Is a TENS worth it?

(91 Posts)

I'm considering hiring a TENS machine for my labour and wondered if people could share their experiences of it? This is my second (and last) child. In my labour with DD, all my pain was felt very low down near my pubic bone, no pain anywhere else, which is making me wonder, if I was to have the same experience again would it actually work for me, or is it better for people who feel labour in their back?

I had no pain relief at home last time and didn't particularly enjoy it grin and just wondered if this would help? Also with it being my second, does anyone know if they work on afterpains?

babybouncer Mon 23-Jan-12 20:09:35

I'd say it was definitely worth a try. My antenatal group were split down the middle on whether they thought it was a miracle worker or the worst thing they'd ever experienced - everyone had a strong opinion!

Personally, I think it helped me a lot and I would use it again in a flash and recommend it. I didn't use it with afterpains, though.

howlongwilltheynap Mon 23-Jan-12 20:38:05

I hired one for my first, and it was great - a long, slow build up labour, and that is when I think they probably worked best. I don't think it matters where the pain is, I think it would work on any pain once it is fully cranked up!

So for my 2nd I bought one (as didn't want the hassle of remembering to send it back and cost not much different) but I didn't use it - a very different labour - I used breathing instead for the first bit and I didn't need it or want the distraction, then when labour properly kicked off it was really REALLY quick.

And I didn't really have any trouble with afterpains to be honest, think I was aware of them but not particularly painful. The woman on my ward who had just had her 8th child was another matter though....

LunarRose Mon 23-Jan-12 20:43:03

yes definitely - hired one on both of mine but you need a good one that you can control the strength of so you can build the strength up slowly.

dribbleface Mon 23-Jan-12 20:45:09

Had one for both DS1 & DS2, like howlongwilltheynap (love the name) first labour long slow labour, was a great distraction. DS2 - only lasted 1.5 hours so it was nothing to full on labour very quickly.

Worth a go though, i got annoyed with mine near the end, with hindsight this was a sure sign baby was imminent!

Afterpains - were quite bad with DS2 but didn't occur to me use it, and was unlikey to have been bothered to do it (too lazy)

Good luck.

dribbleface Mon 23-Jan-12 20:46:07

oooooh yeah had a boots one (do practice with it near the time though) forgot how to work it this time and didn't have time to play!

Wolfiefan Mon 23-Jan-12 20:46:10

Agree totally with Lunar. My first was b2b and boy did it help!

Oh god i loved mine. I had a reaaaallly long labour and the tens helped massively. Second only to the birth pool. I cried to take it off to get in the water and begged to get it back on again when i got out. Its an odd sensation but i really did find it helped. Try it.

I loved it to begin with. It distracted me from the pain if nothing else. Like an earlier poster though, I got annoyed with it in the end and got cross with DP when he tried to tell me how much I liked it.

I had one with my first and found it useful as others here have already said it is a distraction if nothing else. My second was very very quick so no chance to use it.

jkklpu Mon 23-Jan-12 20:53:21

Used it for my first; 2nd didn't have time. I think it did make a difference but I hadn't read enough about how it worked to make the most of it: I think the setting went up to about 12 and I was moving it up gradually so there was still somewhere to go as the pain got worse, but I made it to only about 7 as I didn't know there was still room left. It was quite an interesting feeling and it did give me something (else) to think about during labour.

jenrendo Mon 23-Jan-12 20:55:06

It was so worth it for my very long, drawn out labour. It really helped me at home and in the hospital until the very last intense stages where I asked DH to rip it off! I bought mine in the hope that I have more than one DC and will just get new pads for it next time if I'm lucky enough to conceive. I don't remember it being that expensive in the grand scheme of things. Make sure you have new batteries and know how to work it before the big day smile

Curlybrunette Tue 24-Jan-12 16:27:09

I think it depends on the labour, ds1 was a 'back labour' (think that's a term i've made up!) so it was great, ds2 was a tummy labour so it didn't touch it but ds2 was difficult in every way for the first 4 months

lollystix Tue 24-Jan-12 23:53:30

Yes, yes, yes and absolutely yes to all 4 of my labours.

Pastabee Wed 25-Jan-12 07:23:59

It was amazing. The only thing that made any difference to my pain. Paracetamol, water, gas were all rubbish for me.

All my pain was at the front but it stimulates the release of endorphins so should work wherever your pain is.

Thank you everyone, I think I'm convinced. I wasn't going to buy one as this if definately my last child but I'd seen a good website linked on mumsnet before who loan you it for 7 weeks (hence thinking I could try it for possible afterpains aswell!)

dribbleface Wed 25-Jan-12 09:37:47

i rented mine from boots.

lollystix Wed 25-Jan-12 22:04:08

yep - try boots - I tried first time to rent from some online company and it went pear shaped so I went to a big boots and they got one out the cupboard - were very casual about the give back date as I rented for 2 week, 2 weeks before. Price seemed to be the same from memory.

ZuleikaJambiere Wed 25-Jan-12 23:06:47

I felt the contractions in my hips and thighs, and still loved my TENS. I've heard various people say that it is distracting in a good way or in an annoying way- and until you try it, you won't know which way you will feel. My TENS for DC2 arrived today,now I feel ready to go! smile

Ask your midwife if your hospital has one they lend out- mine did, so I got to use it for free. It definitely helped up until transition, when it became fairly pointless.

rosebery Thu 26-Jan-12 08:55:58

Tens worked really well for me. It was hubby's job to hit the boost button at the start of each contraction. Well, it kept him busy .... Until he decided to tuck into a ginsters special and forgot to turn it off again. Owwwwww.

hackmum Thu 26-Jan-12 10:06:42

I found it helped a lot for the early stages. I really noticed how much it was helping when I took it off to have a warm bath - the pain was much worse without it, despite what they say about the pain-relieving properties of warm water!

BlackBobBorderBinLiner Thu 26-Jan-12 10:11:46

I bought mine, with new pads it's been lent round the neighbourhood. We keep a record of who's cranked it up the highest.

I loved it but post first birth realised I'd using it 'wrongly' - trustme, read the instructions slowly and properly before the contractions start. Still,I fully believed in it and refused to let the midwife remove it during the final stage owing to the 'placebo' effect pushing the button had.

nancerama Thu 26-Jan-12 10:13:53

I don't think I would have got through my induction without mine. It was the only form of pain relief I had for 28 hours until they gave up and decided to go for the EMCS

I bought mine from eBay - worked out the same as renting, except you get much of your money back when you resell.

Limelight Thu 26-Jan-12 10:14:35

Yes. It didn't really work for me with DS (but then I was in a wild panic so not surprising). With DD, it was great. Absolutely got me through the vast majority of my labour.

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