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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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TENS Machine For Labor: Overview And Safety Considerations

A pregnant woman experiencing pain in her abdomen.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) represents the term for using low-current electrical currents to alleviate pain. TENS therapy finds extensive application in treating various pain types. Healthcare practitioners now employ a TENS machine for labor to manage pain actively. This device presents a drug-free option for relieving labour pain. However, you should follow some safety guidelines before using TENS machines when labouring. These include consultation with a healthcare professional, proper electrode placement, and starting with low intensity.

A TENS unit is safe and effective, especially in the early delivery stages. Most pregnant women prioritise managing labor pain. Labor pain includes intense contractions and pressure in the pelvis to assist in pushing the baby out. Additionally, there may be cramping sensations in the lower back and thighs. Therefore, it is important to use pain relief methods to alleviate discomfort. This article will present how TENS machines work for labor, how to use them, and their safety guidelines.

Understanding TENS Machine For Labor Before Using One

A TENS machine is a pain relief method that uses electrical nerve stimulation during labor. It works by sending electrical pulses through electrode pads on the skin to stimulate the nerves and block the pain signal to the brain. A TENS machine is used during labor to provide pain relief. A pregnant woman has a complete control of the intensity of the machine and has a boost button for extra relief during contractions.

Moreover, a TENS machine is non-invasive and drug-free. It does not interfere with the natural labor process and can be used with other pain relief methods. Before using a TENS machine, consult with a healthcare provider and follow the instructions. Place the electrode pads on the lower back, away from the spinal cord, and avoid submerging them in water to prevent skin irritation or redness from moisture.

Overall, a TENS machine for labor can offer a safe and effective way to manage pain during labor, allowing women to have a more comfortable birthing experience. It is always best to discuss pain relief options with your healthcare provider to find the best solution for your specific needs.

Advantages Of TENS

The advantages and benefits of TENS include the following:

  • The TENS unit is compact, portable, and designed to be discreet.
  • It is non-toxic and does not need medications or injections.
  • You have the option to have continuous pain relief throughout the day.
  • It has the potential to provide some control over pain relief.
  • You have the ability to move while using a TENS machine.
  • Stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural pain killers.
  • There are no adverse effects on you or your baby.
  • It is possible to use it at home during the early stages of labor.
  • It improves flexibility and blood circulation.

A pregnant woman experiencing pain in her abdomen.

How To Operate A TENS Machine For Labor

A TENS machine is used during labor for pain relief. It emits electrical pulses that stimulate nerves and interrupt pain signals. It can be used with other pain relief methods. To operate a TENS machine, place electrode pads on your back. Ensure the skin is clean and dry to avoid irritation. Connect the pads to the machine with cables.

Next, connect the machine and adjust the settings. TENS machines have different modes and intensity levels. Start with low intensity and increase gradually until you find a comfortable level for pain management. Use the boost button for extra relief during contractions. It can help with intense pain.

TENS machines are safe to use if used properly. If there is any skin redness, irritation, or discomfort, it is recommended to remove the pads and consult a healthcare provider. Using a TENS machine for labor can provide natural pain relief and give individuals more control over their pain management. It is advised to discuss this option with a healthcare provider before using it.

How It Works

A TENS machine is a pain relief method. It uses electrical nerve stimulation to block pain signals and provide relief. The TENS machine can be used during labor as a safe and medication-free method of pain relief. It is portable and easy to use, making it accessible for birth partners to assist with pain relief.

The TENS machine uses electric current on electrode pads to stimulate nerves. Users can adjust intensity levels for preference and pain level. It has a boost function for stronger pain relief during contractions. TENS is safe and effective. It is non-invasive, adjustable, and provides relief throughout labor.

An iTENS unit showing its features.

Safety Guidelines For Using A TENS Machine For Labor

A TENS machine blocks pain signals to the brain without harming the baby or interfering with labor. When using a TENS machine for labor, it is important to follow safety guidelines. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before using a TENS machine to ensure it is suitable for your individual circumstances.

Proper electrode pad placement is important during labor. It is best to place the pads on the lower back, away from the abdomen or uterus. Before applying the pads, make sure the skin is clean and dry to prevent irritation or redness. Keep the pairs of electrodes at least 2.5 centimetres apart to avoid discomfort.

Start with the lowest intensity. Increase if needed, but use the boost function sparingly. A TENS machine may not completely remove pain. It is usually used alongside other methods to effectively manage labor pain. Labor is different for everyone and pain levels can vary. Have someone present to monitor the TENS machine and offer support. Follow these safety guidelines to effectively use a TENS machine during childbirth.

Areas To Avoid

Effective pain relief with a TENS machine requires proper pad placement. During labor, the lower back experiences a lot of stress. Therefore, placing the electrode pads on the back can help minimise discomfort. However, it is important to use a TENS machine with extra caution.

For proper placement, place pads on either side of the spine below the bra line, about 4cm apart. Also, place pads on the lower back above the sacral dimple, but avoid the belly or abdomen. Your partner or healthcare provider can help you place the pads correctly. The wireless iTENS device makes it easier to place the pads.


Overall, a TENS machine for labor is considered to be a popular and effective method of pain relief for many women during childbirth. It provides benefits like pain reduction, a sense of control, and the ability to be used alongside other pain relief options. Clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the machine, making it a reliable option for women seeking pain management during labor.

TENS is a pain relief method for labouring women. It does not involve drugs or invasive procedures. It uses electrical impulses to stimulate nerves and block pain signals. This reduces symptoms effectively. To use a TENS device during labor, follow the guidelines for proper use. Start using TENS when contractions begin in early labor. Avoid using the machine without medical advice. iTENS Australia offers the iTENS, a wireless TENS machine, for convenient pain management.

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