Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, was first used as a labor analgesic in 1881. Over 50% of births in Finland, Norway, England, Australia, and New Zealand, 60% of births in the United Kingdom, and 70% of births in Sweden involve nitrous oxide. It is less common in the United States, and this is changing as it is becoming more widely available in both hospitals and birth centers. Many mothers incorporate nitrous oxide in their plan for a natural or a low-intervention birth. Using nitrous oxide induces feelings of euphoria and creates a disassociation with the discomfort and pain of contractions. This episode explains everything you need to know about nitrous oxide and the risks and benefits of using it during labor and birth.

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