A TENS machine is a machine which is used to help relieve pain under certain conditions. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A TENS machine is often offered to woman who are in labour, as a drug-free way of reducing the pain they feel during the delivery process.
Not everyone opts to use a tens machine, however. Here are a few reasons we got when we asked Baby Tens why someone may or may not want to use TENS for pain relief.
Reasons to Use a TENS Machine
Since the TENS machine is non-invasive, it can be used in your own home as a way to stay comfortable during early labour.
It is drug free, so it will not harm the baby.
While you are connected to the machine, you can still move freely.
You are entirely in control of the machine and can modify the strength of the treatment whenever you wish.
It is an effective way of relieving pain without the side effects associated with medicines.
The Downsides of Using a TENS Machine
You cannot use a TENS machine in water, so if you plan on bathing or showering to reduce pain and to help you feel fresh, you will need to remove the machine then re-attach it when you get out of the bath. This can be inconvenient.
Labour can go on for quite some time. The TENS machine is designed to be used during early labour, and if you do use it then you are concentrating on pain relief for a long time, which could make the labour feel longer.
It is thought that the machine works best if you start it when the contraction starts, and this means that you spend time sitting around focusing on contractions while you could be distracting yourself with other things.
Some women do not enjoy the sensation that the machine gives – so it is worth testing one before you buy it.
TENS machines can cost as much as $300, which is a lot of money to spend on a device that is only likely to be used once.
There are cheaper alternatives, and some places hire them out, but again you will still be buying something that may or may not prove used.
Many people find that TENS machines work better when used alongside a massage or other treatment, which leaves themselves questioning whether they would have gotten by with just the other treatment.
All of these reasons showcase the benefits of a tens machine and provide greater information on how it can be a significant benefit during pregnancy and also outside of it too.