Maternal oxygen is often given to laboring women to improve fetal metabolic status or in an attempt to alleviate nonreassuring fetal heart rate patterns. However, the only 2 randomized trials investigating the use of maternal oxygen supplementation in laboring women do not support that such supplementation is likely to be of benefit to the fetus. And by increasing free radical activity, maternal oxygen supplementation may even be harmful. Based on a review of the available literature, we conclude that until it is studied properly in a randomized clinical trial, maternal oxygen supplementation in labor should be reserved for maternal hypoxia, and should not be considered an indicated intervention for nonreassuring fetal status.
AJOG : Oxygen for intrauterine resuscitation: of unproved benefit and potentially harmful