New mum becomes first in UK to use climate-friendly pain relief to give birth
A new mother has expressed her joy “at making history” by becoming the first in the UK to give birth using eco-friendly pain killers.
Kaja Gersinka used the new sustainable device while giving birth to Rosie Martha O’Sullivan, weighing 6llb 6oz, at the Newcastle Birthing Centre on September 9.
The device, which is known as Mobile Destruction Unit, “cracks” exhaled nitrous oxide into harmless nitrogen and oxygen.
It is a much more environmental-friendly alternative to Etonox, a pain relief that has been used for more than a century and which is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen.
Nitrous oxide is a powerful greenhouse gas, almost 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and escapes into the atmosphere after being exhaled.
Speaking after giving birth, Ms Gersinka said: “I didn’t expect this when I came here today – I just came to have my baby – but I started on the traditional machine and then swapped over.
“It was quieter and much more comfortable to hold – it’s nice to make a little bit of history.”
As well as being greener, the technology – which was developed by Medclair – benefits staff by reducing the amount of nitrous oxide they are exposed to while they work.
Chris Allen, Sustainable Anaesthesia Fellow at Newcastle Hospitals, said: “Rolling this technology out across our maternity unit can help us to continue to support women to use gas and air during labour, whilst making it as environmentally friendly as possible.”