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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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Labour Stimulation Machine: How it Works, Benefits, and Guidelines

A TENS machine kit with a pack of refillable gel pads and necessary information

The anticipation of childbirth can be overwhelming. Many expectant mothers seek safe and effective methods to deal with labour pains. Thus, the labour stimulation machine is gaining popularity as a natural alternative to medical interventions. It offers a non-invasive and drug-free approach to manage contraction pain and promote a smoother labour experience. It works by using mild electrical signals. One of the guidelines is consulting a doctor before use, as they can provide better guidance on individual needs.

The machine provides a gentle and painless massage. Women can adjust the settings depending on their preferences. This allows them to have some control over their labour experience, which can be particularly beneficial for those facing high levels of pain. To learn more about it, the article will delve into the details of understanding its mechanism of action, exploring the numerous benefits it offers, and the safety precautions to keep in mind.

How a Labour Stimulation Machine Works

A labour stimulation machine is an effective method of pain relief during childbirth. It works by delivering electrical pulses through electrode pads that women place on the lower back. The electrical impulses help to block pain signals from reaching the spinal cord. Moreover, it stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Modifying the settings can provide varying levels of relief based on preferences and the stage of labour.

During labour, the unit typically targets the pain of contractions. The electrical currents create a tingling or buzzing sensation. Consequently, this distracts pain sensation and reduces its severity. Expectant mothers can use this method alongside other options, like water birth or sterile water injections. Many providers consider it a safe and effective alternative for labour pains, particularly for women who have a high-risk pregnancy.

Previous studies have shown positive outcomes with the machine. Research has indicated that it can significantly decrease the perception of pain and improve the overall labour experience. These studies have reported minimal to no adverse events and a high level of satisfaction among women who have used electrical nerve stimulation during labour.

How to Operate the Device

Here is the step-by-step process of operating the device:

  • Connect the electrode pads to the machine using the wires. Proceed to the next step for wireless units.
  • Place the pads on the appropriate application sites, usually on the lower back.
  • Turn on the device by pressing the power button.
  • Adjust the intensity of the electrical pulses using the control buttons.
  • Start with a low intensity and gradually increase it to a comfortable level.
  • Use features, like the boost button, if an extra surge of pain relief during contractions is necessary.
  • Stop the machine by pressing the power button again.

A pregnant woman sleeping on the bed while touching her abdomen

Benefits of Using a Labour Stimulation Machine

One of the many benefits of labour stimulation machines is that they can help reduce pain during labour. The unit works by sending electrical impulses to the lower back. This triggers the body to produce the natural pain relievers. Endorphins are known to reduce both the sensation and intensity of pain while also providing a sense of relaxation.

Another benefit of using a device is its non-invasive nature. Pregnant women can avoid relying on medications with potential side effects. It is an ideal choice for those who are hesitant to take drugs. Additionally, there is no need for needles or injections, which can be painful. This allows women to experience labour more comfortably and safely without worrying about health risks.

Furthermore, the machine is typically portable and handheld. Thus, it gives more convenience to expectant mothers. Some units are wireless, allowing them to use it anywhere. This makes the device especially advantageous for those who need to travel during their pregnancy. Also, it is user-friendly to operate and control it.

Potential Side Effects

There are a variety of potential side effects associated with stimulation machines. This includes skin irritation. Some people may be sensitive to the adhesive used on the electrodes, which can result in redness or itchiness. To avoid this, they can opt for hypoallergenic pairs of electrodes.

First-time users of the machine may find the tingling sensation uncomfortable, but it is a normal experience. Women can take breaks during and in between sessions to reduce discomfort. What they have to take note of is that using the unit should never feel painful. If it is, they need to stop the treatment immediately.

A pregnant woman sitting on a couch while touching her abdomen in pain

Safety Precautions When Using a Labour Stimulation Machine

Safety precautions should be taken when using a labour stimulation machine to ensure a safe and effective labour experience. It is important to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and healthcare professional. Pregnant women with high-risk pregnancies should consult their obstetric doctors before using the device.

Before placing the electrode pads, the skin should be clean, dry, and free of any lotions or oils. The level of electrical nerve stimulation should be adjusted based on the pain severity and perception of pain in women. They should report adverse events to the providers immediately. Also, electrodes should be placed on specific application sites to avoid any unwanted effects or harm.

Regular monitoring and assessment during the use of the unit are necessary. Doctors should closely monitor the pain levels of the mother, contractions, and overall labour experience. This can help ensure that the machine is providing effective pain relief while not causing any adverse events. Safety precautions will contribute to the positive experience and well-being of both the mother and the baby during labour.

Areas to Avoid

There are certain areas to avoid when using the device. One of the most important is the abdomen. This is because it may cause harm to the baby. Moreover, conducting the therapy is helpful for lower back pain during labour. However, expectant mothers should avoid having the pads directly on the spine. Instead, they can place it on either of its sides.

Proper electrode pad placement is essential to avoid harm to both the mother and the baby. Healthcare providers and loved ones should be well-trained in operating the machine and understand the specific application sites for electrodes.


Labour stimulation machines offer an alternative option for pain relief during pregnancy. They work by providing electrical nerve stimulation to block pain signals and promote the release of endorphins, offering relief in labour. When using these devices, it is crucial to follow safety precautions, seek medical advice before use, and report any adverse events. With proper usage and supervision, the devices can be a safe and effective method of pain management during labour.

In addition, women who choose waterbirth should use the unit before or after entering the water to prevent damage and shocks. Those who want to have this form of pain relief can acquire a personal unit. They can check iTENS from iTENS Australia for reliable ones. The devices are Bluetooth-enabled and can connect to a mobile application. This allows for convenient adjustments to the intensity, duration, and frequency of the unit.

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