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Thread: TENS Machines in Labour

  1. #1

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    Default TENS Machines in Labour

    I just wondered if anyone has used a TENS machine in labour & if it helped at all?

    We were talking about different things for pain relief at our antenatal class on Wednesday night & I asked about it. The physio (who took the class) said that they have been used with some success.



    I know it's different, but I've used a TENS for shoulder pain before & it worked really well so thought this might be an option for me. I'm not planning on having an epidural AT ALL, personal choice, it's just not an option unless absolutely necessary so I need to look at all alternative options.

  2. #2

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    Hey Sarah,

    A GF of mine had one of these organised for her labour.....she had it on hire, & had it at home before hand.

    She used it in labour whilst she laboured at home. When she went to hospital she had soem complications which meant she had to have some intervention, so didn't end up sing it through the rest of the birth, sadly, but she swore by it.

    (From memory she had used one successfully previously for a back injury, & hence her enthusiasm)

  3. #3

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    Hey Sarah,
    I was asking my sister this exact question yesterday! As you know I am thinking along the same lines as you re: pain!
    She used one for her first birth. She was induced in the morning becasue of high blood pressure, and ended up having an epidural for the same reason later that afternoon/night. The baby was born around 10:30pm?
    She said that she didn't think the TENS did all that much, but it was a very nice distraction during the 12 hours before the epidural! They hired one, and I think were trained by her physio to use it (remember me saying she had carpal tunnel and had physio as a result?)
    I have read that some people SWEAR by them. I wondering if I should give it a whirl too?
    Fi

  4. #4

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    Thanks Lucy & Fi.

    I'm pretty sure I'll try it, afterall it can't hurt can it!! Apparently the physios at our hospital hire them out about a month before baby is due. They train you up on how to use it properly & you take it home to practice. I'll just have to remember to pack it in my labour bag once I get it!

  5. #5

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    A friend of mine hired a TENS machine and went to all the classes for it, the poor thing ended up having to have an emergency ceasarian and couldn't use the machine after all that!!!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  6. #6

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    What a bummer for your friend Kelly.

  7. #7

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    I am avioding the TENS machine option. I have had it before in a physio's office and it did nothing for me then, so I am thinking it won't now... besides I didn't like the sensation of it. Good luck with it Sarah.

  8. #8
    mooshie Guest

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    hi there sarah

    i remember i was very keen on using the TENS when i was preg with #1, however i think i was told by the midwives that they cannot be used in water, i loved labouring whilst in the shower/bath and from memory my also said it was only really useful at the very start of labour, which really is not as intense as it gets closer, so i gave up the thought of hiring one.

    sorry not much help but good luck

  9. #9

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    They showed us the TENS in our classes, and we all had a turn of it to see what it felt like. I loved the sensation so i was going to organise one but never got around to it. When i was in labour, my friend bought around a hand held massager and as soon as anyone touched me with it i was about to kill them! I hated the feeling of the massager on my back which was crazy cause usually i love it. So, lucky i didnt get the TENS cause i probably would have shot anyone that came near me with it!

  10. #10

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    hmm, i have never heard of it, can somone fill me in please?

  11. #11

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    They are supposed to stimulate the muscle to help it relax. Physios use them alot to help with recovery of soft tissue injuries. I had them on my shoulders 2 years ago after a car accident. My shoulder muscle had tightened and were just not loosening so the TENS was used to help them relax again.

    Bascially it's a little round rubber disc, you put it on the skin with that gel they use for ultrasounds & generally put a heat or cold pack over top as well. Then you turn it on & it feels a little like pins & needles. You start off with it fairly gently & can increase it as your muscle gets used to it - but if you go too fast the muscle starts twitching which can be uncomfortable. I don't think it's recommended for more than an hour at a time.

    Oh oh, have you seen those infomercials where they use the machines to give you muscle tone & you don't have to do anything? They look like the muscles are spasming with them on? That's a TENS machine (not sure what the TENS stands for though!).

  12. #12

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    oh ok, I'm with ya now, thanks Sarah

  13. #13

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    Hi Sarah

    I uses TENS with both of my labours. With #1 it was great as it was a distraction. I was 4 cm when I got to the hospital. I had to take it off to get into the bath so I got on the gas. I believe it helped me cos by the time I wanted something stronger than gas I was ready to push.
    With #2 the hand controller broke so I couldn't use it as effectively but as this labour was very fast it probably didn't help much.
    I'd use it again though as I believe it can't hurt you to try.

    Luv Sam

  14. #14

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    i didnt use it during labour, but i did use it for some of the early contractions while still at home, but i didnt really think ti helped all that much for me, i found my breathing worked better

    take care
    Lesley

  15. #15

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    I've decided to try it for sure now. I'm hoping to pick it up from the hospital on Thursday.

  16. #16

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    **bump**

    Hey Sarah,

    Did you get the TENS and how did it go? We covered this in our antenatel class last night and I am considering it.

  17. #17

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    My mother owns a tens machine (its very new).. and she uses it for chronic back/leg pain. (Like sciatica?)... and she finds it helpful. Ive tried it on, and dont mind the sensation.. havent actually tried it for pain though.. Im gonna borrow hers when I finally get to that birth stage... so a couple of years.. why not, if its here? lol

    K

  18. #18

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    I tried the TENS machine and for me it was a joke it did nothing for the pain except frusterate me. I don't know if it wasn't effective because dd was poterior or what but it deffinatly did not work

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