Some Hospitals are Offering Laughing Gas to Women in Labor

As The Cut writes, labor is "no laughing matter," but if it could be made a little less painful with the help of some laughing gas, then why not?

As a safe alternative to mothers who choose to forgo an epidural, nitrous oxide — better known as laughing gas — has proven to be a "simple, quick, and effective management of the most legendary of pains."

Though the idea of inhaling gas may seem risky, the technique has been used in Europe for decades and there are no side effects to the gas as it leaves the body within seconds.

In fact, this pain management method has even been promoted by midwives, one of whom told NPR, "It gives you this euphoria that helps you sort of forget about the pain for a little bit."

And, even though it's not quite as effective as an epidural — it gives those mothers-to-be a "middle" option between natural birth and birth with an epidural.

Currently, 300 hospitals in the United States offer laughing gas to women in labor.

NEXT: Why More American Women Are Dying During Childbirth »

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