Have you heard the term “TENS” in connection with giving birth? Want to learn more about the mysterious TENS machine and what it can do for you? You’re in the right place! Read on to find out about the potential advantages and possible drawbacks of using the TENS machine while you’re in labor.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It’s a technique used to deaden pain responses. Many mothers who are seeking a drug-free way to get through the delivery process rely on the TENS machines to manage the pain involved.
The TENS Machine Explained
In order to reduce the amount of pain you feel, the TENS machine sends mild pulses of electricity into electrodes on your skin. Most TENS machines use three or four adhesive pads to deliver current. The controls which dictate the intensity and frequency of electrical stimulation are in your hands while you use the machine.
The reason that the TENS machine is an effective tool for relieving pain is that it can effectively block out naturally-occurring pain signals before they reach the brain. TENS stimulation will also encourage the production of endorphins within the body.
The adhesive electrode pads of the TENS machine need to be placed with some insight in order to make the process effective. The pads are linked to the machine’s control unit by ordinary wires. Smaller TENS units are entirely portable and run off battery power.
TENS stimulation can be delivered in two different forms. Constant stimulation is designed to combat intermittent pains, while a pulse mode is usually available to help you deal with sustained pain sensations.
Switching on a TENS unit that’s connected to you properly with electrodes will result in a tingling, buzzing sensation. This is the feeling of your sensory nerves being excited by the machine’s electrical current, and it’s this sensation that produces endorphins and blocks pain signals.
Tens machines can be bought online through numerous vendors, although tens machine rental is also an option for many.
Advantages Of Using A TENS Machine In Labor:
* TENS machines are entirely non-invasive.
* TENS therapy is suitable for use in the home during the early stages of labor.
* TENS units are (usually) portable, providing constant access to pain relief.
* You have full control over the amount of pain relief provided.
* TENS machines relieve pain without restricting your movement in any way.
* TENS treatment has no adverse effects on your baby.
Using TENS Machines Safely And Effectively
Getting the most out of TENS therapy does require you to pay attention to a few important rules. Here are some of the key points:
* Because it relies on electricity, the TENS machine does not mix well with water. It can’t be used during an immersion bath, and you’ll need to take the electrodes off if you want to apply water or wash the affected areas.
* TENS therapy is best suited to relieving pain sensations during the early stages of labor when it’s not important to concentrate on contractions.
* Research regarding the overall effects of TENS therapy is still ongoing, with no clear findings yet regarding its long-term effects and risks.
* Some users have reported that the sensations produced by the machine are unpleasant. You should experience TENS stimulation for yourself before deciding to purchase a machine.
Using a TENS machine to manage pain during labor has proven to be extremely effective when it’s integrated into a more comprehensive pain management strategy. Consult with your doctor to learn more.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog which she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences.She is a Contracts Engineer by profession and recently launched her own Engineering consultancy service Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)