Conn. hospitals join growing trend offering 'laughing gas' to moms during childbirth

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More Hospitals Offering 'Laughing Gas' to Moms During Childbirth

MIDDLETOWN (WTIC) -- When Middletown resident Melissa Andrews was preparing for the birth of her second child, she didn't want another epidural to manage pain. A doctor told her about a new option at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown: nitrous oxide.

"I said, 'Why not, I'll try it,'" said Andrews.

Known as the "laughing gas" from the dentist's office, nitrous oxide is used by birthing centers throughout Europe and Australia with great success.

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The trend is growing here. Since launching the program in January 2015, 10 percent of women giving birth have used the gas at Middlesex Hospital, one of two hospitals in the state offering it. The numbers have increased in recent months.

"Women really want to feel like they have more control over the situation," says Dr. Anne-Marie Prabulos, chair of the OB-GYN department at Middlesex. "They don't want to be passive participants in the birth of their child."

Click here to read the entire column from The Hartford Courant.

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