour.

ENTONOX/ GAS & AIR

A mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which is inhaled through a mouthpiece or face mask. This acts on the brain, 'removing' you from the pain and making you feel light-headed - as though you've had a few too many drinks! As soon as the contraction starts, you begin breathing with it, so by the time the contraction reaches its peak, the entonox has 'kicked in'.

• If you don't like it, you can stop and It clears from your system. •You're In control. •Helps to develop a breathing pattern through contractions.

• Doesn't restrict movement.

• Can be used with all other methods of pain relief.

' Makes some women feel sick.

Susie, mum to Charlotte, 2 weeks: 'The gas and air was amazing, I tried not to use it until I felt I really needed something, but as soon as

I did, I relaxed. I ended up having a fantastic waterbirth, still using the gas and air the whole time I was pushing Charlotte out! Once I'd started

Mild analgesic effect but excellent at 'taking the edge' off the pain. If you feel tense, it will make you feel more relaxed. Imagine falling over when you're sober and also when you've had a few drinks - that's the difference entonox will make (ie, it still hurts, but using it, there was no way _ I was going to stop.'

you just don't care as much!).

At home or in hospital.

Any stage of labour.

PETHIDINE/ MEPTID

Given by Injection in the thigh or buttock. Takes 20 minutes to take effect and works for up to three hours. As narcotic drugs, they alter your mood, making you feel relaxed and sleepy.

Tension and anxiety may sometimes 'hold back' labour* a small dose of one of these can be just enough to help you relax.

• Crosses the placenta and can make the baby sleepy, even after the birth - can be serious if given close to delivery.

• Can make you sick, though an additional drug may be given to help prevent this.

• You'll probably be restricted to the bed, as it can make you very sleepy.

Won't remove the pain but can take the edge off it. Some women find the contractions harder to cope with, as they can still feel the pains but are too sleepy to do anything about them. Particularly effective for women who are very tense.

At home or In hospital.

Shouldn't be given too close to the bIrth.

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