A TENs machine is an effective nerve stimulation machine for some. The machine allows women to use a handheld device to give them relief during intense labour pains, and is a totally non invasive and natural way to do so. The TENs machine has loads of benefits, including; the possibility of eliminating the need for medical pain relief, relaxing you during pregnancy, and having no side effects on you or your baby. Your labour could seem over in minutes rather than hours, and you’ll eliminate much of the pain you would have felt had you not decided to use a TENs machine.

How to Use Your TENs Machine

You should always follow the manufacturers instructions when it comes to using your TENs machine. However, the instructions will usually go as follows:

  • Two pads will be placed on either side of your spine, so that they are around the level of your bra strap.
  • The other two pads will go at the bottom of your back, just above your bum. Gel on the pads will help them to adhere to your skin better.
  • You’ll be able to hold the controller in your hand while in labour, allowing you to give relief as you choose. There are various strength buttons you can select with the machine, including a max strength button that could help to get you through very strong contractions.

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How Exactly Does a TENs Machine Work?

There’s a theory that the machine helps to block the pain signals travelling to your brain due to the electrical pulses. The pulses could also encourage your body to produce it’s natural ‘feel good’ hormone, endorphins. It’s probably a combination of both of these that do the trick, along with the fact that you’ll feel more in control of your childbirth and have something to distract you from the pain. There is a lack of evidence that actually suggest these machine’s work, but many mothers swear by them and use them all throughout their pregnancies.

When and How Should You Use a TENs Machine?

You’re normally told to use a TENs machine at the very start of your labour. It’s up to you as to whether you’d like to hire, buy, or borrow a TENs machine. You may also need to buy some TENs replacement pads, just incase.

  • Start on the lowest setting at first. When your pains get stronger, increase the intensity of the machine.
  • When you’re hitting the peak of contractions, use the boost button to get the most out of the machine.
  • Turn the boost button off when you’re contraction has stopped, or you may not feel the benefit of it next time.

The only times you shouldn’t use a TENs machine are:

  • If you’re less than 37 weeks pregnant.
  • If you have a pacemaker or heart problem.
  • If you are using water as another method of pain relief.
  • If you have epilepsy.

By choosing to use this natural method of pain relief, you could be making the pregnancy less stressful and painful for both you and your baby. Have you used a TENs machine during childbirth? Let us know in the comments!

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