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What is a TENS machine?

December 1, 2014

So – what IS a TENS machine?

One of our facebook friends asked:
“Did any of you use a Tens Machine during your labour? Really keen to understand if they work? Any feedback appreciated!”Tens Machine

So, you’ve got your birth plan sorted, you’ve packed your hospital bag, and stocked up on newborn gNappies, now to think about the actual labour itself!

Well, what IS a TENS machine?? in brief, a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machine works by delivering tiny, safe, electrical signals through conductive pads to stimulate the nerves under your skin.

How you use a TENS machine

Electrodes are taped onto your back and connected by wires to a small battery-powered stimulator. You can give yourself small, safe amounts of current through the electrodes. And you can safely move around while you use TENS.

These electrical signals act in a couple of ways: They block the transmission of pain signals travelling in nearby nerves, stopping them going through the spinal cord to the brain, and they send their own message to the brain, triggering the release of endorphin – the body’s own natural painkiller.

Ali says: I used a TENS machine for the early parts of both of my labours… I would say, that they are slightly painful to use in their own right, however, they really do work to distract you from your own natural labour pains, and I would recommend hiring one from your local pharmacy! 

Did you use a TENS machine? Would you recommend one? Did you buy one or hire one?
Comment below:

Read more on the NHS website here and more on alternative pain relief here.

Return to the gNappies.com home page.


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