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TENS machine- how effective?

(21 Posts)
Cullercoats88 Sat 03-Jan-15 18:42:03

I have been given a TENS Machine, which is very kind, but I don't know much about them.

Are they useful? I've read mixed stuff online, some suggesting they are a waste of time, others saying it's only useful for very mild contractions.

What do you all think? Did you find it a useful pain relief? I do tend to have a high pain threshold, but I've never laboured before so I have no idea!!

Redtractorwontsleep Sat 03-Jan-15 18:45:20

Definitely worth trying. I got to 5 or 6cm dilated on just the TENS machine and that was after being induced. Good luck!

ShootTheMoon Sat 03-Jan-15 18:46:55

I would have throttled anyone who took mine off me! Quick birth, no other form of distraction or pain relief, but I loved it - took the edge off the contractions and gave me something to do (using the boost) as the contraction peaked.

bakingtins Sat 03-Jan-15 18:47:11

Have it as one weapon in your arsenal, ditch it if it's not working for you. I used Tens and hypnobirthing (natal hypnotherapy) for all 3 of my births and got to 9-10cm before feeling the need for gas and air. You do need to put it on early, if you wait until contractions are very painful it probably won't work.

Buttercup27 Sat 03-Jan-15 18:47:24

I don't how useful they are for pain relief but they are a great distraction. I used mine for the first 18 or so hours before I could get into the pool and it took my mind off contractions (especially when dh had the controls!)

Cullercoats88 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:20:19

That's good to know!! thank you

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 03-Jan-15 19:48:03

I totally agree with Shootthemoon above. I gave birth just using tens and nothing else. It mainly served as a distraction and actually took the edge off. I must admit that I did ask for additional pain relief when I got to hospital but to my dismay I was already fully dilated and gave birth 23 minutes later so there was no time. It was immensely helpful in the early stages, well worth it.

Helpful hint though - when I used it while giving birth to my first baby, I didn't tell anyone it was on and it interfered with the monitoring clip that they popped onto my DS's head. They tried three times and each one wouldn't work. After he was born and I was peeling the pads off my back we realised what the issue had been!

ShootTheMoon Sat 03-Jan-15 20:07:46

Mouthful I was 8.5cm when I got in so the TENS certainly helped me along too smile

TENS and hypnobirthing techniques are a great place to start, especially if the baby is in a good position and you have no complications.

Dogsmom Sat 03-Jan-15 21:47:21

I hated mine, it was so irritating, I hired it from the hospital and had the proper Mamma Tens which has a boost button for contractions.

I did give it a proper chance and stuck it for the first 12 hours or so and finally ripped it off in a temper when I pressed the boost button for the millionth time and nearly shot through the ceiling!!

It didn't give me the slightest bit of pain relief, just an intense itchy, buzzing feeling but I've read that it is more of a placebo and there's no evidence of it taking off pain, it's a distraction and something to give you a bit of sense of control.
Dd was back to back though and I don't know if that made a difference.

Muchtoomuchtodo Sat 03-Jan-15 21:49:23

Get it in early in labour.

I used it both times and got to 7cms and transition before it came off.

It's a good distraction if nothing else!

Cullercoats88 Sun 04-Jan-15 10:12:27

I guess even if it is a distraction it's better than nothing...although I have mostly read about moms getting sick of it and throwing it (usually in their OH's direction) ha

LulusMiniEgg Mon 05-Jan-15 03:23:13

I got to hospital and was 9cm with just tens. Think I put it on a bit late but it definitely helped me.
It also electrocuted DH when he took it off for me to get into the pool once we were at hospital, was quite funny and gave us all a laugh!
These were the cheapest I could find and came well in advance. www.tens.co.uk

icklekid Mon 05-Jan-15 03:24:41

Yes use it! Mine also numbed my back so epidural prep wasn't as painful! Added unexpected bonus!

Cullercoats88 Mon 05-Jan-15 08:50:17

That's amazing Lulu!!

Fingers crossed it has that affect for me too smile

lunalovegood84 Mon 05-Jan-15 11:00:41

I was induced, had pessary in the evening and started contracting overnight. Put tens on right away and had an uncomfortable night bouncing away on a ball but didn't feel too bad. Strolled down to delivery suite in the morning to get waters broken and was 9cm! Midwife and doctor really couldn't believe it, their jaws actually dropped.

Unfortunately it all went downhill from there but I can't fault the tens, it was amazing!

HoldenCaulfield80 Tue 06-Jan-15 02:42:45

I got to 6cm on a TENS machine. I took it off to get in the birthing pool and the SECOND the pads left my back I regretted the decision! If it wasn't for the fact that the midwives has taken 15 minutes to fill the huge pool, get it to the right temperature and light all the candles, I would have backed out and put the machine back on (so 'British', even in labour !)
I hired mine from Mothercare and recommend it them to anyone who'll listen now grin

Chunderella Tue 06-Jan-15 10:33:43

I found mine helpful, it definitely took the edge off particularly in the early stages. There's huge variation in their effectiveness for different women, but the way I see it is, why not give it a go? Iirc, the majority get at least some relief with them. Even if you're sure you want all the drugs or the birth pool, you may want something in the early stages to tide you over before they dispense the good shit/let you in the water.

Artistic Tue 06-Jan-15 10:37:52

I used everything I could find..progressively..
The birthing ball
Breathing
Then the TENS machine
Gas & air
Morphine? Or pethadine (not sure!)
Epidural

And mine was a quick labour of 10 hours!! gringringrin

AmantesSuntAmentes Tue 06-Jan-15 10:41:07

In the end I used mine as a missile to lob at xh, while swearing copiously. Mainly because in a transitional fuddle, I found myself stuffing the tens plunger into my mouth, instead of the g&a and squeezing on the g&a tube, rather than the plunger.

Ended up birthing with neither g&a or tens but it provided an amusing distraction in hindsight!

Cullercoats88 Tue 06-Jan-15 10:49:19

I had hoped to use birthing pool too, either as pain relief or for actual birth depending how I feel on the day, but it's good to know TENS machine seems worthwhile.
Just got to wait to see when she arrives now!! grin

AmantesSuntAmentes Tue 06-Jan-15 11:40:19

Culler, out of four births, I found the two with water to be the most blissfull and relaxing pain management method smile

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