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I found TENS crap last time - is it worth considering again?

(7 Posts)
Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 21-Aug-09 15:34:56

DD2 was emergency c-section not in labour so didn't get to think about pain relief.

dd1 was 5 years ago and I had a tens machine but it did literally nothing. I was virtually frying myself as I had it up so high and all it seemed to do was make my skin kind of 'buzz'.

I then tried gas and air but promptly vomited so very wary of using that again. I ended up with an epidural which of course led to all sorts of interventions.

This time I am trying for a VBAC and really want to avoid an epidural at all costs as I know it will lead to a section. I'm wondering whether to bother hiring TENS again or if I'm likely to find it as crap as last time. Also do you think gas and air will still make me sick? Looks like I'm going to have to grit my teeth and go with the pain wink shock

weaselbudge Fri 21-Aug-09 17:30:30

At the time I thought the TENS wasn't working but then the electrodes slipped off and then I realised that actually it was helping quite a lot!
I think the general consensus is that TENS can help for the early stages but by the time you get to the point of gas and air/epidural it's not much use! I am definitely going to use one again as I think it will stop me panicking in early stages. I have same issue with gas and air and I also had epidural first time round (also intervention). However I think the intervention would still have been necessary without the epi (and at least it was entirely pain free!). For this reason I haven't been put off the epi.
You can hire them quite cheaply now. Also make sure you're using it correctly. You have to start on lower setting as soon as you go in labour to start stimulating the endorphins (even if you don't feel you need it yet). Whacking it on when already in major pain won't do a jot.

Heated Fri 21-Aug-09 17:41:55

I thought exactly the same about TENS but then my mw later said I'd never really know how effective it was, as I didn't labour without it and I managed to get to the 2nd stage (but she didn't see me climbing the walls!), and fiddling and getting exasperated with the damn thing might have taken my mind off the pain!

Gas n air made me sick - 1st time round in labour and also under different circumstances following an injury. The only thing G&A has been good for - after having some lovely opiate drugs - is making me oblivious to having my knee put back in place and having waters broken.

I had a planned epidural with my 2nd which meant my body just got on with it, but without pain ruling my actions. No2 just seemed to make her own way out!

Good luck with everything.

BoBoo Fri 21-Aug-09 18:08:16

What about a birth pool? I found tens some help, but got into the birth pool when things started getting a bit much and that really helped. You could also try hypnobirthing which might help you deal with the pain

MrsHappy Fri 21-Aug-09 19:12:08

I hated TENS (it just really annoyed me) and have been wondering the same thing, but my friend (who also found hers useless with her first baby) told me it was v helpful the second time around, and it was all she used. I guess all labours are different...

jenniferturkington Fri 21-Aug-09 19:19:05

I hated tens in my first labour and ripped it off pretty quickly. In my second labour I was still pressing the 'boost' button as my baby was born, I found it very helpful!

Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 21-Aug-09 20:57:20

thanks, I've gone ahead and ordered one - even if I hate it this time it's got to be better than being in labour and wondering smile

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