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How to practice with a Tens machine

15 replies

SpringChicken · 21/06/2004 13:44

My Tens machine arrived a week or so ago and having read through the instruction it says to practice using the tens before actually going into labour - however, doesn't explain how to do this.

Can anyone offer any advice? Do you have to put it on a different setting? Are there certain things you should/shouln't do?


OP posts:
Thomcat · 21/06/2004 13:48

Don't practive is my advice. It feels awful when you don't need it and won't feel anything like it will when you're actually in labour.

Chandra · 21/06/2004 13:49

Practice? well I guess it's a matter of following the instructions and check the impulses just to have an idea of where you should put the patches when the time comes... mind you, be careful with the bateries, if they are dead on "the" day you will fill like killing the nearest person

Chandra · 21/06/2004 13:50

fill???? fill???? FEEL I mean... btw, is a curious tingle sensation it may be only awful if you start from the highest frequency

muddaofsuburbia · 21/06/2004 13:53

I didn't practice either. I just put it on when the real thing started and I was uncomfortable. Started at the lowest setting possible and turned it up slowly.

On mine there was a "booster" setting for during the actual contractions. I found mine quite comfy, but the sticky pads wore off after 3 days of contractions and didn't quite hit the spot - so maybe devise a way of helping them stay put. They're probably not designed for 3 days non-stop use though .

I managed to go shopping with my tens machine on - I hid the wires under my clothes and kept the bit with the buttons in my pocket.

Thomcat · 21/06/2004 13:53

Okay, maybe you need a play around and that';s fair enough, so will be more usefiul, but really I had a trial run and it nearly put me off using it. As I said it'll feel totally different when labour kicks in.

D put the pads on my lower back and then the other two under where your bra straps are, both either side of spine.

Put it on lowest setting and don't be tempted to see what the high level is like when you're not in labour. D thought it would be funny to do that to me and it was bloody horrible.

Play with the hand device that sends the pulses.

I have to say I did all this and on the day didn't know what i was doing. It was concentrating on whether it was working and what was happening with it that got me through the contractions tbh, not the actual tens machine!

RTowards the end D had to take it off me as it was just getting on my nerves. That was really funny as I had it on the highest setting, couldn't even feel it and he got the shock of his life when he got the current through his hands!!!!!

prettycandles · 21/06/2004 14:22

Thomcat if it was on the highest setting and you couldn't feel it then it was working properly! You get this weird numb feeling with it after a while, and once you get that then you can take the machine off for up to about 30m without loosing the pain relief. That's what I did with dd so that I could get into the bath.

With ds I didn't dare take it off, so I wore it for three days, just like muddaofsuburbia. Not meaning to be - ahem - unpleasant, but was your skin clean enough when you put it on? Backs can get quite greasy, and that might have affected the sticking. It's good stuff, that sticky gel (just don't get it on your hair!). I had it on for 3 days with no problems, it was only removed for the epidural, but the tape they used for the epidural - knowing that I was allergic to plasters - left my back looking as if I'd been whipped.

I would just practice by putting only two electrodes (or even jsut corners of electrodes) on the inside of your arm (no hair!) so that you can have a fiddle with the controls and make sure the battery works. Also, get dp to practice positioning the electrodes on your back, but without taking the backing strips off, so that if he gets all flustered he'll know what to do.

It can't harm you or your d?, nor can it set off labour early. I 'practiced' by using it when the BHs got too bad at one point!

sweetkitty · 21/06/2004 15:18

SC I know this has been discussed somewhere else but where did you get your TENS from?

Thomcat · 21/06/2004 15:21

Well I could feel it prettycandles but barely. I took it off and had Lottie an hour later so I think I was beyond help at that stage!
D got the pulse as he took it off me and almost flew across the room!!!!!!!!!

prettycandles · 21/06/2004 15:31

I use an ordinary Tens carsickness - on my wrists like seabands. I find that if I position the electrodes just right (or wrong! ) then the pulses make my fingers twitch in rhythm. It utterly spooks my dh, and when I dared him and sil's dp to try it, the two of them were practically in tears 'get it off us!'. Men - Big Girl's Blouses!

Fio2 · 21/06/2004 15:34

gosh are you nearly due already Springchicken? It doeesnt seem 5 minutes since you were trying!

I didnt practice with my tens, I just put it on the early stages and it was helpful but when I was in full throws it was a bit annoying tbh. Hope all goes well

SpringChicken · 21/06/2004 15:46

Certainly am Fio - only got 2 weeks 5 days til D Day !

Sweetkitty - i got my tens from Tens Medical Services Ltd . I went for the Neurotrac 3.
It spent quite a while looking around for the best deal and went for this one in the end as you get to hire it for 7 weeks instead of just the usual 4, plus, if you need to keep it longer you do not get charged.
Mine cost £25.95 in total including VAT and P&P.

OP posts:
Samcj · 25/06/2004 21:12

Spring Chicken, Looking (well in advance) about the tens hire, so clicked on your link. Just a bit concerned (i might be wrong) but it states that only a certain type of unit is suitable for use during labour, the freedom I think. Hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in, but I don't want you ending up with the wrong one!!

scrumpy · 25/06/2004 21:21

springchicken...I practised with tens machine but being a bit thick had it on high setting and it knocked me off the chair with the shock made dh laugh though....did nothing for me when I was in labour found it really irritating but I know for some its been brill good luck

JeniN · 25/06/2004 21:47

Pulling the pads off because I wanted a bath was the most awful pain...we had some with gel and tape (good fix but BAAAD for getting off) and some sticky re-usable type pads which tended to shift around a bit but weren't so bad to get off. My point is that making my poor dh rip them off with me screaming in agony and grumpy as hell after a couple of days of 5 minute contractions was possibly the lowpoint of the whole labour for me...think rubbing the tape off slowly with a sponge or flannel might be quite good (except I wasn't in the mood for anything to happen slowly after a couple of days and dd already 15 days overdue...I want a bath and I want it now!

JeniN · 25/06/2004 21:48

I don't mean don't use one, btw, just think about how to get it off as well as how to fix it on and make sure you're not too liberal with the sticky tape if you're using it (DH was).

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