TENS Machines During Labour

If you are due to give birth this year and are exploring drug-free options for pain relief, it might be worth considering using a TENS machine. Read on to find more about this handy, non-invasive form of pain relief!

Used primarily in the early stages of labour, TENS machines (where TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) work by delivering small electrical impulses to the body through electrodes placed on the skin.

There are many benefits to TENS machines, including allowing you to be mobile during labour, their small, portable size (they can easily be clipped onto a belt or placed inside a pocket), and being in control of the unit yourself.

TENS settings can be adjusted to suit the individual needs of the user: these include Intensity (of the electrical stimulation), Frequency (the number of electrical pulses per second) and Duration (the number of microseconds that the current enters the skin for during each impulse.) When the unit is set on a low pulse rate (2-5 Hz), it stimulates the body to make its own pain-easing chemicals called endorphins. On a high pulse rate of 90-130 Hz, the electrical pulses are able to block pain messages sent to the brain. Best-selling TENS machines, such as ELLE Tens and OBI TENS, also feature a handy booster button - an extra pulse of power to combat pain at its peak. Typically, a machine would be used for 15-20 minutes per session, several times per day.

It is generally safe for most people to use a TENS unit, as there are generally no side effects. The electrical impulses a TENS machine produces can cause a buzzing, tingling sensation, which some people may find slightly uncomfortable. Some people may also be allergic to the adhesive pads – if that is your issue, here at you will be able to find Electrodes for Sensitive Skin.

A TENS machine is not just suitable for labour, making it a sound investment to provide relief to any of these other conditions:

  • Period pain
  • Joint pain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain

Before use always read and follow the maker’s instructions. Pads should be placed on your back, and not on your belly or pelvis area. You may need to take off the TENS pads if your baby's heart has to be monitored electronically, since the pads could affect the signals to the monitoring machine. TENS machines should not be used around water.

Find out more about TENS machines and see how they can benefit your labour experience. Order online today with, a 100% Guaranteed Irish retailer!

2nd Jan 2020 Susanna

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