I used my TENS machine throughout my early labour phase (which lasted 36 hours!) and well into my active labour phase, right until I stepped in my birth pool. My TENS machine was an ABSOLUTE lifesaver! Whilst it didn’t take away the sensations completely, it made them more manageable and took away the intensity. When my surges became stronger it provided me with a distraction as well as something to focus on. By pressing the boost button it gave me some control in managing my pain.
So, without further ado, I will explain how it works and how it will help you during your labour.
Coping methods: The TENS machine
TENS stands for: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
What do you do?
You attach 4 electrode pads on your back. These pads are attached to the machine. You give yourself small, safe amounts of current. You start on a low setting and as your surges/contractions get stronger, you increase the setting.
How does it help?
The current stimulates your body to produce its own natural pain killers called endorphins. It also reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain via the spinal cord.
When to start using it?
Useful in the early phase of labour. Start using it at home as soon as you feel some lower back pain and intermittent mild surges. Especially good if your labour starts at night – put on your TENS machine and go back to sleep. The endorphins will help you fall asleep and rest until the labour intensifies.
Are there any side effects?
No known side effects for neither you nor your baby.
You can start using it at home and then take with you to hospital if you are giving birth there.
- It is not as effective if you start using it once your labour has already established. The earlier you start using it, the better effect it has.
- Some women like the sensation, whilst others absolutely dislike it – it’s a bit like marmite! Be sure to try it before purchasing or hiring.
You can buy your own TENS machine here at BabycareTENS. Prices range from £39-75. You can also hire these machines on this site.
So, what are you waiting for?! Get your TENS machine aka lifesaver today! By subscribing to my mailing list and sending me an email you can access a discount code for 10% off!*
If you have any questions – get in touch.
*discount on full priced purchases or hire from Babycare TENS website.