The next issue of the International Doula features an article written by Catherine McGovern and Dr. William Camann titled “Nitrous Oxide for Labor Pain Relief.” Dr. Camann is Director of Obstetric Anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School, so he brings an interesting perspective to this topic. Whether you’ve supported births where nitrous oxide was present, or you haven’t, you’ll find this an interesting discussion. Here’s a small snippet:

“One of the criticisms of nitrous oxide for labor use is that it does not have a high degree of efficacy. This is partly due to being compared to epidural anesthesia. At present, epidural anesthesia is the “gold standard” for labor pain relief, and no other technique compares to the quality of pain relief offered by an epidural (6). A more appropriate comparison for nitrous oxide would be with other non-epidural pharmacologic methods of labor pain relief, such as opioids. Nitrous oxide should not be considered as a replacement for epidurals, but rather as an alternative to the use of narcotic pain relief, or an adjunct to other non-pharmacologic techniques.”

You’ll also find articles about using keywords on your website, a review of ACOG’s Committee Opinion on screening for perinatal depression, and a recap of the 2015 DONA International Virtual Conference. Keep an eye out for the Winter issue in your mailbox in the coming weeks!

— Susan Troy, CD(DONA), Editor, International Doula