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TENS machine worth it?

(23 Posts)
nataliekristin Tue 06-Jan-15 06:00:01

I'm 30 weeks now and starting to think about the impending birth! I have only recently heard about the tens machine and am wondering if it's worth buying? A friend said she used one in early labour only as in the later stages it's not effective at blocking out the pain!

Homebird8 Tue 06-Jan-15 06:05:23

I borrowed one from the hospital for my homebirth. I have no idea whether it helped but I was not going to experiment by taking it off! Might be worth seeing if your hospital has them available rather than buying.

CaramellaDeVille Tue 06-Jan-15 06:21:36

One word - YES!!

loudarts Tue 06-Jan-15 06:32:17

I don't think it helped me at all

nataliekristin Tue 06-Jan-15 06:50:22

I was thinking of using it now for back pain too - though I'm not sure if that's advisable?

HoggleHoggle Tue 06-Jan-15 06:54:57

I don't think you're meant to use it pre-labour although could be wrong.

I used mine for early labour. It didn't do much once the contractions really got geared up but I'm sure it helped me stay at home longer so once I got into hospital I was 4cm dialated and properly on my way. So def worth it for me and will use next time.

KatOD Tue 06-Jan-15 07:05:01

There are different types of tens machines for back pain and labour (operate at different frequencies).

I've used both. Found that it helped a bit in early labour (hired one from the hospital - much cheaper). For backache I found it worked a bit with mild back/shoulder pain if due to muscle strain but not if due to something more serious that needed a chiro/osteo/Physio to have a look at it.

peppapigonaloop Tue 06-Jan-15 07:12:15

I found it completely useless for pain relief.. if anything worse! But I guess everyone is different so all you can do is try! You could try and pick up a cheap second hand or borrow one?

Luciferbox Tue 06-Jan-15 07:14:36

I hired one from Lloyds pharmacy online. It was reasonably priced and I had it for ages as I went overdue. I didn't actually use it in labour so I can't tell you if it's any good sorry.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Tue 06-Jan-15 07:18:13

I used mine in labour and found it incredibly irritating - I persevered for a while but eventually ended up wanting to rip it off and throw it out of the window!

Pancakeflipper Tue 06-Jan-15 07:18:13

I used one for early stages of labour for 2 pregnancies I think it helped me stay at home longer. I am glad I had it, I think it helped me focus on using that than having a worry about labour.

CaramellaDeVille Tue 06-Jan-15 07:18:45

You mustn't use it before labour for back pain.
I've used it twice during labour, both times it was an absolute godsend. I can't imagine how I would have coped without it. Used all the way through, just that and paracetamol.
I'd definitely recommend hiring one. I got one in the Toys R Us special deal this time last year, it cost me £5 for 4 weeks hire. Ridiculous! First time round I paid £28 I think. Worth every penny. Shop around a bit and see what you can find.

DandyMott Tue 06-Jan-15 07:19:17

I rented one from our hospital and even though it didn't really help with pain, it gave me something else to focus on rather than the contractions if that makes sense. I would rent another for next time.

JustTryEverything Tue 06-Jan-15 07:20:35

I hired one from Boots online for my 2nd birth - only 30 quid and I thought it was brilliant for the early stages. And for 30 quid it's not a big deal if you don't get on with it.

shattered77 Tue 06-Jan-15 07:22:42

I couldn't have done it without it! As soon as I had my first contraction and it hurt I was at tesco pharmacy hiring a mama tens. Couldn't have done it without it (and the pethidine, epidural grin)

BellsaRinging Tue 06-Jan-15 07:25:21

I thought it was amazing. I used them at home for both births. When I arrived at the hospital with ds2 I had been in labour at home for about 6-7 hours, and was 9cms. I didn't think the TENS machine had done much...until I took it off to get in the pool, had a contraction out of the water, and it was a totally different experience. Much more manageable with the TENS!

I brought one for my second labour, got a hospital one for my first. I then lent to two friends, who just brought new adhesive pads for it, and then sold it. Ended up costing me c£10, as i recouped the rest of the costs.

By the way, I am not the sort of person who would turn down drugs if I needed them, nor was I intent on a drug-free birth, but I definitely think the fact that I used the TENS (and then the birthing pool) meant that I did not need drugs because the pain was 'manageable'. Obviously there was a fair element of luck in there too, but that was my experience.

CorporeSarnie Tue 06-Jan-15 07:41:39

It gives you something that you can control in what can otherwise feel a very out-of-control situation. This focus can definitely help in early to mid labour. I left mine on without noticing in the pushing phase, but it did help some in early labour. Hired from Mothercare, I didn't take time to look about as I only made the decision to vbac over elcs at 37 weeks, but there are probably better deals out there.

mumxof3x Tue 06-Jan-15 07:51:18

I didnt use one with ds1 and 2, but I used one from the early stages of labour when I was admitted into hospital with ds3, I found it amazing and I will for sure use one this time. I used it right until the end smile

BabyOnBoob Tue 06-Jan-15 07:52:56

Yep I'd use it again for labour, definitely.

mugglelady Wed 07-Jan-15 14:45:48

Didn't do anything for me

bm1980 Wed 07-Jan-15 16:41:26

Definitely! I hired one for DS1 and was fully dilated by the time I got to hospital so it really helped me with contractions at home. It had no impact once I started pushing but it meant I had a drug free labour. I'm hoping it'll be the same this time round. smile

Halfpastthelegofmyshirt Wed 07-Jan-15 19:20:46

It helped me a lot. I got to 9cm dilated using a TENS and two paracetamol. It didn't stop the pain as such but it distracted me from it and gave me something to fiddle and a feeling of control. I only took it off to get in the pool.

VikingLady Wed 07-Jan-15 19:33:30

I got mine off eBay for £16, but I didn't get on with it at all. You can use them from 37w to help with braxton hicks, and you are recommended to try them in advance of labour itself. They are fiddly to position! And the info leaflet in the box said the pain relief effect is greater cumulatively (not sure how).

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