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Tens machine, worth it or not?

(19 Posts)
Bluemonkeyspots Mon 01-Apr-13 17:55:52

Am now overdue with dc4 so possibly should have thought about this sometime in the last ten years rather than just now but I have never tried one at all before so just wondering what others thought?

Where could I get one in the next few days if I decided I wanted to try it?

SirChenjin Mon 01-Apr-13 17:58:34

I hired one from my local Lloyds chemist, not sure if a pharmacy near you has the same thing on offer? Absolutely worth it imo - I couldn't have got as far on in labour as I did with all 3 of mine if I hadn't used the tens machine.

OohShinyChocolateHollowBunnies Mon 01-Apr-13 17:59:39

I used one. Don't think it really helped with the pain but I think it was a distraction enough with the gas and air to enable me to get though childbirth.

I loaned mine from the hospital before my due date but you may have left it slightly late to hire one but I know boots etc hire them out, or you could buy your own.

I tried it once and hated it, it really wasn't for me at all, I was getting the same pain, the same contractions but with the added 'benefit' of having a mini electric shock with them too.

I have heard loads of people say they are brilliant, but it really isn't something I would try again.

sweetiepie1979 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:01:11

Worth it I bought on amazon about 30 quid femme tens I think. It's helped with back pain later in life too.

BNmum Mon 01-Apr-13 18:09:40

Check out boots. I think you can hire or buy. I bought one of their own brand TENS machines which was reasonably priced at about £40 and thought it was brilliant. I wish I had taken the time to read the instructions beforehand though as I didn't know until afterwards that it had a more powerful setting for the later stages.

I honestly don't know how I would have coped without it (but it was my first so I have no comparison). It got me through 14hours ( 7 of which were at 8cm) without pain relief and I think if I'd used it properly it could have got me all the way through. I used it until the batteries ran out. If you do get one read the instructions, take extra batteries and get some medical tape to strap the pads in place as they move when you get sweaty or don't stick properly after a bath or shower.

dragonflymama Mon 01-Apr-13 18:11:13

I would recommend....the buzzing is slightly annoying, but certainly helps with pain management. I managed labour with dd1 on only a tens machine (amazed myself!) and am hoping same for next one (30 weeks at mo).

BNmum Mon 01-Apr-13 18:11:28

Also get birthing partner to read instruction so they can take over from you if needed

knitterati Mon 01-Apr-13 18:18:29

Think I bought mine off amazon. Definitely worth it. Went from TENS to full spinal for EMCS!

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 01-Apr-13 18:35:55

I loved mine. Got to 7cm at home with dc1 with tens, paracetamol and hypnotherapy.
Used a boots own last time, borrowed. Bought my own Elle tens with boots points this time, after researching which got the best reviews.

Would strongly recommend one, but you do need one with a boost function. Worth phoning friends though as lots of people buy and might lend it to you?

SirChenjin Mon 01-Apr-13 19:11:59

You have to make sure it's a tens machine for childbirth - I believe that there are other types but they are not suitable for some reason. Not a high enough setting probably grin

Mandy21 Mon 01-Apr-13 19:18:48

I used one in my 2nd pregnancy (actually borrowed one - do you know anyone who could lend you one?) and I think it helped - but I think its psychological rather than anything else, you think it should be helping and the distraction of having to do something at the start of the contraction is useful. I used mine throughout - had it on at home, got to hospital and was already 7cm. Carried on using it until I started pushing.

Dogsmom Mon 01-Apr-13 19:32:21

I hired one last month for when I had dd and thought it was useless, all it does is give you pulsating electric shocks that you can ramp up through contractions.
I stuck it out for 6 hours before ripping it off in a temper after accidentally pressing the boost button and nearly shooting through the roof!
It's supposed to be a distraction other than pain relief but is incredibly irritating.

SirChenjin Mon 01-Apr-13 19:37:31

There's a bit about how they work here - they act on the pain signals sent to the brain and stimulate the production of endorphins

Bakingtins Mon 01-Apr-13 19:38:17

I think it's worth a try - seems to really help some people and others just find it irritating. I got to 10cm both times with just TENS. I wasn't sure if it was helping first time round until I accidentally disconnected it in the car and did a few contractions without it.
You need to put it on in early labour - it works by stimulating your own endorphins which take time to build up, as well as being a distraction and something to focus on. Pressing the boost button is a powerful psychological way to get yourself through each contraction.
I bought a new one from ebay for about the amount you'd pay to hire one, and have since lent it out to lots of people - you need new pads each time but it's otherwise reusable so you may find a friend willing to lend one.

Its definitely worth a try. If you don't like it you can stop using it straight away, and although I didn't like it I would say I am in the minority, most people I have spoken to really liked them. They had them at the hospital when I used one, could you see if they have them at your hospital?

lemontwist Mon 01-Apr-13 19:49:22

I bought mine from a local baby shop. Spotted it on sale when buying my pram. It stayed on about 10 minutes before I ripped the damn thing off! Didn't get to try it the second time round. That said, I reckon if the beginnings of my labour lasted longer I might have got on with it better. Plenty of people think they're amazing though.

Havingkittens Mon 01-Apr-13 21:46:30

I'm planning to hire one and give it a go.

Like you, I've left it a bit late as I think you need to order at least a few days ahead from Boots or Mothercare. I phoned Boots on Thursday and they told me that you could hire their machines on the spot from any Tesco pharmacy counter. Just don't do what I did and go in just before closing time as you need time to fill in the paperwork, or at least present your Tesco Clubcard which needs to be registered to your address, to assure them you're not going to run off with the machine - apparently. Going back tomorrow morning to pick it up now as I'm having a sweep in the afternoon.

notcitrus Mon 01-Apr-13 22:19:07

Mine was great for keeping me sane on the journey to hospital and while waiting to be admitted and given the gas+air (about 2 hours in total first time, under 20 the second - same journey!)
There was a 'backache' setting which was wonderful in late pregnancy and useful for demonstrating how it felt.

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