'Laughing gas' if you're in labor? It's now an option at a MN birthing center

Author:
Updated:
Original:

"Laughing gas" is now an option for moms-to-be in the delivery room, at least at one Twin Cities birthing center.

The Minnesota Birth Center in Minneapolis started offering "laughing gas" (nitrous oxide) as an option for pain relief during childbirth this month, according to its website.

About 83 percent of women in the U.S. chose to use some pain relief during labor, the Minnesota Birth Center told KSTP.

This embed is invalid

The most common option is an epidural, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) notes, but nitrous oxide – which in countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Australia is used by 40-60 percent of laboring women – is slowly being introduced into delivery rooms in the U.S., as a way to control labor pains and ease anxiety.

It's becoming more popular in the US

In 2008, only five birthing centers in the country were known to use laughing gas, AHRQ says. But since the FDA approved the self-administering laughing gas machines in 2012 – which allow someone to control how much of the gas they get – it has started to become a more popular alternative, WCCO reports.

In July, The Atlantic found there were 19 hospitals and 14 birthing centers in the U.S. that offer, or were in the process of offering, laughing gas during labor. WCCO notes at least three other birthing centers in the state plan to start using it this year.

It's not perfect, however

As it is with all treatments, nitrous oxide may not be suitable for everyone. It is known to produce mild side effects like nausea, drowsiness and dizziness, among other symptoms, according to the National Institute of Health.

Nitrous oxide can be used for more than just pain relief as well. Researchers found it could be a possible treatment for severe depression, CBS News reported.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.

classroom

Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.

purse

Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.

Related