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Are all experiences of using a TENS machine good - contemplating buying one, do they help???

(48 Posts)
Kerri1983 Thu 09-Oct-08 12:56:48

I am really thinking about buying a TENS machine to use during my labour but don't know an awful lot about them.

The few people who I know that have used them have said they would definatly use it again.

Please let me know your experiences smile

tassisssss Thu 09-Oct-08 12:59:18

I LOVED my TENs. Hired one for each of my 3 labours so would have been better off buying.

Having said that hiring is easy, you might not like it or not need it.

I hired a mamatens from tesco. I like the fact that you don't have to post it back (getting to a post office is a big enought deal for me at the best of times!) but you just hand it back to the tesco pharmacy. Cost around £27.99.

Go for one that's small and light, has a clip and a neck cord and a boost function.

bluemousemummy Thu 09-Oct-08 13:04:49

Find out if your hospital/midwife have them first. I had a homebirth and I had hired one, only for my midwife to turn up with one in her bag!!

Fwiw, it was rubbish and did not help at all. Felt like a really annoying pins and needles sensation and made me so angry I threw it across the room. Having said that, I was already 6 or 7cm dilated at the time so it was possibly too late - might be more useful if you have a slow early labour.

annady Thu 09-Oct-08 13:04:50

i had a really long labour (or maybe just really early contractions, i don't know) with dc1 and decided pretty late in the day to try a tens - hired from boots i think (dp sorted it out, i was in pain by then!) - really worked in terms of lessening pain and is also quite a good distraction mechanism - you feel like you're actually in control of something at least, even if it is just a little dial giving you increasingly strong electric shocks!
i'd definitely use one again: that and paracetamol got me through several painful days and nights!
hope this helps x

Lib76 Thu 09-Oct-08 13:05:39

i found it great for early labour. i bought mine online from mothercare, Obi tens, nice and small. Def give it a go wink

newmum07 Thu 09-Oct-08 13:05:43

Hi, I found the tens absolutely useless, all it did was irritate me and didn't help the pain. I was glad I had hired one though rather than buying.

whatironing Thu 09-Oct-08 13:56:56

I found it very irritating, but then my labour was really quick so didn't have all that early labour thing. I'd hire rather than buy if I were you

mouldycheesesarnie Thu 09-Oct-08 14:03:56

id hire one instead of buying incase you dont get on with it.i hated them!irratating and no help at all-except gave me something else to shout at.

Katerina75 Thu 09-Oct-08 14:06:40

I'm in the "TENS machines are irritating and useless" camp, sorry. With that in mind, hire one!

ladytophamhatt Thu 09-Oct-08 14:08:22

I used it for ds2,3 and 4 and thought it was great.

I even used found it worked right up until the birth so not just early laobour. I'd crank up the power with each contraction and then start swearing at DH to get the f*cking thing off me because it drove me mad as the contarction eased.
By the time I'd said that and teh power was down I was screaming for it to turned up again.

I think I would have murdered someone if eth batteries ran out....

ladytophamhatt Thu 09-Oct-08 14:09:01

wouldn't buy one though, I hired mine from boots.

NellieTheEllie Thu 09-Oct-08 14:20:19

Hired one for my first. Didn't bother with my second cos it just irritated the hell out of me!!

bikerunski Thu 09-Oct-08 15:28:20

I hired one and hated it. Well I didn't HATE it, but it didn't do anything for me. Waste of £30. Hot bath much more helpful.

Lizzzombie Thu 09-Oct-08 15:38:06

I loved mine and screamed when they took it off me to go in the birthing pool. I'd recommend them to anyone. It totally got me through 24 hours + of contractions. I hired it online from Tens UK. No fuss at all, and when I went 10 days overdue I just let them know and they extended the hire period no charge.

rainbowdays Thu 09-Oct-08 16:01:18

Loved mine used greatly for pre-labour contractions too!

I hired for my first pregnancy from mothercare, but I bought one second-time around and used it for both the second and third labours.

It is one of those things like gas and air, that you will probrably either love or hate!

ilovetochat Thu 09-Oct-08 16:07:50

hired mine from mothercare and it was GREAT! Got through whole labour with it and nothing else, would def use it again.

hannahsaunt Thu 09-Oct-08 17:18:08

Didn't get on with TENS at all but fortunately I was loaned mine from the stock held by our community midwife so wasn't out of pocket. Worth asking if they are available to borrow on NHS?

SlinkieM Thu 09-Oct-08 23:05:47

Good in my first labour. Second was so quick it didn't come out of the packet so £30 wasted!

Dottoressa Thu 09-Oct-08 23:09:55

I thought it was brilliant. Quite apart from anything else, it gave me something to focus on!

The combination of breathing "properly" and the TENS machine got me through over 14 hours of seriously excruciating back-to-back labour and an emergency transfer to hospital when DS got stuck.

I hired one, and would thoroughly recommend it.

NoBiggy Thu 09-Oct-08 23:20:44

I don't think I used it properly. I spent most of the first hours in the bath, so couldn't use it there. Had it on in the car, don't think it was turned up far enough. It was handy to have something to hold and think about during contractions during that trip, and DP could see when the red light was steady that I wasn't going to speak to him.

Didn't have one second time. Didn't miss it.

CurleyWurlyWoooooooo Thu 09-Oct-08 23:22:24

If you get one, don't turn it up too quickly! I bounced around not able to turn it down quickly enoughblush


Twinklemegan Thu 09-Oct-08 23:25:27

Borrow one or hire one by all means. I wouldn't bother buying one. I found it utterly useless - as much use as an ice cube in hell actually.

AnybodyHomeMcFly Thu 09-Oct-08 23:32:35

I was induced several times in the week leading up to DS's birth (with prostin pessaries only as we were trying to bring it on as naturally as poss in the circs) and I did find it helped with the pain early on (like very bad period pain).

I also used it in early labour when finally the induction worked! In labour it did not block pain as such but I found it good for giving me something to focus on. Then when the pain got too much I moved on to gas and air (and thence to epidural but that's another story).

Will prob hire one again this time round but would not buy it.

horsemadgal Thu 09-Oct-08 23:35:01

It helped my back pain but not the stomach pains, but was better than nothing really.

zazen Thu 09-Oct-08 23:35:59

I found it irritating, and Dh was a bit crappy at sticking it on TBH. ripped it off myself though shock grin

It just buzzed and didn't actually stop any pain traveling up to the brain or any such twaddle. It did help me focus my frustrations though..... hmm

For pain relief, I found a tennis ball rolled around my lower back much much better when sitting on the big bouncy ball and leaning on the bed.

I also had a microwavable bag of wheat which was lovely.

Oh yes and an epidural eventually after three days of labour!! Now that was amazing!grin

I so wanted to think of myself as a drug free earth mother yadda yadda, and while the contractions weren't too awful or anything with gas and air, and were super fine with the epidural, the tens was pretty useless for me.
HTH and good luck

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