Have any of you ladies heard of using a TENS machine during labor? You attach these patches, that are connected to te machine, to your lower back and when you have a contraction you turn on the machine and it sends electrodes to your back that feel like pins and needles. It's supposed to increase your pain tolerance during the contractions. They have special maternity ones that have larger pads, but I had to use one in physical therapy after I had knee surgery to help with my exercises of my leg. Its a definite pins and needles feeling but it does help distract from the original pain that your having so that you can get thru whatever you're having to do. I had never heard of using it for labor, but I was looking through another pregnancy blog earlier and someone was asking about using one. They're actually pretty cheap to rent (you can rent thru a maternity supplies website).
I used one with my last doula client. Her water broke and she had not started contractions for about 8 hours, so we placed the pads on the pressure points of the ankles hoping to stimulate contractions. About 4 hours later, her labor hit intensly all of a sudden, and then we used them on her lower back. That with, with counter pressure and a hot (so hot that it burned my hands) rice pack seemed to bring her a lot of relief.
The idea is that the stimulation to the nerves distracts your brain which can only focus on one sensation at a time. I haven't used it personally for pain relief, but my client swears by it!
ETA: They are not very expensive. Also, you can normally get one while you are in the hospital, you just have to ask!
Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006
Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13
I've read about the use of it before but never have used one myself or even seen one. I wouldn't be opposed to trying one if I had it available.
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)