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gas and air

after watching another 'one born every minute' which is at my hosp where i will have baby I got very worried. I always assumed (i assumed a lot before i got pregnant, whoops) it didnt make you feel like crap.

I dont drink/smoke/take drugs for the simple reason I do not like feeling dizzy/sick/unaware/not in control etc. Now that seems to be the side effects of G&A. So I have come to the conclusion I will not have it. This does leave me kinda high and dry, as pethedine also has this effect.

Am I gonna have the stuff forced upon me? I cry and cry if I feel dizzy or sick and I dont actually fancy being 'high' for the birth.

Is it my only option?


  • U dont have to have anything hun. U can go completely drug free. Or u can have an epidural hun. Speak to ur mw about ur concerns x
  • You don't have to have anything, BUT there's no harm in giving the g&a a try as the effects are brief. A few seconds after stopping puffing it's out of your system, unlike pethidine, so if you discover it's not for you after the first try then there's no harm done. You could make that very clear in your birth plan, which has to be respected by the mws.

    For me, g&a made me feel fuzzy and a bit tingly but not in a nauseous or out of control way. It was a pleasant, floating sensation a bit like before you fall asleep and was just enough to take the edge off the pain. In between contractions and the instant she was born I was clear-headed - that's how short-lived the effects are.

    Good luck.
  • Ah thanks ladies, I wasnt aware that the effects were quite temporary. I will give anything a go but I was getting very worried as I panic if I am not in control, a stupid thing to say when in labour, but I really do freak out if my head doesnt feel right.

    Thank you for resting my mind xxx
  • When I was in labour, the first time I used G&A the room started spinning and I had to run to the loo to throw up!! However after that I was fine using it and it took the edge off the contractions. I wouldn't rule out anything or worry too much now, just see how you feel at the time. I managed the birth on just G&A and had quite a big baby (9lb1). However maybe you would benefit from a water birth as the water is a natural pain reliever??
    Good luck xx
  • I don't like the thought of feeling out of control either, but I suppose you just don't know how you'll feel til the time comes?! Also want to avoid an epidural, unless it's necessary. So I'm hoping to labour initially using a tens machine & bath (not at same timeimage Then at the hospital, continue with tens, maybe with some gas & air... with a view to then using the birthing pool (if it's available) for later stages & birth. x
  • To be honest when you're in advanced labour you may well find that you feel quite 'disconnected' and in the zone anyway - not really aware of what's going on around you and focussed totally on your own birthing experience. The gas and air didn't make me feel sick or light-headed, just relaxed. As others have said, its effects are so temporary that you can just have a few puffs and if you don't like it, it's gone in seconds. I felt totally wrapped up in the physical process and its intensity when I was in labour - not out of control as such, but it was very intense and the gas and air didn't make me feel any more out of it than I already was.
  • I would say try without anything and only use pain relief if you really feel like you need it.
    I had accupuncture when I had both my los, it was my only pain relief with my first lo. With my second I tried some gas and air and absolutely hated it. It made me feel dizzy and awful and as I stopped concentrating on my breathing the pain got even worse! I really recommend listening to some hypnobirthing CDs as they are fab at giving you techniques to relax during labour.
    Good luck! x
  • I hve used g&a as pain relief with all 3 of my kids. With my 1st i didn't like it at all, as it made me very sick and light headed but i think the fact i hadn't slept or eaten anything in over 48 hours didn't help either.
    When i had my dd and 2nd ds i thought it was brilliant and as pink toothbrush has said, it only stays in your system for a matter of second.x x
  • Hi hun, If i'm perfectly honest I hated both G&A and pethidine, but this could be partly because I felt like I was forced into having it.

    With my kiddies I wrote in the birth plan regards pain relief that I didn't want an epidural but would wait and see regards other methods, big mistake!

    When it got to it I was doing fine breathing through the contractions but the midwife and OH kept asking me to try G&A. In the end I gave in just to shut them up and it totally made me feel out of control because it wasn't what I wanted, it made me feel ill and the tube just seemed to get in my way. the pethidine made me just want to sleep. This time my birth plan will state no pain relief unless I ASK FOR IT!

    My advice, don't let them force you into using it if you don't want it!
  • I also hate the feeling of loosing control and was very dubious about using G&A during my labour.

    I coped well using a TENS machine and breathing my way through contractions, bouncing on my ball till abour 5-6cms dilated. However, my labour was in my back and thighs and due to there being meconium in my waters I had to stay pretty much immobile on my back on the bed from then on which was pretty uncomfortable. I was offered G&A and hubby encouraged me to try it (he's had it before for the removal of a tooth). I had my first try before I went up on the bed and didn't like the way it made me feel a little light-headed - but I was stood up at the time and already rather sleep-deprived due to a long latent stage. Anyway, once on the bed I tried it again and it did make me feel so much better to have something else to focus on. You take a much deeper breath in and you can grip it as tight as you like again helping you manage the pain.

    Is entirely your choice though and you should mention it in your birth plan if you are really against it, but I would recommend not ruling anything out... At one point I was just biting on the mouth piece and that made me feel better during the pushing!

    Best of luck with your pregnancy and labour! It is the most incredible experience image
    Jana & Jakob 4+4 xxx
  • i had a tens machine until 5cm then nothing for the next 2 hours then i got int he pool. this would have been enough, but i had a go at the entonox as it was there., it didnt make me feel anything tbh. i think just the head would have done as it controlled my breathing. if you dont want any pain relief id recommend a water birth. totally do-able in the water. also, expect it to hurt! i only went light headed when i puffed on the entonox while being stitched up, so i just stopped puffing at it!
  • There are lots of options out there so do not feel like you have to go down teh route of g&a, pethadine ro epidural. There is natural, water, homopathy, hypnobirthing etc. Chat with the mw and see what options are available for you.

    Have to say I used g&a and although I throw up my dinner on the first try (I took too much) the next try was perfect and just made me a little sleepy taking the edge off the contractions and then all was normal again. You only take it when a contraction is starting to the point it stops.

    Good luck and hope you find something that is right for you.

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