Today, most women in the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Scandinavia use laughing gas (otherwise known as nitrous oxide) for pain relief during childbirth, but for years it has not been available for labor in the U.S. beyond a few lucky maternity wards—until now.
The return of nitrous oxide to the delivery room.
"Nitrous does not eliminate pain, as an epidural does; generally women report that nitrous makes them care less about the pain. “I felt the pain but I was able to distance myself from it,” is how Shauna Zurawski, a new adopter who used it during the birth of her son last year, described it to me.Because it doesn’t block pain, nitrous allows women to maintain control during labor. “You can still move around, you can also use it in a tub,” says Fletcher Wilson, obstetrician at Monadnock Community Hospital (MCH) in Peterborough, N.H., which recently started offering the gas to obstetric patients. "