pain relief

Laughing through Labor: the new old pain relief method

Fans of “Call the Midwife” might recall the adorable scene in which Chummy demonstrates how to use “the gas” during labor for pain relief only to over-inhale and fall blissfully into the hospital bed. Most Americans have never heard of using laughing gas for labor pains since epidurals became the anesthesia-du-jour in the 1970s and are now used by the vast majority of women in the US. However, people looking for relief have used laughing gas since the 1800s, usually for dental procedures. In the early 1900’s, laughing gas was introduced for labor, but never gained lasting traction in the US. Now, thanks to a small resurgence in popularity, you may see “laughing gas” on the menu of options at your hospital.