A Labour TENS machine is a drug free alternative for pain relief while giving birth
Using an Obstetric (or labour) TENS machine is a drug free method for managing pain during labour. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and has been used since the 1970's for pain relief. It won't remove all of the pain of labour, but it can definitely help to reduce or distract you from the pain and make it more bearable.
How does TENS work?
An Obstetric TENS machine stimulates the nerves under your skin through self-adhesive skin electrode pads. You will feel a mild to moderate tingling sensation on the skin from the stimulation. The skin receptors then send messages to your brain, which registers the tingling sensations instead of the pain messages from the labour contractions. An additional benefit of the stimulation is the release of the body's natural pain relieving hormones called endorphins.
How would TENS assist with my birth?
The Obstetric TENS unit is light, compact and battery operated, allowing you the freedom to move around and have an active labour. It can be used in the comfort of your own home during the early labour stage and can be continued at the hospital. In fact, you should start using the Labour TENS machine at the beginning of the active phase of labour to gain the most benefit. The machine is easy to operate and is self-controlled with a booster button that you press when you feel a contraction coming. The boost increases the sensation of the tingling feeling and masks the contraction pain more effectively. This allows you to be in control of your pain, which is important for having a calm and stress free birthing experience. You can use an Obstetric TENS in conjunction with other pain relieving options such as massage, breathing, aromatherapy, and meditation. However, you will not be able to use the Obstetric TENS machine in the water.
A recent study from 2016 conducted by the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil investigated the use of TENS during the active first stage of labour. The study found that using TENS during labour significantly reduces the pain levels during labour and postpones the need for pharmacological analgesia (such as nitrous oxide, pethidine injections or an epidural) for pain relief. Studies also show that there are no known side effects for the mother and baby.
Where do I get a Labour TENS machine?
You can order one online from us. We currently have 2 options: the Perfect MamaTENS and Mama+ TENS Machine