Top 5 reasons why you should consider using a TENS machine labour

What is a TENS machine?

This little unknown gadget works by delivering very small electronic pulses through pads to stimulate the release of natural endorphins.

Why is that helpful?

Helpfully your body has been designed to release natural pain relief - endorphins - during labour. TENs machines work to produce a small repetitive muscle movement which your body reads as exercise, and as Ellie in Legally Blonde tells us: ‘Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy’.

The effect also works to block the pain signals up the spine to the brain (the ‘Pain Gate’). A pretty cool tool to have in your box of comfort measures to use in labour!

So what are the main benefits of a TENS?

  1. You can use it at home, birth centre of labour ward (obviously you can’t use it in water!)

  2. Easy to use 

  3. Self-administer 

  4. Doesn’t affect baby

  5. Can be used as a way to focus the mind elsewhere 

How can I get one?

You can pick one up for about £20 in most pharmacies - you could keep it in case you feel back ache / period pains in the future. Otherwise you can hire them, with disposable pads from about 37 weeks. 

Why don’t you try using the machine alongside your active birth positions (yes you can stay mobile using it!)? 

You’ve got this x