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TENS vs birthing pool?

(5 Posts)
SicknSpan Fri 09-May-14 14:25:30

Currently 37 wks with dc3. With both previous labours I'd used my TENS machine to great effect up until about 7 or 8cm when I used gas and air instead (less effective) and have been planning on doing same when I go to hospital to have this one.

A water birth had never really entered my thinking as of course a TENS can't be used in water. But could I take it off and get in the water once the TENS stops being useful? Or do I need to leave it on to benefit from the pain relief it does provide, even if I then need something additional too?

Am a bit worried about removing it to get in the pool if the water will only provide same level of relief as the TENS did, having been quite active in both labours so far which again would not necessarily be possible in the water.

Hope this makes sense! Grateful of any insights.

bluebeanie Sat 10-May-14 17:28:02

Hi. I used TENS then swapped to the pool and added gas and air for transition. Tbh as lovely and relaxing as the water was, it slowed my contractions way down as a result.

My birth plan said water birth and the midwives had run it so felt rude not to.

Next time, I won't bother with the pool. I had to get out anyway to push as I found I was just floating around and needed something to hang of off!

SicknSpan Sun 11-May-14 08:09:05

Bluebeanie they slowed down? Oh bumsticks, not what you wanted! Maybe I'll rethink it then. Really wouldn't want to make it any longer than I have to.

bakingtins Sun 11-May-14 08:28:03

I'm not sure anyone can tell you which is 'better' because it's quite individual. DC1 I used TENS up to about 9cm, felt I wasn't coping (in hindsight was prob in transition rather than the TENS wasn't working) and got into the pool and used G&A. The pool did slow things down which gave me a much needed break, the water felt wonderful and I did 2nd stage in the pool. I'd say you have more freedom to move around in the water as it supports your weight, particularly if you are tiring. I delivered kneeling, holding onto the edge with DH helping with the G&A mouthpiece.
Planned another water birth, but DC2 very quick delivery, used TENS right the way through but less effective as had no build up really. Few puffs of G&A when I got to hospital, DS2 delivered within minutes of getting there.

Keep your options open. You don't always get access to a pool in hospital anyway so don't set your heart on it. Would recommend it though!

Rockchick1984 Sun 11-May-14 17:43:55

I used tens from the start of labour until pool was ready and I found the water far more effective as pain relief. Agree it's probably just a personal thing though!

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