Hospitals Evaluate Using Laughing Gas For Women In Labor

ARKANSAS (KFSM) - A new study found that most women who choose laughing gas to control pain during birth usually end up asking for an epidural anyway.

An epidural will numb women from the waist down. However, when women use laughing gas, they are still able to feel sensations and pain. The nitrous oxide is controlled by the women using a machine. Women inhale the gas, which leaves their body after two or three breaths.

The practice is commonly used in many countries, but still fairly new to the United States.

"In the past 10 to 15 years, it's been introduced into the United States," said Brennan Taylor, Birth Center of Northwest Arkansas.

Larger hospitals around the country have starting using the laughing gas, and now the practice is trickling down to smaller hospitals around the nation.

Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith is one of the hospitals evaluating the use of nitrous oxide during labor and delivery.