LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some Minnesota hospitals are using laughing gas as a pain reliever for women giving birth.

The practice is common in Canada and Europe and was widely used in the U.S. until the 1950's when epidurals became popular. Women simply place a mask over their faces to allow them to breathe in nitrous oxide during contractions.

A midwife who helps administer the laughing gas says the practice has no significant effect on babies.

Women who have used laughing gas say it helps them relax during contractions and eases anxiety over giving birth.

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