Hospital offers laughing gas to women in labor

Posted at 2:15 PM, Mar 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-10 14:15:01-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital is now offering nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to pregnant women to help them manage labor pain during child birth.

St. Mary’s is the first hospital in Virginia is offer this option.

The health system said if test runs go well, it will expand the option to other Bon Secours Virginia Health System locations.

“It lessens pain during contractions without the numbing effect of an epidural. This allows the mother to remain awake and responsive during labor,” the hospital said in statement. “It can be given at any point during labor and does not diminish contractions or slow labor and has no effect on fetal heart rate for newborns.”