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Hospital offers laughing gas to women in labor

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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.”


  • Cindy

    I was very happy for my epidural because I gave birth to a 10lb, 5oz boy! Nitrous oxide doesn’t work for everyone!

  • Laura

    Congrats Cindy! Yes, epidurals have their place, and nitrous is not a replacement. You are correct. It is a different alternative that helps the patient both with taking the edge off pain and gives moms a sense of control. I applaud options, as labor and delivery is completely, 100% different for everyone.

  • Kate

    You’re right, Cindy. NOTHING works for EVERYONE. That’s why nitrous is one more OPTION for laboring women. St. Mary’s is still offering epidurals and IV pain medications, but nitrous oxide is now in the tool belt. Way to go St. Mary’s!

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