Wondering what the Tens machine is all about? You may have heard about it, but not sure about its benefits during labor.
Well, with a little bit of knowledge you can develop a better understanding about the benefits and risks associated with the use of Tens machine for labor.
TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation assists in pain relief in labor. If you are looking for drug-free options, this machine is an effective way for delivery that you can look forward to.
What Is Tens Machine?
Before you get into further details about the machine, first take a look into what this machine is all about:
- Tens machine stimulates nerves for therapeutic purpose.
- The machine delivers electrical pulses through the electrodes in the skin and thus reduces pain.
- It comes with 3 to 4 adhesive pads.
- You can control the frequency and intensity of the electrical pulses based on the extent of pain you are experiencing.
[ Read: Natural Pain Relief During Labour ]
Tens Machine Contains The Following:
The machine works by acting as a “gatekeeper” to block pain messages to the brain. It also helps your body produce natural endorphins. It offers symptomatic pain relief by exciting your sensory nerves.
- The machine has different controls.
- It is connected by lead wires to the electrode pads that need to be placed appropriately to alleviate your pain.
- Some of the units are battery operated and can be carried in a pocket.
- The machine usually operates in two modes – a pulse mode for chronic pain and a constant mode for short lived pains.
- You get a buzzing and tingling sensation when it is switched on. This helps your body release endorphins that block the pain messages from going into your brain.
[ Read: Pain Medication For Labor ]
Benefits Of Using Tens Machine In Labor:
Now that you are aware of what this machine is, you must be eager to know the benefits of using it. Here are some of them:
- It is a non-invasive method of reducing pain in labor.
- You can use this at home during early labor.
- It does not restrict your movement in labor.
- You can control the machine according to your needs.
- The machine offers medical pain relief.
- It is portable and you can carry it with you wherever you go.
- It is said to have no adverse effect on your baby.
What To Expect from Tens Machine?
If you are considering buying a machine for yourself, you must be aware of what you can expect from it. This will help you make an informed decision. Take a look below:
- If you choose water to relive pain, you cannot use the machine. You will have to remove the pads every time you get into the water.
- This machine is recommended for early labor when you must not concentrate much on pain and contractions. This is the time when you should focus on something else.
- There are plenty of researches going on about its use in labor. The research findings are very conflicting.
- Some women are reported not to like the sensation from the machine. Thus, it is advisable you try it before purchasing.
- The machine is known to be highly effective when used with other pain relief aids.
[ Read: How To Push During Delivery ]
However, you must not expect Tens to take away your pains completely the way epidural does. Tens, just like breathing techniques, narcotic analgesia and hydrotherapy, can simply lessen your pain.
If you want to avoid pharmacologic pain relief, this can be a suitable option. Tens can help you through early labor till it is right to get an epidural placed.
Moms share your experiences of using Tens machine in labor in the comment section below.
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