Has anyone used a TENS unit for pain relief during labor? I have one for shoulder and back pain and was wondering if it would be good for pain relief for labor. I have seen in pregnancy books that TENS units can be used in labor, but it doesn't say how effective they are at relieving pain during labor.
Are there any other non-medicine ways to relieve pain during labor besides breathing a certain way? I am not pregnant yet (boyfriend and I are still trying), but I am a tad bit nervous about labor and birth, especially since I want to do a home birth.
I did, I used it while labor was increasing in intensity a couple different times, it took the edge off and especially relaxed my tension between contractions. I notice people react to mild electrical stimulous different ways, I think it feels odd but not objectionable, my husband is completely bothered by it, my father in law can't feel it at all, and it is the same with TENS, science exhibits where you touch a current, or a mild shock from an outlet. Personally I think a vibrating back massager would have had the same effect for me as the TENS did in labor.
Other top ways to find comfort: self hypnosis, immersion in water, getting into comfortable positions, thoroughly relaxing your body, meditation prayer and mental relaxation, having someone push on your lower back.
I had one while I was in labor with my son, but I mostly just found it distracting-but I had an unusual labor where I dilated easily to ten CM with easy contractions I could walk and talk through that came every 7-10 minutes and then had my water broken and was in transition pain 'til he was born 2 hours later. For the first part I didn't really need to use pain coping techniques and for the last part nothing helped with the pain. My mom used one for all three of her labors and she said it helped a lot. It's supposed to be attached to the lower back for contractions.
As far as I can tell every women experiences labor very differently and it's hard to know what will help until you are in labor which is why it's nice to have as many tools as possible at your disposal. I will say that unless you're one of those women who is lucky enough to have a pain free birth (or has success with hypnobirthing) it's probably going to hurt. While I was in really painful labor there were a couple of times I was plotting how to get my birth team to take me to the hospital so I could get an epidural but I figured they probably wouldn't since I was completely dilated, the baby's head was incredibly low, and his heart rate was perfect and I could not imagine trying to ride in the car while in labor. Afterwards, though, I was so proud of myself and I'm so glad I did it at home. It's hard, but it's so worth it :)
Stay-at-home Mama to my fabulous DD (10/08) and DS (9/12) and wife to my just-as-fabulous DH