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Talk to me about TENS machines....

(13 Posts)
bikerunski Sun 20-Jul-08 11:34:37

31 weeks with first baby and beginning to think about pain relief in labour.

Am not opposed to drugs or ought, but would like to be able to move around.

Are TENS machines any good for early labour - do they work - for everyone? anyone? What are everyone's experiences?

I know I can hire one, but we have the kind of income where if we don't have to spend £30, then we'd rather not.


merryandmad Sun 20-Jul-08 11:42:49

Hi I used a tens with both my labours.

Dd1 was a hospital induction- so had to stay in from start to finish. The tens machine gave me something to concentrate on. It did help - though not necessarily as I though it would, more as a distraction rather than pain relief (IYSWIM).

We hired a tens first time round, but brought one for dd2 as we'd found it so useful 1st time.

DD2 was 10lb8oz at birth and i did it with just the tens and gas and air- not particually high pain threshold either.

My dp is also a bit of a gadget nut, so it gave him sometihng to concentrate on whilst i was in early labour

twocutedarlings Sun 20-Jul-08 11:43:41

I used TENS machines with both of my girls, im now pg with DC3 and will definatley get one again.

With DD1 i used while i was labouring at home, i was 4cm by the time we arrived at the maternity unit, so id say it definatley did its job.

With DD2 it was the only pain relive i had right up until pushing shock although i have to say that this wasnt intentional, she was a very quick labour and an unplanned homebirth, so i only got the G&A when the paramedics arrived.

Have a look on ebay, you can sometime pickup a second hand one for less than hire charge, you can then save it for future use wink.

EffiePerine Sun 20-Jul-08 11:46:22

Used one with DS, great in early labour and ended up being my only form of pain relief (quick second stage). Will def get one again

summerbaby07 Sun 20-Jul-08 11:48:10

I used tens with my first and pregnant with my second. They DONT help with the pain relief BUT they are a good distraction. Your better off taking a parcetamol!
You can hire them from your hospital or buy them but I wouldnt bother buy one!

intravenouscoffee Sun 20-Jul-08 11:49:31

Oooh, I LOVED my TENS machine. Got to the hospital 9+ cm dilated having just had the TENS at home. If I could have kept it on while I was in the bath that would have been even better. I'd definitely get one but just be aware that not everyone is a fan. I have a friend who chucked hers across the room cos she felt it was useless. However, mine worked brilliantly. And I really don't have a high pain threshold. Also, fiddling with the buttons can be a bit of a distraction with the early contractions. Best of luck for the birth.

melpomene Sun 20-Jul-08 11:52:11

It didn't work at all for me; I just found it really irritating. Lots of people say it does work for them, though. Even though it didn't work, I was glad I'd tried it because otherwise I would always have wondered if it could have helped.

merryandmad Sun 20-Jul-08 11:57:07

I thought mine really heped with the start of labour, but partly would have to agree with you though aswell Melpomeme- with dd1 once i'd reached a certain point in labour it became irritating rather than helpful. My MW commented that lots of people find this aswell. Still a fan though smile

notcitrus Sun 20-Jul-08 15:48:59

SIL2 loved the TENS machine - we got it for her off Ebay. £30 inc p+p but I hope to be able to sell it for a similar price after I give birth.

FabioUnblogged Sun 20-Jul-08 15:50:37


littleoldme Sun 20-Jul-08 16:03:14

I had a VERY long first stage and the TENS was an absolute godsend. I hired one but it broke in the process and sent DH out to Mothercare to buy a new one shock The bought one was far more effective than the hired. It was also expensive, £45, not that I cared much by then.

If you do I hire one then I suggest buying some new leads for it, they are what broke on mine.

Good luckX

NumptyMum Sun 20-Jul-08 16:09:34

We bought one - and are now lending it to pg friend; ask around, you may be able to borrow one, you never know.

As to how useful it was, I had augmented labour (on drip, like induction) and the pain was mainly at the front of my pelvis rather than the back... but perhaps that's because the TENS WAS working, IYSWIM. But I fiddled with the dials later on in labour and nearly shot out of my skin as my hand slipped and I got max prickles!

reban Sun 20-Jul-08 16:14:38

Hi i used tens all the way through my first labour and i did find it helped .. also gave other half something to concentrate on. However with my second and third children the labours came on quick and very painful so tens absolutely no help at all. This time round i dont expect ill use it either.
They are widely used though so i wouldnt recommend you buy one (although they are on special offer sometimes .. think i saw that at boots a while ago) ask around friends and friends of friends and i bet you will find someone who has one that you can borrow. If not they are easy to hire. If you are worried that the hired one might not be as effective just try it out before the occassion!

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