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TENS machine

Forum: Natural Childbirth


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December 24th, 2008, 08:20 AM
Chrissiek's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 520
For the BTDT moms did any of you try using this with any of your previous labours?

I've been looking into as many pain relief measures as I can without having to resort to drugs. I made it to almost 8cms with my first before I got the epidural... and even at that point I didn't ask for it or feel that I needed it... they kinda scared me into it.

From what I've been reading some people find it only works for a little while. But my midwife said it depends on your pain tolerance and what you're expecting the machine to do. She said if you go in thinking that the machine will take away the pain then you're going to say it doesn't work. But if you have a fairly high pain tolerance and just need something to take the edge off she said it might be helpful.... which, if my labour goes the way it did with my first... is what I think I need. Something to take the edge off.

So just wondering if anyone tried this before and how it worked for them?

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December 24th, 2008, 05:02 PM
Posts: n/a
My MW wanted to use it last time and we never did. She mentioned it for this time too, we'll see. My labor with Kailey was fairly easy and painless so I don't know if I'll need it.
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December 24th, 2008, 06:54 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
Posts: 13,088
I don't know a thing about it....but awaiting some answers! I wish we had the eating popcorn smiley!
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December 25th, 2008, 06:02 AM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 17,089
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Hmmmm. I am not sure how much it would really help over all the other things you could do. I have not yet had the luxury of attending anyone's birth to preform acupuncture (mostly electro acupuncture, which is basically hooking a TENS unit like machine up to needles in the lower back) but I am hoping to this summer, though that will be too late for you to know I have a patient who is due a few weeks after me and since i will be on maternity leave, I told her I would try my best to be there for her birth (at the same Birth Center!!) My concern with the acupuncture + TENS is that you really cannot move that much with that on. With a portable TENS unit, you can move with it on, and I may offer that to her during her labor, since I have one of those as well. And for obvious reasons you cannot use it in the water MAYBE the TENS would just distract you from the pain? I particularly do not like TENS unit and how it feels, with or without needles, BUT I have used it on myself since, as a runner, I seem to injure myself once a year and need to use it on my knee or something. I find it irritating and maybe that would be enough to distract me, hehe.

I have yet to be at a birth since you really cannot plan these things and with my schedule, it just does not work, but if i am on leave, well, then it just may work

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December 26th, 2008, 03:07 AM
Katty85's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7,271
During my labor with Ethan my midwife suggested using one, so I said yeah and she got it out and put it on me. She was showing me what knobs change the speed of the pulses and turned it up full, well it felt like someone had strapped an electric fence to my back, I couldn't use it after that cause it made me tense up. Before she turned it right up I was ok with it.
Ethan 13
Madison 11
Harrison 9
Christian 8

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December 26th, 2008, 06:55 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 10,040
I have one of the portable units and have used it for my lower back in the past. I really don't like the way that it feels. If you turn it on gradually and increase it it's not as bad. I can't imagine just turning it right up to the highest level. I think I would find it irritating and cause me to lose my focus. I honestly don't think I'll attempt to use one in labor, but like Meredith said, maybe it's enough to distract you from the pain.

*Thank you kiliki for the siggy!*

Mom to Kennedy (2/19/11), Caleb (8/6/12) and Carson (10/14/14)Expecting #4 February 2017!!!
Life As We Know It
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December 26th, 2008, 09:30 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
Posts: 13,088
now that I reads what you all are saying I think I have been hooked up to one as physical therapy for my fibromyalgia. I hated it, it made me more tense and there didn't seem to be anything theraputic about it at all. But I don't know a thing about it otherwise.

Meredith, how did you access that smiley? Do you save them and put them in your photobucket?
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December 26th, 2008, 10:07 AM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 17,089
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it was from here the mecca of all things smiley!


Yeah, i find it quite irritating, as well. Cheryl, you probably did have it at therapy, they use sticky pads and place them on your skin and it feels like a prickly type sensation.

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