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TENS machine - worth it for second labour?

(12 Posts)
kalidasa Sun 28-Dec-14 11:57:50

I didn't bother with a TENS machine when I had DS1, though all my NCT friends had one I think. I'd had such a terrible pregnancy that I didn't really care about a natural birth, I just wanted it to happen! But actually I had a pretty straightforward labour, about 12 hours altogether (though the hosp said only 5 or 6 hours of active labour, followed by 40 mins of pushing), normal delivery. I had gas and air for the stage from about 5-10cm but not for the pushing bit and that was fine. I didn't have any other pain relief and although I really appreciated the gas and air I felt pretty calm and in control all the way through. Obviously I was lucky and I hope this time will be similar.

I am 35+5 now with DS2 and wondering whether it is worth trying a TENS machine this time? Presumably you can take it into hospital with you? But maybe it's not worth it if it mostly helps you stay at home for longer? I will need to go into hospital fairly early on as I am in a wheelchair with severe SPD and I am more frightened of trying to get down our stairs (2nd floor flat) than of labour itself! And presumably labour is usually quicker with no. 2 anyway so perhaps the stage when a TENS would help just won't be long enough to be be worth it?

Anyone who found it helpful second time round? or thinks they shouldn't have bothered?

IsawJimmykissingSantaClaus Sun 28-Dec-14 14:48:14

I used one both times and found it very helpful if only as a distraction technique. You can hire them for about a tenner from your midwife so it's not a big deal if you then choose not to use it (you get to keep it for a few weeks before/after your due date).

kalidasa Sun 28-Dec-14 14:59:56

Thanks Isaw. Did you end up using it for less long the second time round or was it actually similar? Will look into the renting possibilities.

IsawJimmykissingSantaClaus Mon 29-Dec-14 08:35:33

I used it for the same period of time both times. But my 2nd labour was shorter (knew what I was doing grin)

TheBooMonster Mon 29-Dec-14 17:51:22

DH forgot ours with DD (and I was induced and under fairly constant monitoring so not sure I could have used it anyway) this time It's already in the labour preparation box and I fully plan to use it. perhaps if your friends all used them you could borrow from one of them rather than paying out for one, that way you'd just have to get the stick on pads?

mumxof3x Tue 30-Dec-14 15:24:05

I didnt get to use one for ds1 and 2, but when I went to hospital in labour with ds3 I asked them if I could use one. And tbh I loved it and plan to hire one this time. I used that solely up until the last 10 mins (where I had some g&a) and it was very long I was in there all day saturday and all night, I had him at 1.56pm sunday aft x

Mammanat222 Tue 30-Dec-14 16:04:11

I had a horrendous early labour (36h at home, contractions only went down to every 6 minutes but were pain beyond words) but I never got round to using my TENS. Wanted to put it on when we went to hospital and MW said I'd missed the window of it being effective?

Will def give it a whirl this time!

Eatscones Tue 30-Dec-14 18:24:57

I didn't use one for my dc1 as I had read mixed opinions on it but this second time round I was offered one when I went into the midwife suite so I tried it. It was great for me and I used it for about 5 hrs until I went into the birthing pool ...where I was for about as long but that is another story... So yes for second birth I loved it and made good use of it, when contractions were closer together it got annoying but when there was a little breather between them I like it.

Chunderella Thu 01-Jan-15 15:07:10

You can use them in hospital too. I'm not sure I believe all the stuff about an effectiveness window either, as I was still finding there was a tiny effect with mine even at full dilation when they made me take it off. I mean, not much, like 1%, but not nothing either- I noticed when they took it off. Suppose it could've been placebo effect, but that's good enough for me. I'm heavily pregnant with DC2 and planning to use it again this time round.

With a TENS, I always feel like the question is why not, rather than why? There's no risk at all, is there? Even if it just helps a bit during a couple of contractions, that's great, and if it does nothing at all you can always throw it at someone's head lose nothing.

HoggleHoggle Thu 01-Jan-15 15:11:56

Mine massively helped with dc1 and I will use it again for my second.

kalidasa Thu 01-Jan-15 22:11:11

Brilliant thanks everyone. I have rented one online which should arrive next week, it's not very expensive and I reckon it's worth a go.

HoggleHoggle Fri 02-Jan-15 07:16:33

Good luck with dc2 kalidisa, your first labour sounds a very positive experience.

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