Area hospitals use ‘laughing gas’ to help pregnant women manage labor pain

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Area hospitals use ‘laughing gas’ to help pregnant women manage labor pain

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(Kristin Espeland Gourlay/RINPR/Kaiser Health News)

A drug known for its use in dentist offices is being used to help pregnant women through labor.

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is being used to help women in labor at Kettering Medical Center and Soin Medical Center in the Dayton region.

“Nitrous oxide is a great option for women who want a more natural childbirth,” said Brenda Pearson, clinical nurse manager of labor and delivery at Kettering Medical Center. “The woman can administer as much or as little as she wants during labor.”

Nitrous oxide is a mixture of nitrous gas and oxygen that is inhaled through a mask, according to Kettering Health Network.

The gas is self-administered by the woman in labor, who breathes it in with a contraction and stops using it once the contraction is over.

Women who have questions about whether to use nitrous oxide during labor should consult their physician or midwife, according to the health network.

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