Frequently Asked Questions -
Which Labour TENS Machines do your recommend / hire ?
We use MAMA Tens. Maternity TENS machines are designed differently to general TENS units. As childbirth causes wave like contractions, maternity TENS provide a constant level of soothing relief which helps mum relax into labour but can be 'boosted' to provide addition relief during contractions.
The MamaTENS has been especially designed for use during labour. Digital pre-set programmes eliminate the need to fiddle with dials, making it easy to choose the correct programme and achieve the desired level of intensity. MamaTENS uses large pads to ensure that all the relevant nerves on the back are covered to give the most effective relief.
Maternity TENS machines allow mums to easily switch between two strengths of stimulation, from a soothing, relaxing sensation between contractions, to a stronger more intense stimulation, by pressing the boost button during each contraction. Many women find this level of control incredibly empowering, as this allows them to be completely in tune with their body's needs, enhancing their level of pain relief exactly when they need it; something that isn't always possible with drug based therapies.
What does TENS actually do?
TENS encourages the body to release endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals (the body’s equivalent of morphine). It also targets the pain gate, which stops pain signals from reaching the brain. Its important to put your TENS unit on as early as possible when labour commences to gain the most benefit from it as it takes about an hour for enough endorphins to build up for effective pain relief.
How effective is TENS?
Research has shown TENS is very effective when used from the onset of labour, because it allows the body time to build endorphins. Used in the early stages of labour and TENS can help mum remain at home for longer and have control over their pain relief.
It’s an electrical current. Is it really harmless?
Yes. Women have been using TENS in childbirth for over 25 years, and in all this time there have been no recorded side-effects on the mother or baby.
Does TENS have any effect on baby?
No. Tens is drug free, so an ideal choice for mums wishing to have a natural labour. Studies have shown that babies born to mums using TENS are more awake and responsive than those born to mums using strong drugs for pain relief. This often means mother and baby bonding can start immediately and breast-feeding difficulties are less likely.
Is TENS suitable for use in VBAC births ?
Yes, TENS can be used by women during VBAC labors but may need to be removed during monitoring. Speak to your midwife about suitability.
Is there anyone who should not use TENS?
Please do not use a TENS machine if you have epilepsy. Do not use TENS if you have a pacemaker or heart rhythm problem and do not use TENS before 37 weeks unless your doctor or midwife has approved the use. Please check with your midwife or doctor if you have any doubts about using TENS.