TENS Unit for Labor Pain Management

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TLotus's picture
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TENS Unit for Labor Pain Management

In my research on natural childbirth, I discovered a little talked about machine being used for labor pain called a TENS Unit. My husband has one for his stroke recovery (partially paralyzed on his left side) and I have borrowed it in the past for back and knee pain with much success.

I have found several TENS machines that are affordable...some as cheap as $35! I am purchasing a more expensive one because I plan on using it later for various aches and pains that may arrise in the future.

My OB has never had a paitient that has used one during labor, but I am thrilled he is willing to work with me on getting one! Has anyone used a TENS unit for labor pain? Please share your experiences. If you're not failiar with TENS for labor pain management, below are some
links with more information:

•Interesting article about TENS and the benefits in helping to manage labor pain. There are studies listed at the bottom of this article for more info.

•Another research based article on TENS and labor pain with interesting links: http://nursingbirth.com/2009/05/15/research-shows-tens-unit-can-ease-labor-pain/

This is the unit I would like to purchase:

•Picture of pregnant woman using Tens Unit -

Nikerz20's picture
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I have heard a little about the Tens machines, does the electric pulse basically scramble the messages to the brain reducing the level of pain felt?

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I used a tens machine for Mélodies birth and I can tell you that for me personnally it was useless. I had really high hopes for it, and although it distracted me a bit from the pain, even on max it didn't help one little bit. I have used one on and off for fifteen years or so, and nothing relaxes a muscle quite like it, so i'd recommend it for any muscle or stress pain you have. I'll be leaving it at home gor labour this time. That said, if you want one for other reasons, bring it, give it a try. I hope it works better for you!

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Tamara, thanks so much for this post! Yahoo

I'd read about the tens unit a while back. Jennifer Block, the author of the fantastic, natural-birth book Pushed wrote about how they are actually fairly common in midwifery care in Great Britain and how they're basically awesome. I remember thinking "ooh, I need to look into these further..." and then promptly forgetting.

I think I'm interested- I want to talk to my midwives and see what they think.

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"Nikerz20" wrote:

I have heard a little about the Tens machines, does the electric pulse basically scramble the messages to the brain reducing the level of pain felt?

Yes, that is what it does. For some women, it's a godsend, for others it doesn't work. I think with the Hypnobabies training and the doula, the TENS may help. I'm investing in one to have for other pains in the future as well.

I will keep you posted once I get it. Anything that can help, I am willing to try! Smile

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Since you are looking at alternative types of relief -

You an try is injections of sterile water into your back, that is of course if you are experiencing a lot of pain in the area.

http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/sterile-water-injections

I hadn't heard of it before going into labour with DS and the midwife suggested we try it as all the pain was located in my back. Kind of felt like a wee bee sting each time she did it and it took the edge of the pain for about 45 mins. I would recommend trying it if you are experiencing back labour, it eases the stress on your body and gives you that wee break.

TLotus's picture
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"Nikerz20" wrote:

Since you are looking at alternative types of relief -

You an try is injections of sterile water into your back, that is of course if you are experiencing a lot of pain in the area.

http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/sterile-water-injections

I hadn't heard of it before going into labour with DS and the midwife suggested we try it as all the pain was located in my back. Kind of felt like a wee bee sting each time she did it and it took the edge of the pain for about 45 mins. I would recommend trying it if you are experiencing back labour, it eases the stress on your body and gives you that wee break.

Interesting! I've never heard of this. But I hate needles in my back ... can't see what they're doing back there! LOL!

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Hmmm interesting, I've never heard of this...

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We have a tens machine i wanted to try to use it for labor last time but it didnt get so bad that i thought i needed it. breathing and relaxation techniques worked really well for me. then we got to the hospital and i probably could have used it there but i didnt even think about it.

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Please KUP on if this works! You know I'm a girl who LOOOOVES some evidence based research! This looks great!

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I have a similar machine that I got a year or two ago to work on DS muscle pain and it seems to work well. I have used it for myself a couple times but never knew people used stuff like this in labour. I am having a C-section but interesting. Hope it works for you ladies.