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anyone with any experience with TENS -- even used in US?

661 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Quindin
I was reading about TENS -- transcutaneous Electrical Nerver Stim in teh Dr Sears Birth book.

anyone ever use this? KNow anyone who did? Is it even used in L and D in teh US?

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I have used one before (though not in labor) and found it effective for me (my old chiro would use it pretty regularly to help with my back pain). I have only read about others using them in labor with good results. I wish I had been offered this during my first (horrendous) labor. you should check out the mw's archives, there is a bunch of info on this there ( )
I used it during my homebirth, with my partner administering it.

I really don't know if it helped or not, since I didn't have active labour without it, and then i went into the shower so the hot water took over where the TENS machine left off. My midwife was New Zealand trained and it's a common labour pain device there, apparently.
I used it for my birth, I am from the UK and it is commonly used there, you can hire the machines from the local chemist (drugstore). It helped for the first half of my labour but not so much for the second half of my labour and I found it eased the pain in my back more than the pains anywhere else. You set the level of the intensity, it works best when you start low and very slowly turn it up as things progress, you don't use it all the time, you just press a button to activate it when you feel a contraction coming on. To use it you put sticky pads attached to wires (they look a bit like the things they stick on peoples chests when checking their hear rates) on particular places on your back, you get shown where. It is easy to use and I found that working it out helped distract me from my labour.
The doula who taught my DONA training carries one with her to births. She is based in Utah.
A lot of other doulas here are trained to use it (they have all taken a one or two day seminar for it) and do and can use it in the hosptials during labor. I hear good things about it. And it does not interfer with the labor and delviery floor's machines (even if they try to tell you differently!) I would do a DONA search for your local doulas and find out if anyone is trained to use it.
I recently met a lady who uses it often for severe back pain and she says it's incredible. She never thought of using it for labor (didn't know what was something that it was used for), but said she thought that was a great idea!
I've used it during pregnancy for back pain, but not during labor. It was incredible. I'd love to try it in labor, but have been happy using water.


Originally Posted by rainbowsprite View Post
t helped for the first half of my labour but not so much for the second half of my labour

I bought one (in the UK) and will be using it for any future labors (in the US - we are moving back...)
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I have a good friend who's a physical therapist. She taught me how to use it for my labor. You need to get a prescription for one in some places, and then practice with it at home before labor. She taught me that you can find six or seven different frequencies and intensities that are helpful for you, and then switch between them during labor. If you switch them around, they're more likely to help you without your body becoming used to the particular stimulus. If you don't get a script beforehand, you can ask the doc when you're in labor for a consult with the PT dept and they should be able to help you out...but for me, it was a lot less stressful to just have it when I needed it and not wait on anybody to have to get it.

In the end, my hypnobirthing was all I needed, and a shower at the end of that labor (and a tub at the end of the second labor)...but I did use a TENS unit quite a bit for other types of pain, and have found it very useful...which is why I wanted it ready and waiting for labor!
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I will ask the OB about in at my next check in two weeks.

Maybe he can give the Rx if necessary so i can pratice.

I am glad i thought to ask, i read about it (in teh Sears book) last time, and never thought of it again as no one -- CNM or doula -- ever bought it up

Interesting! I've been having alot of back pain this pg, and I noticed my benefits covers a TENS machine 100% . I was considering it for labour, but I think I want to have a natural birth experience this time altogether.
I saw one used at a new homebirth show here in the UK and the lady said it helped her A LOT, so now I have been thinking about getting one
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