How far dilated did you get with just a TENS?

(138 Posts)
BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sun 28-Oct-12 20:34:12

Got one for ds3.

Not used one before.

Just curious how effective women have found them?

How dilated were you on getting to hospital when you've used one at home?

Kveta Thu 01-Nov-12 13:42:22

4cm both times, and had it cranked right up both times too. was nearly breaking the boost button by the time I was allowed epidurals. I found it a useful distraction anyway smile

cairnterrier Thu 01-Nov-12 13:44:22

6cm with a back to back labour. would definitely try it again in the future.

espanol Thu 01-Nov-12 14:15:00

With my first labour I can't really say how effective on its own as my labour was pretty horridly full on from very early but I used it in conjunction with gas and air and I think I would have found it much harder without TENS. I ended up with an epidural though as my labour was so long and full on.

With my second I was in hospital as I was induced. The TENS got me to 5cm happily on the maternity ward/wandering around hospital and then they moved me to delivery as it started to get more intense. At this point I was offered G&A and took it as that stuff works well for me, but used TENS throughout with the G&A and really noticed the effect. I actually declined a water birth (which was in my plan) because the TENS on its own had worked so well that I was scared to remove it! I went quickly from 5cm to 10cm (1 hour?) on TENS and G&A. I like the fact with both of these that when the contractions die down then you are completely lucid again! I also enjoyed having a button to fiddle with!

One thing to bear in mind - if it doesn'y feel like it's working then reposition the pads. It took a couple of attempts from DH to get them in the right place and it then made a huge difference!

espanol Thu 01-Nov-12 14:16:34

Sieglinde - were you induced with the drip? I was induced with the pessary and my labour proceeded as if naturally and the tens worked great, but can imagine it would be more full on straight away with the drip. TENS seems to work best from the start so you can dial it up gradually so with drip this might not work so well, but gel induction it works fine.

familyfun Thu 01-Nov-12 14:24:04

used it for 2 births, one induced, worked brilliantly both times, used from quite early on when i could feel contractions, no other pain relief.

louisianablue2000 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:34:18

I've used it with all three of mine. With DS (no3) he was early so I didn't have a TENS machine and I was induced so things progressed quickly. The MW got a hospital TENS machine for me and as soon as I used it I felt the relief. It only stopped being effective in the last half hour of labour.

Agre with others, make sure it is switched off before it's taken off, with both DDs DH managed to give himself a shock.

Katienana Thu 01-Nov-12 14:43:12

I got to 9cm with mine. It was a nice distraction and helped me monitor the increase in pain levels too as I turned the machine up. Went in the pool when we got to hospital and had gas and air, couldn't get baby out though so had to get out and went pain relief free for last 30 mins or so.
He was 10lbs 9.5oz!

elliejjtiny Thu 01-Nov-12 14:50:16

I used the TENS with DS3 from 3cm to about 9. I wasn't keen on it, just felt irritating mostly but I was worried if I took it off it would hurt more. In the end I decided I wanted DH to rub my back and the TENS was getting in the way so I took it off. I had a quick labour though (2h 15m established) so maybe that was why it didn't work that well for me. I loved the pool though, best pain relief ever.

MummytoMog Thu 01-Nov-12 15:01:10

It was amazing. Could barely feel my contractions until I took it off at 5cms and then shoved it back on again. Loved it. That was my second labour though, which was a different experience to my first in many ways. I still used gas and air for transition and second stage.

chocolateteabag Thu 01-Nov-12 15:02:04

Used TENS from first twinge to 10cm and found it really helped me.
I tried a bath first, but did nothing for me, but the TENS gave me "something to do" during each contraction.

I also had gas and air, paracetamol hmm, and 2 Meptid injections (because had decided to say yes to everything bar an epidural and the hospital didn't do pethidine). However the Tens was def worth having on.

I managed to get to the last level (20 on C setting), holding down the boost button. DP then tried it when we got home and couldn't get past level 4 on the A setting. DP then said he has new respect for me grin

ScreamyShriekyFrightyWoozyWooo Thu 01-Nov-12 15:24:19

I used one in my 2nd labour and it was fantastic. I used it until I was 10cm (I assume - wasn't examined, but needed to start pushing) then I took it off to get in the pool.

I wish I hadn't bothered with the pool and just kept using the tens, because the pool did nothing for me. Gas and air did nothing for me either. In the end I had to get out and onto the bed because Ds2 wasn't coming. He had shoulder dystocia, and I had to get him out with no pain relief in the end.

I was skeptical about tens before, but it really worked for me. I wish I'd used one in my first labour.

heidipi Thu 01-Nov-12 15:32:19

Good to know that they work for most people but I found it did nothing for me, I think because I didn't have pains in my back, it was all round the front at the bottom of my bump. A bit like putting an icepack on your head when you bang your toe.

It gave me something to fiddle with for a bit but I ended up chucking it in a bag in frustration (and then searching madly for all the bits when I got home so I could send the fecking thing back intact).

heidipi the back pain is a good point. I have a back to back labour and the midwife told me the tens machine is very good for that. And she's probably right.

ScreamyShriekyFrightyWoozyWooo Thu 01-Nov-12 15:43:23

I didn't have any pain in my back Heidi, but it still worked for me!

Sossiges Thu 01-Nov-12 15:46:10

Put mine on at the 3rd contraction, it stayed on until pushing stage (which didn't seem so painful). Did take it off quite early on to try and have a bath, but changed my mind v v quickly as the contractions were much more painful without the TENS.
Lifesaver and I will be using one again for my next labour.

PotPourri Thu 01-Nov-12 16:01:53

I liked it. Gave me something to concentrate on for a while. I don't think it was very effective for pain relief though - but would still recommend for the distraction

R2PeePoo Thu 01-Nov-12 16:25:04

With my first birth I used it until two hours before DD was born. I sat on the leads and disconnected them and didn't notice for a while until I started feeling the most horrendous pain and then I don't remember much else - I was screaming too much. So 19 or 20 hours from the first couple of contractions.

With my second I still had it on when I was clutching my brand new DS so 19 hours again from the first couple of contractions.

I found it a very good distraction, useful to focus on, a good indicator to birth partners that I was having a contraction and the endorphins helped keep me calm and managing the pressure. Both DCs were back to back and the TENs provided excellent counterpressure to the back contractions. I do think you need to have it on for quite a while though to feel the effects, it is not instant pain relief.

TheCreepingLurgy Thu 01-Nov-12 16:27:29

Three home births done with TENS only, right till the end. I really noticed how much it helped when it came off accidentally.

Put them on when just wiggling, swinging your hips and walking around doesn't give enough relief anymore, and then increase the setting as the pain of the contractions increases. I remember how the highest settings during the last contractions were quite stingy, but so much better than the contractions on their own. The TENS stimulation is an irritation that is much easier to deal with than the contractions, so when you focus on that it takes the edge off the contractions. (The contraction pain doesn't go away, obviously).

Fakebook Thu 01-Nov-12 18:06:04

I used it for the first stage with DS. It helped because it gave me something to focus on, but it did NOTHING to get rid of the pain. If anything, the electrical impulses stung my skin and added to the pain. When contractions got harder and a little faster, I took it off as the wires started pissing me off and it wasn't doing anything to help. Won't be using it if I have my third child.

duvetfan Thu 01-Nov-12 18:23:08

I used mine from the start until about 7 cm. Used it with G and A but had to take it off as it was interfering with the machines. As soon as it was off, I asked for proper drugs (didn't turn up on time). If I have another I will definitely be using one, couldn't have coped without it. I was more than a bit sceptical but I loved it.

BartletForTeamGB Thu 01-Nov-12 18:30:46

I was completely sceptical, but it was great. Got to me to 7cm when I got in the pool. No other analgesia throughout (home birth).

LIttleMcF Thu 01-Nov-12 19:48:48

I hated the TENS machine. I gave it 20 minutes then chucked it out of the window. I relied on breathing and DH massaging me with lavender oil, and then jumping in the water pool.

nannyl Thu 01-Nov-12 20:21:45

I used mine from the early stages

i was having a homebirth, the pool was too hot so i couldnt use it. (i went from 7cm - mummy in 20mins)

i had it on level 4 and "boost" during the actual birth but had no other pain relief at all

lovelyredwine Thu 01-Nov-12 20:26:33

I thought it was great. My DH made me go to the hospital when I said I felt like I needed to push- got there and was fully dilated with dd on her way out. Unfortunately she was an undiagnosed breech and I ended up with an emcs!

It worked really well for the pain though (pity it couldn't get her to turn round).

smileychicken Thu 01-Nov-12 21:23:23

First time it didn't really help that much. Second time it was marvellous and I got to fully dilated with TENS alone. I think it can clearly be very useful especially when started early but does depend on other factors like the baby position etc. Good luck.

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