Australian Registered Medical Device

Same day dispatch

12-month warranty

Professionally endorsed

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

TENS for Labor Pain: A Complete Guide

A pregnant woman holding her belly due to intense contractions

As expectant mothers prepare for childbirth, many are looking for ways to manage the pain during labour. One method that has gained popularity is the Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS for labour pain. It utilises a device to send electrical pulses to the body. Accordingly, this electrical stimulation works based on Pain Gate Theory and Endorphin Release Theory. Furthermore, conducting TENS therapy is easy. Prepare the skin, place the electrode pads, turn on the device, and adjust the settings.

The pain of labour is one of the most painful experiences a pregnant woman can go through. Hence, finding labour pain relief is crucial. Traditional methods of pain relief may include cold packs and medications. However, they may not provide adequate relief or come with adverse effects. Fortunately, the TENS labour machine can offer a safe and effective form of pain relief. This article will present TENS therapy for labour pain, how it works, and how to conduct it.

What is TENS for Labour Pain?

Pain during labour refers to the discomfort experienced by a woman during childbirth. Contractions of the uterus cause it as it works to deliver the baby through the birth canal. Accordingly, it can vary widely in intensity. Nevertheless, labour pain is a natural part of childbirth. It signifies that the body is preparing to give birth. Fortunately, TENS stimulation for pain relief is an effective solution.

TENS for labour pain is a form of pain relief option. It involves using a small, battery-powered machine. These machines deliver electrical currents to the body via electrodes placed on the skin. Furthermore, medical professionals, including midwives and obstetricians, recommend TENS therapy. It is especially recommended for the early stages of labour when the intensity of the pain begins to increase.

There are both wired and wireless TENS units available for labour pain management. Wired devices are connected to the electrodes via lead cables. Meanwhile, wireless devices allow for more freedom of movement without the hassle of restricting wires. The choice usually depends on personal preference and the specific recommendations of a healthcare provider.

Importance of TENS Pain Relief During Labour

  • Promote natural pain relief: TENS enables the body to activate its natural pain-relieving mechanisms.
  • Enhances comfort and mobility: Unlike epidural during labour, TENS allows for greater freedom of movement. It can aid in quicker dilation and more efficient labour.
  • Personal control over pain relief: TENS devices empower the mother to control the setting levels. It offers a sense of autonomy over pain management.
  • Reduces anxiety and stress: TENS helps create a more relaxed environment. It is conducive to smoother labour and delivery processes.
  • Encourages an empowering birth experience: Effectively managing discomfort contributes to a more positive and empowering birth experience.

A small and long wing iTENS and refill gel pads

How TENS for Labour Pain Works

Foremost, TENS for labour pain works based on the Pain Gate Theory. The human body perceives pain when signals are sent from pain sources, like painful contractions, to the brain. The TENS unit generates non-painful sensation that reaches the brain faster than the pain signals. Accordingly, the electrical signals can essentially “close the gate” to pain messages. It prevents the brain from perceiving them fully.

Secondly, TENS therapy can stimulate the production and release of endorphins. These are the natural painkillers of the body. Endorphins are hormones that, when released, create a feeling of well-being and reduce discomfort. Nevertheless, as the endorphin level rises, it naturally counteracts the pain experienced during labour. It provides a safe form of analgesia for both the mother and the baby.

The gentle tingling, safe pulses from the TENS unit also promote blood circulation. Better blood flow ensures oxygen and nutrients are more efficiently delivered to the muscle tissues. These tissues can become strained and sore during labour. Thus, improved circulation helps in reducing muscle fatigue and discomfort. It makes the labour process somewhat more manageable for the mother.

Benefits of TENS Treatment

TENS is a non-invasive and drug-free alternative. It offers labour pain relief without incisions, injections, and oral medications. Thus, it makes it a safer choice for pain management. Additionally, TENS devices feature adjustable settings. It allows mothers in labour to control the electrical pulses. They can modify the frequency, intensity, and duration.

Accordingly, the compact and lightweight design of TENS units makes them easily portable. This mobility is crucial as it enables expectant mothers to move around freely, find comfortable positions, and walk. Furthermore, TENS can be used as a complementary therapy. It can seamlessly complement other forms of pain management.

A guide on how to conduct and operate the iTENS app

How to Conduct TENS for Labour Pain

Conducting TENS for labour pain is a straightforward process. Foremost, ensure the TENS unit is fully charged or has fresh batteries. Then, make sure the skin where the pads will be placed is clean and dry. It ensures good adherence and conductivity. Subsequently, attach the electrodes. The standard placement is in the back, on either side of the spine. Nevertheless, adherence to the pad placement is crucial for safe and effective therapy.

Next, connect the electrodes to the central machine using cables or to a smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless. Accordingly, turn on the device at the lowest setting. Gradually increase the intensity until a buzzing, tingling, or massaging sensation is felt, but without causing discomfort. The person in labour must control the intensity to suit their comfort level.

Moreover, as labour progresses and contractions become more intense, the user might need to adjust the TENS settings. Depending on the recommendation of healthcare providers, the person in labour can keep the TENS unit on. After use, turn off the device and carefully remove the electrodes from the skin.

Safety Precautions

Foremost, healthcare providers emphasise the importance of using TENS only under professional supervision or after receiving proper directions. It ensures that the settings of the device are appropriate and safe for both the mother and the baby. Secondly, position the electrodes on advisable areas of the body. Do not place the pads near the abdomen and other sensitive areas.

Additionally, professionals advise against the use of TENS during certain stages of pregnancy or in specific conditions, such as when there is a risk of preterm labour or when the mother has certain infections or vaginal bleeding. Avoid using TENS devices for water birth.


In summary, using TENS for labour pain management can be a safe and effective option for mothers looking to have a more natural childbirth experience. TENS therapy utilises a device to dispatch electrical currents to the body. It streams the pulses via electrodes attached to the skin. Accordingly, this electrical stimulation works in various mechanisms. Foremost, it interrupts the transmission of pain signals and prompts the release of endorphins. Additionally, TENS can enhance blood circulation.

Furthermore, TENS presents various importance and benefits. It enhances comfort and mobility, reduces anxiety and stress, and encourages an empowering birth experience. Also, TENS therapy is non-invasive, drug-free, customisable, portable, and can complement other treatment solutions. Moreover, conducting TENS treatment is straightforward. Place the electrodes, turn on the device, and adjust the settings. Nevertheless, knowing the safety precautions is essential to ensure the safety of the mother and the baby.

Best Sellers

Shopping Cart
Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
Calculate Shipping

We have detected you are from the United States

We ship to all locations within the United States.
Prices will be automatically converted into USD.

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?


The item you’re adding to your cart doesn’t have any gel pads.

Note: iTENS wings should always be used with a gel pad.