Some of you may have heard of a TENS machine, other may not and some of you may have even used one for your own birthing experience but having been asked by award winning Babycare TENS to be an affiliate partner I thought I should share with you my experience and why I think they are a great investment option for when labour begins.
Unfortunately, both my labours were too quick for me to have chance to the TENS them but from speaking with friends and other mamas it is definitely an alternative drug-free pain-relief option to consider especially in those early stages of labour whilst you are at home in your Labour LoungeTM
What is a BabyCare TENS Machine?
It is your hand held answer to managing your labour at home in a safe and effective way. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a method of pain relief that has been success fully used worldwide for many years by pregnant women and professional midwives to treat labour pain naturally. Babycare TENS machines are not the same as a normal TENS machine. They have been specifically designed for women in labour. All Babycare TENS machines are compliant with European medical device regulations and the most important thing of all is there are no known side affects for mama or baby.
Why would I consider using one?
Perhaps if you are considering a drug-free birth and you would like to know you have a form of pain relief at home so you can manage the sensations that labour brings.
Maybe you are someone who likes to feel in control. It will give you something in the palm of your hand to think about and something to physically do whilst in labour which will keep the mind focused and alert.
You might just want to help manage the aches and pains that the last few weeks of pregnancy brings as baby descends and you feel less mobile.
How does it work?
It basically works by sending mild electrical impulses to sticky pads (known as electrodes) which are positioned on your back. The tingly sensations of the pulses then block the pain signals to the brain allowing you to focus on your breathing and riding through the wave/ surge you might be feeling.
To get the best effect it is best to use the Babycare TENS machine right at the onset of labour so you are able to build a rhythm and increase your level of endorphins (those feel good chemicals to relieve stress and pain!) and to get a sense of what it feels like to have the pads on you and working with your machine to help manage the sensations of labour.
Can you try a TENS machine before you are in labour?
You can begin using the machine from 37 weeks, around the same time you can knock back that raspberry tea, start gobbling those dates and perhaps add a little clary sage to the bath. It is a good idea to give it a go before you go into labour though and you can do this by placing a couple of pads (electrodes) on your forearm. You will feel the sensations and be able to work out the right intensity for you but you MUST follow instructions carefully and ensure you have enough electrodes for the big day! You can buy extra packs from Amazon or Boots so no need to panic in these times.
Can I use it in hospital?
Yes, absolutely but you may have to switch it off temporarily if the midwife requires you to… and you will not be able to use in the water – water and electricity do not mix!
What if I have chosen to have alternative pain relief?
You can still use your BabyCare TENS in conjunction with gas and air or pethidine so you can use these together. Remember though to research your options and use your B.R.A.I.N as pethidine can make some people sleepy, so just be aware you might not be able to use your machine with ease.
If I am being induced when can I start to use the TENS machine?
It is best to begin using your machine about one hour before your induction so you can begin to build up your endorphin levels.
Will a Babycare TENS machine be worthwhile if I end up having an epidural or a caesarean?
Yes, you can use the machine beforehand for pain relief. It is particularly good for the early stages of labour when you are at home with no other pain relief available. The machine can also be used from 37 weeks of pregnancy for back pain and then for general pain relief following labour.
The great thing about Babycare TENS is that you don’t even have to buy one outright if you don’t want to, you can hire one instead just for your labour – how cool is that and the best bit is it is sent to you just when you need it!
Please contact me with any questions you have and I would LOVE to hear how you get on if you do end up using a Babycare TENS machine.
Sending you all the love, courage and strength you need birthing Goddess!