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If you've tried both acupuncture and TENS machine before...

(9 Posts)
Happpydays Thu 07-Dec-17 13:29:10

...does the TENS machine produce a similar effect to acupuncture, in terms of releasing endorphins etc?

I had acupuncture for the first time yesterday and it felt amazing!! But it's only available as birth preparation, not during labour itself. So I wondered whether it might be worth getting a TENS machine to try and produce a similar calming/ pain relieving effect during labour? Or is that nowhere near similar?

If anyone has experience of both, I'd love to hear about your experiences!

Tinselistacky Thu 07-Dec-17 13:32:46

I used a TENS machine for sciatica in pregnancy and during labour! Def made it more bearable. I loaned one from our local hospital for free - mw sorted it!!
Remember to replace fresh batteries on the day, dh tried to change mine whilst wearing it and it was on full!! I nearly flew off the bed!!

Happpydays Thu 07-Dec-17 17:34:26

Thanks Tinsel! That's good to hear that it made it more bearable.. At the risk of being​ a pain, I don't suppose I could ask how? I just can't imagine at all what it feels like. Did it feel like releasing the natural endorphins - or more like a distraction, or a muscle massage or something?

Tinselistacky Thu 07-Dec-17 17:40:08

Tens stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulater. It's a current you feel, more so if you switch it up a bit!!
I managed camping for a fortnight at 32 weeks wearing one!! Amazing!!

1stTimeRounder Thu 07-Dec-17 22:00:32

It's a tingley feeling... like little tiny bits of current going through your body (which is what it is!) It doesn't feel like acupuncture no, but labour is a lot more intense than anything so you need different tools lol!

I used tens machine when I was induced and TENS machine and a bit of paracetamol got me to 6cm dilated... walking round the hospital grounds contracting with it on. When contraction starts you just turn the intensity up until contraction passes. Highly recommended!!!

AhWoof Thu 07-Dec-17 22:08:16

Acupuncture and TENS totally different but I had both during last pregnancy/labour. I found acupuncture really relaxing and had it throughout pregnancy.

TENS you’re not supposed to use until you’re in labour I think? And yes that was a tingly distraction from the pain, gives something to focus on. In fact I found it so distracting I accidentally gave birth on the carpet and never made it to hospital!

I’m pregnant again and having acupuncture. I’ll definitely use the TENS again also. My friend lent it to me and 3 of us have used it now for 3 very different births. Recommended!

Hazandduck Fri 08-Dec-17 10:56:38

I didn’t have any pain relief apart from my Tens machine (not from choice mind - established labour just went super quickly!) I found focusing on pressing the boost button really helped me focus on each contraction - it was a life saver for me even at the end when the pads had actually come off my back and weren’t doing anything the focus on the button helped me 😂 I would definitely recommend. I had sciatica as baby was back to back and on a nerve, it helped a lot because in labour I couldn’t sit or lie down in any position without the pain being worse. Good luck smile I am a total pain wimp so if I can do it anyone can!

QueenOfAllISurvey Fri 08-Dec-17 11:00:41

I've had both, and didn't find them similar at all.

The TENS machine - I find it hard to explain - set off a buzzing feeling that sort of 'met' the pain and jut diffused it.

I don't know if they would have lasted past the real contraction point as I went in the bath after using it, which also helped a lot.

Happpydays Fri 08-Dec-17 12:37:19

Thanks so much, all! This has been really helpful and I've got a much better idea now smile

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