Saratoga Hospital Offers Laughing Gas for Moms in Labor


October 20, 2017

Saratoga Hospital Offers Laughing Gas for Moms in Labor

Hospital is first in region to provide this pain management option

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, October 20, 2017—Saratoga Hospital is the first in the Capital Region to offer nitrous oxide—commonly known as laughing gas—to women to help manage pain during childbirth. The hospital began offering the low-risk pain relief option this week.

“With nitrous oxide, we are giving women another option—one that fosters a greater level of control over pain management during the course of labor,” said Carrie Inglee, director of Women’s Health Services at Saratoga Hospital.

“Our decision to offer nitrous oxide reflects our patient-centered approach,” she added. “We’ve received requests for this service, and we responded.”

Nitrous oxide has long been used in childbirth in other countries and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Saratoga Hospital joins more than 200 facilities nationwide—including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals in Boston, Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, New York, and Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley—in providing this option.

Nitrous oxide offers a number of advantages, especially for women who prefer a more natural childbirth experience.

  • The gas is generally safe for mother and baby.
  • It is self-administered, giving the mother more control over pain management. She decides when to use the nitrous oxide. She can stop at any time and begin using a different pain management option instead.
  • Nitrous oxide is short-acting and is cleared through the lungs. The nitrous effect stops within a breath or two after the mother removes the mask.
  • Nitrous oxide can be used during all stages of labor.

The nitrous oxide offered during labor is different from that used for dental procedures. The labor blend is 50 percent nitrous gas and 50 percent oxygen and is an analgesic, not an anesthetic.

Nitrous oxide doesn’t eliminate pain. Rather, the gas alters the perception of pain while taking the edge off and reducing anxiety.


About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. With a medical staff of more than 450 providers, the hospital offers care in a broad range of medical specialties at more than 20 locations including its Wilton campus and the Saratoga Medical Park at Malta. The Saratoga Hospital Medical Group ensures easy access to services that can have the greatest impact on both individual and community health. In keeping with its emphasis on quality, Saratoga Hospital was the first in the Capital Region to earn Magnet designation for nursing excellence. On Jan. 1, 2017, Saratoga Hospital finalized its affiliation with Albany Medical Center, joining Columbia Memorial Health in creating a regionally integrated, locally governed healthcare system. For more information: or


Peter M. Hopper
Director, Marketing and Communications

20 Oct 2017