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TENS v. Birthing Pool

(13 Posts)
whocaresaboutyourintellect Sat 29-Aug-09 22:33:48

So I LOVE LOVE LOVE my TENS machine. Always used it right from the start of labour and it has worked just how it should.

This will be my 4th and last labour and I have decided I really want to experience a water pool.

My fear is that I will take my TENS off to get into the pool and wont like it and then the TENS will be useless also.

So I was wondering what time is best to get into the pool. What exactly a pool does to assist the labour etc.

Thank you.

hairymelons Sat 29-Aug-09 22:39:02

I used both! Had long back labour so had tens attached to my back but also had about 50 baths (was at home, no pool) so I must've switched between the two.
I remember that I was at my most relaxed when in the water so although the TENS helped it wasn't relaxing exactly IYSWIM.
If we can afford it next time we'll get a pool so the water gets my vote!

pasturesnew Sat 29-Aug-09 22:39:22

I worried about this too as really liked the TENS and when I got into pool missed it for a couple of minutes but then pool was great as was suddenly a lot freer to move around. I really liked the gas and air, too. I only got into the pool when 2nd stage was kicking off, BTW, not sure if this is how it is always used.

Toppy Sun 30-Aug-09 08:32:45

Oooo. I have just looged on to write EXACTLY the same post WCAYI !

I LOVED my tens and it was the only thing I used and but really would like to try a pool this time round as I have been having 2am baths every night for the last 10 weeks to ease restless legs and it is very effective.

May I add to your thread and ask do you use the pool for pain relief and then get out to have the baby or do you tend to stay in?
For some reason I am not sure about actually delivering under water.
I know very little about how these pools are used

whocaresaboutyourintellect Sun 30-Aug-09 16:33:00

I have read loads of info and lots of women say they had planned to get out of the pool to give birth but when the time came they ended up staying put.

I think I want to stay in the pool for the birth

pasturesnew Sun 30-Aug-09 18:26:18

I delivered in the water but am not sure all midwives are trained for / support this, we might have been lucky? It's not a problem for the baby as the temperature of the water is the same as inside and the baby still gets oxygen from the placenta, so the impulse to take the first breath isn't prompted until the baby breaks the surface of the water.

Toppy Sun 30-Aug-09 20:31:07

I am scared of feeling the baby's head. With DS1 they asked me if I wanted to see using a mirror or have a feel and I did not want to which is really out of charachter.

I am also really scared this time round that something might be wrong with #2 so I would rather a MW passed her over to me. I know this is irrational. I never had it with DS.

Also REALLY hung up on the floating gunk issue. We all know there is no dignity but still get tense about it

It will be interesting to see what happens - I still can't get over how go with the flow the whole process is. We can still surprise ourselves !

daisyj Sun 30-Aug-09 20:40:39

I used TENS until I was 5 cm dilated, then was so elated to find I'd progressed that far that I didn't need any pain relief apart from the pool for about three hours. I found the transition between the two very easy and didn't regret losing the TENS although I'd found it really helpful over the preceding 12 hours. I loved the pool and felt very relaxed in there - water was fantastic pain relief.

I gave birth out of the pool in the end, primarily, I think, because my pushing contractions weren't very strong, and I found I needed more purchase than I could get in the water. I've heard others say similar, and people I know who did give birth in the water had stronger contractions - don't know if this always follows, though. I think a full water birth would be lovely, though - good luck with it smile

daisyj Sun 30-Aug-09 20:42:00

What I mean is that their contractions were stronger naturally, not that the water makes them stronger - just realised that wasn't very clear!

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Sun 30-Aug-09 20:43:17

I used a tens with first labour until 5 cm's then got into the pool, it was like heaven.

then didn't have time to use tens with DS2 just got straight into the pool and he was born an hour later.

the thing about it is that you can always get out and put the tens back on if you don't like it but if you don't try you will always wonder?

whocaresaboutyourintellect Sun 30-Aug-09 21:33:27

This is the firstlabour I have really got excited about. I had a fear of birth after my first and I spent many hours crying over DC2 and DC3. After 3 I ealised it wasn't that bad and now feel so ready for this.

Toppy just make sure someone has a net to clear out any gunk as and when it floats. LOL

Gemzooks Sun 30-Aug-09 22:13:59

I loved Tens too, can only reassure you that the water is better. had 2nd birth at home with pool, used tens up until full dilation, when I got in the pool. Getting in the warm water and lolling was such bliss, better than tens. I would advise the same as I had such a good experience, water for the end bit. don't worry, you can definitely get the best out of both!

Psychomumma Tue 01-Sep-09 22:28:24

I haven't used TENS, but gave birth to my 4th dc in my bath (not enough room really, so would definitely recommend a proper pool!) having been in it for all my v. short 2nd stage. Water is great, and usually has a really relaxing effect on labouring mothers - but for this reason I've read research by Michel Odent and others that, apart from very rapid labours, it's wisest not to get into the pool until either you're about 5cm dilated, or are having well-established strong contractions not too far apart, the reason being that if you get in the water too early on in labour, your body may relax so much that labour may actually slow down or stop - which would be annoying! But I'd definitely recommend water once you reach the 'business end' of labour, and maybe TENS for the first half if you know it works for you.

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