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Are tens machines any good?

(25 Posts)
MsSparkle Thu 11-Sep-08 15:57:25

Are they any good? I have a really low pain thresh hold and had an epidural with my dd.

I don't really want an epidural with this birth, although that's easy to say when your not in pain. So i am concidering a tens machines.

MegBusset Thu 11-Sep-08 15:58:28

Didn't help much for me BUT I know loads of people who have sworn by them. It can't hurt to try, can it?

happynappies Thu 11-Sep-08 15:59:58

It helped me a lot to begin with, but tbh I took it off when I had a bath, and couldn't be faffed with fitting the pads back onto my back,so never put it back on. I think you have to persevere with it, as it kind of works with your body, building the endorphin levels - don't be too quick to think its not doing anything! Its a very good distraction too - found it particularly helpful for the painful car journey to hospital.

FruitynNutty Thu 11-Sep-08 16:01:13

I didn't like it. My back felt all tingly, very weird sensation

cluckyagain Thu 11-Sep-08 16:01:22

OK - tens machine is nowt like epidural so please don;t think of it in anywhere like the same terms!! Having said that I found it really useful if only to have something else to swear at during contractions - it kind of hurts if you turn it up enough and you know when the really big contractions are there as you suddenly don't feel the tens anymore!

Seeline Thu 11-Sep-08 16:02:24

I used one for both my labours and found it very good in the early stages before resorting to the old gas and air - which is fantastic!!

ilovetochat Thu 11-Sep-08 16:02:54

i found it brilliant, started using it very early and built it up slowly and it got me through labour.

MsSparkle Thu 11-Sep-08 16:03:01

I loved gas and air but it make me really sicksad

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 11-Sep-08 16:03:41

I used mine all the way through, and it ended up being my only form of pain relief (although I was open to other options). I found it useful, definitely noticed the diff when I took it off to get into the bath. Had permanently on 'boost' by the end!

If you do get one, make sure you read all instructions before going into labour, so that you are not trying to work it out once things kick off (I speak from experience...). Also make sure that you have spare batteries.

FruitynNutty Thu 11-Sep-08 16:04:58

I didn't see the point in gas and air, just helped me to breath, still in huge amounts of unbearable pain hmm
Still, it can't have been that bad as I'm doing it all again in March hmm

MsSparkle Thu 11-Sep-08 16:06:34

The thing with the epidural was i could still feel pain in one spot. Then when it came to pushing time it had worn off so i was in agony anyway.

Sycamoretree Thu 11-Sep-08 16:08:13

Mine got me through a week of contracting in hospital on and off because of endless, fruitless inductions. I don't know WHAT I would have done without it. I found it great - but clearly from this thread it's not for all.

Sycamoretree Thu 11-Sep-08 16:09:07

And some spare pads - if you end up in as long a labour as me!

sarah293 Thu 11-Sep-08 16:12:54

Message withdrawn

ajm200 Thu 11-Sep-08 16:13:39

I didn't like the sensation at all and asked for it to be removed after less than an hour.

I ended up with an epidural as I had severe SPD and was in constant severe pain. I liked the epidural even less so I've booked a tens for my homebirth in a few weeks time.

Lib76 Thu 11-Sep-08 16:42:53

yeh i found it really good in early stages, infact i used it until about 7cms and by that stage it was full blast and not helping much. i don't know how nuch it took away pain but it is a good distraction when you are in latent phase of labour. i remember when i first put it on i thought there was no way i would have it up full!!! soon changed my mind ;-)

give it a go, nothing to loose!

newmummy27 Thu 11-Sep-08 17:16:41

i was induced and the pain started so quickly so i dont know "the early" stages iyswim. i was very sensitive to the drug they give. tens machine was useless, my husband also turned it up to full notch instead of turning it off and i could have killed him. i thought i was dying was in so much pain, bring the epidural on i say ;-) if i ever have another child i wouldnt even question it, but that is just because of the experience i had.
good luck.. btw i think you can rent them from mothercare

ellideb Thu 11-Sep-08 17:22:37

I don't now because I havn't tried mine yet but I have heard that you are supposed to use them right from the very beginning of your labour in order for them to be effective. There is no use slapping it on when you are 5cms as it won't have had a chance to build up your endorphins and you will think they are useless IYSWIM.

naturalblonde Thu 11-Sep-08 17:23:25

I rented mine from midwife - only cost £10 and they collect it after you've had baby. (£30 from mothercare and £55 from Boots)Don't know if it's any good though as STILL pregnant!

happymummy72 Thu 11-Sep-08 17:36:24

Hi, i used a tens machine, i do like to think it helped but as it was my first birth i have no idea what i was ment to expect. I was told that it was important to start to use it as soon as your contractions started as it can take upto 2 hours to get the full pain relief from it. I'm a massive fan of gas and air, i always said i did'nt want a epidural but when it came to it i'm so glad i had one, oh just had a thought somthing which may help also if you do use a tens you can take the pads off and have a bath ect then put the same pads on when you get out (i did'nt know that and brought extra pads)

ajm200 Thu 11-Sep-08 17:51:32

27 quid from Tesco pharmacies.

MsSparkle Thu 11-Sep-08 19:37:14

Hmm well, i will probably rent one because like you say, i have nothing to lose.

I was induced for dd so the pain pretty much started instantly so i don't know what it's like to have labour start graduly.

Wade Thu 11-Sep-08 22:22:26

Mine was brilliant. It really got me through to the last (worst) bit when I added G&A as well which I also thought was amazing.

hester Thu 11-Sep-08 22:29:10

I was cynical about them, as a lot of women find them ineffective, but I was persuaded to try it by two arguments:

1. You use it BEFORE any other forms of pain relief become available. It is best used very early in labour, the theory being that it raises your endorphin levels gradually and so reduces your sensation of pain.

2. If it doesn't work, it's only twenty five quid down the drain - no big deal. If it does work, it will be the best twenty five quid you've ever spent.

I ended up using it for about 7 hours, before moving on to gas and air. I'm really glad I did. It wouldnt' have been any use later in labour (there is no way it's comparable to an epidural!) but it really helped me cope with those dragging early hours.

tori32 Thu 11-Sep-08 22:46:15

Absolutely fantastic for me. I used them with dd1 and dd2. With dd1 I had a long 36hr labour and had tens for 27hrs of that. I lost the plot once I went into the birthing pool on G&A at 4cm. DD2 I used it from the very first twinges once paracetamol didn't work anymore. I got to 8cm after 14hrs in labour. My advice is use it from early and read the usage instructions well so you can get the best from it. Mine was from Boots. Good luck with the birth! smile

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