Women delivering babies can now have laughing gas as a way to relieve labor pain

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AURORA, Colo. -- Nitrous Oxide, which is better known as laughing gas, will soon be offered as a way to relieve pain during labor.

The University of Colorado Hospital is the first in the state and one of the few in the nation to offer laughing gas to women delivering babies.

The anesthetic has been used in maternity wards in Europe since the 1930s. It previously raised questions of safety to hospital workers exposed long-term to the gas because the equipment could not contain escaping fumes.

That is no longer a problem.

Pregnant women can start using laughing gas at University Hospital Monday.