Midwives frequently recommend using a TENS machine for labour but which one? We will show you the differences between the normal TENS units vs our specialised maternity TENS units
Firstly what is a TENS unit
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a safe alternative to an epidural for pain relief during labour pain. It works by delivering small pain blocking electrical currents to the skin.
The small and easy-to-use device produces the electrical currents and lead wires send these currents to self-adhesive electrode pads that stick to your skin.
Whilst using a TENS machine, you'll feel a non-painful tingling or buzzing sensation in the areas you place the electrodes. The electric current blocks or lowers pain messages being sent to the brain which gives the pain relief. Two or more electrode pads are positioned on the painful area of the body.Many mothers choose the combination of gas and air with a TENS machine. This way they are guaranteed to get zero side effects.
Making sure the electrode pads are in the right place is very important because this can reduce how well the TENS machine will work. To work best the electrodes need to have contact with the skin for full benefits. Check out this page for electrode pad placements.
What to look for in a maternity TENS machine
With TENS machines arriving on the scene over 25 years ago, the features of the products have changed a lot! They started out with a dial. But who wants to use a dial to control the machine labour when you can press a +/- button. Over time we have developed our Perfect Mama TENS so that you aren't fiddling with tiny buttons to get the machine working. Labour is intense! we don't want you worrying about how our TENS machine functions. You can stick on the electrode pads and get the pain relief started!
There are several important, practical differences:
- Boost button: When a contraction starts, at a click of a button, you can quickly increase the power level to match the increase of pain from the contractions. The BOOST button can be used for the whole of the contractions.
- Clinically approved programs: Our maternity TENS have special programs for each stage of labour. You can change the settings at the touch of just one button. Other TENS units use dials and knobs, not really what you want when a contraction starts.
- Intensity controls: Our maternity units have one intensity control. Older and general TENS machines normally have separate controls which makes it harder to adjust.
- Compatible accessories: Our electrodes are some of the best and make industry standard accessories for other TENS machine also
Mums often find there old TENS machine after having their child and realize it can be used for other conditions. (Back problems post-partum are pretty common) They try to turn it on and to their surprise it works! They try to use it and realize they don't have any more electrodes and wires. They search their machine and find out it's no longer made and they decide to call us... unfortunately, we have to break the bad news to them that the machine they bought is not compatible with industry standard and we no longer provide those specific accessories.
It is important that the tens device is used as early as possible in labour to achieve maximum results. Additionally, It is crucial that the electrodes are applied correctly and in the right location.
For more information on our range of Maternity TENS machines Click Here
Can I rent a TENS machine?
We understand you might only need our tens machine for a few weeks! so buying JUST ANY tens machines isn't necessary.
We have an option which allows you to get one of the best tens machines for as long as you need it.
The alternative to purchasing the unit allows mums to use one of the best tens machines for a lower cost.
Although many women us our Perfect MamaTens for back pain relief post-partum.
Click here to find out more about our tens machine rental
(Psst don't worry about a late return! we have a 2 week free grace period in case your baby is late)
What does a TENS machine do for labor?
TENS machine provides pain relief for labour. When the pain starts to creep in you should start using the machine as quickly as possible because TENS machines work best for women in labour when the pain is caught early on.
The electrode pads are placed on dry and clean skin and they start providing pain relief once the machine is turned on and a program is selected. You can then adjust the amount of pain relief by pressing +/- buttons. You can time your pain relief by holding down the BOOST button until the contraction has stopped.
Figuring out which tens machine is best for you and your baby is an easy decision!
We provide one of the best maternity tens machines. There are also many other options to get a tens machine.
Tesco, boots and other large retailers have TENS machines for hire however it is uncertain if they charge late fees.
Lai Fong HO, Irene LY LEE, Grace GY MA (2008) A Pilot Study on the Use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Machine for First-stage Analgesia in a Teaching Hospital, 9-11