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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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The 2023 Ultimate Guide to TENS Machine for Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings many changes in the body to accommodate the growing foetus. Experiencing aches and discomfort is common as hormones change. Moreover, pain usually peaks during labour when the muscles in the abdomen contract to push the baby out. Therefore, many women employ various pain relief strategies to help manage discomfort during pregnancy and labour. Many also seek a natural approach that does not involve medications. Fortunately, there is a growing interest in using electrotherapy like Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for managing labour pain. If you are considering a TENS machine for pregnancy, you should know how TENS therapy works for safe and effective pain relief. 

Reducing pain is a top priority for pregnant women. TENS therapy is an all-natural and drug-free comfort in labour. In addition, many women avoid taking oral medicines to prevent health complications. Therefore, one of the suitable options is a TENS machine for pregnancy. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is a fitting wireless TENS device for various acute and chronic pain, including labour discomfort. Likewise, unlike traditional machines, the iTENS is a smartphone-controlled TENS unit for more convenient pain treatment. 

Labour Pain: The Need to Know

Abdominal pains are common in pregnancy. During the early stages, the uterus may have spasms or cramps. However, pain may vary between women as the pregnancy experience is varied and subjective. It may also range from mild to intense aching in the genital organs, lower abdomen, and pelvic region. In some cases, pain radiates to the back and legs. Thus, safe and natural pain relief is vital to control pain throughout delivery. TENS therapy can help ease discomfort, especially radiating pain in the lower back. In addition, careful administration is needed in using a TENS machine for pregnancy. Likewise, consult your doctor or midwife if you plan on using TENS during labour. Health professionals can advise the best way to use a TENS machine for your situation.

tens-machine-pregnancy- TENS Machine for Pregnancy 

TENS therapy has been used in various pain conditions for a long period. For example, physical therapists administer TENS for patients with chronic pain, recovering from an injury, or post-surgery. Similarly, a TENS machine for pregnancy helps alleviate pain and lessen the need for anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, doctors recommend using a TENS machine at the beginning of labour. Hence, it is important to have the device ready to prepare for delivery. Furthermore, a TENS machine is best used when the following signs of early labour occur:

  • Strong and regular contractions or backache
  • The mucus plug passes
  • The amniotic fluid sac (bag) breaks

How a TENS Machine for Pregnancy Relieves Pain

Various pain management methods allow individuals to relieve pain according to their preferences or treatment needs. Most people take oral painkillers as the first option for body aches. However, many women consider other pain relief methods that do not involve drugs. For example, exercises, manual therapy, and relaxation techniques can help ease discomfort persisting in the lower back or pelvic region. However, stronger pain relief like TENS may be needed when the contractions intensify. A TENS machine for pregnancy can help relieve labour pain in two ways: release natural painkillers and block pain signals. TENS during the early stage gives the body enough time to produce endorphins. Endorphins are natural hormones the brain releases when it perceives pain or stress. They inhibit the nerve cells that send pain messages to the brain. Therefore, TENS stimulates more endorphins to reduce overall pain perception.

Another function in which a TENS machine for pregnancy can help is to block pain signals from reaching the brain. The Pain Gate Control Theory suggests that the spinal cord has a gating mechanism that can control the passage of pain signals. The so-called neural gates open and close on various factors. When the gates are closed, the pain signals sent by the large nerve fibres are blocked and cannot reach the receptors in the brain. As a result, the brain receives and transmits fewer pain messages. Therefore, TENS stimulates the sensory nerves to close the neural gates, minimising pain. 


What a TENS Machine for Pregnancy Feels Like

A TENS machine is a portable, wearable unit connected to self-adhesive electrode pads placed on the most painful site. A TENS machine for pregnancy is excellent since it allows women to wear them in any stance. The electrode pads deliver low-voltage electrical charges through the skin to reach the sensory nerves. Moreover, turning on the device produces a slight buzzing or tingling sensation. The electrical stimulation should feel firm but not uncomfortable. Women may increase the intensity according to their maximum tolerance. Additionally, TENS treatment is painless and should not cause muscle contractions. If a person feels discomfort, the stimulation level may be too strong. If this happens, lower the intensity until it feels soothing. 

Advantages of TENS Therapy

Women may feel various discomforts throughout their pregnancy. TENS can help alleviate pain and help women focus. Pregnant women may also use it in combination with other techniques like massage, stretching, or changing positions. Moreover, a TENS machine for pregnancy is advised at the beginning of labour and throughout the succeeding stages. Furthermore, TENS therapy for labour pain management offers the following advantages:

  • Allows users to remain active
  • Do not require medications
  • Gives women a sense of control over pain
  • The tingling sensations serve as a distraction from contractions
  • Safe and do not directly affect labour
  • No harmful effects to the mother and baby
  • Easy to use
  • It can be a complementary treatment alongside other therapy
  • Non-invasive and do not require injections
  • Applicable for hospital or home use
  • It does not interfere with electronic foetal monitoring in a hospital setting


iTENS: Wireless TENS Machine

TENS units are widely available for alleviating various pain. Maternity clinics and hospitals commonly use traditional wired devices for labour pain. These devices connect to a handheld controller to control pain relief. In contrast, iTENS from iTENS Australia utilises wireless electrode pads for more convenient pain management. iTENS is the world’s first FDA-cleared wireless TENS device for pain relief. It also incorporates Bluetooth technology and mobile app features that other TENS devices do not have. Thus, iTENS, as a TENS machine for pregnancy, gives a more comprehensive pain management. The iTENS electrodes pair seamlessly with a smartphone via Bluetooth to access pre-set modes or control the parameters. Consequently, it enables women to move around and find comfortable positions without restrictions.

iTENS offers the following features to make using a TENS machine for pregnancy easier:

  • Flexible gel pads: wing-shaped pads to fit with most body areas. The gel pads have a highly conductive laser-printed surface that adheres firmly to the skin. 
  • Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled electrodes to access convenient pain treatment through a smartphone app.
  • Interchangeable pads: reusable and interchangeable pads to switch between different sizes. Moreover, refill pads at iTENS Australia are low-cost, making them more cost-efficient than other standard TENS units.
  • Rechargeable battery: rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are energy-efficient and sustainable for long-term use. It has a total running time of 24 hours from a single full charge, ensuring adequate continuous pain relief. 


How to Use a TENS Machine for Labour

A TENS machine for pregnancy is simple to use. It can be administered even without professional supervision. First-time users can also easily operate the device. To facilitate TENS treatment, place the electrode pads on the lower back where the most pain transpires before turning on the device. The device instantly produces mild tingling sensations, which you can gradually increase as the contractions get stronger and longer. Furthermore, a TENS device operates on various intensity and frequency levels to reduce pain. For example, high frequency (80-150 Hz) utilises short pulses to activate the pain gate controllers. On the other hand, low frequency (1-10 Hz) has longer pulses that can help stimulate endorphins. 

It is best to start with the lowest setting when using a TENS machine for pregnancy. A labour TENS machine would also have a burst function where more impulses are delivered in a short duration. This setting gives stronger stimulation during peak contractions. Users can control the strength of the machine by increasing the pulse rate and pulse width, depending on the severity of pain, tolerance, or phase of the labour. Additionally, the iTENS wireless TENS machine has built-in programs with predefined settings through the smartphone app. Therefore, users can effortlessly choose the desired treatment from the list to begin the therapy.

The iTENS Companion App

Traditional TENS devices connect to a wired controller to access treatment modes or TENS adjustments. On the other hand, the iTENS wireless electrodes are Bluetooth-capable to sync with most iOS and Android devices. As a result, it is ready to use at the onset of pain. The iTENS app features pre-set modes for various body aches or disorders. It includes optimal settings for lower back pain, or you may customise pain treatment manually. The manual mode operated without blue tooth, enables individuals to adjust the parameters based on the level they are most relieved or comfortable with. Additionally, prepare the device beforehand when using the iTENS as a TENS machine for pregnancy use by following the guide below:

  1. Press and hold the centre button on the iTENS device for three seconds. The LED light will flash to indicate that the discoverable mode is active.
  2. Pair the iTENS with a smartphone or tablet by enabling Bluetooth connection.
  3. Press the chain link icon on the iTENS app home screen to search and pair the TENS unit.
  4. Select the iTENS device to start pairing. The device will display a solid light if the pairing is successful.
  5. The device will automatically connect with the app in subsequent uses. 


Benefits of iTENS Wireless TENS Machine for Pregnancy

Natural pain relief methods like TENS make women feel more comfortable when in pain.. Aside from being completely drug-free, a wireless TENS machine for pregnancy use also provides enhanced efficiency, comfort and mobility. Firstly, the iTENS wireless TENS device does not require complicated setups. Instead, it is easy and ready to use in a few steps with no hassle of tangled wires. Secondly, the wireless electrodes maximise portability and movement. It does not limit the range of motion needed when changing positions to ease the discomfort. Furthermore, iTENS is lightweight compared to traditional TENS units, which are bulkier because of the cables. Thus, it is convenient to carry around and have it ready at any time. Lastly, it enables fast and easy pad positioning by adhering the pads directly to the pain site. 

Important Aspects in Choosing a TENS Machine

Doctors may recommend TENS therapy as a drug-free alternative for managing labour pain. However, not all TENS devices are suitable for maternity. Therefore, many factors must be considered before picking any available TENS machine for pregnancy use. Likewise, the right device can significantly impact pain relief. The following are important considerations in choosing a TENS machine:

  • Hire or buy – some clinics offer a TENS machine for hire to allow a pregnant woman to use TENS therapy in labour and return it after several weeks. However, buying a personal device like the iTENS is more cost-efficient as it is versatile for treatments of various conditions.
  • Electrodes – wired or wireless TENS pads can influence the pain management experience. Wireless TENS give more flexibility and convenience. 
  • Burst mode – sufficiently strong stimulation to help overcome intense cramping sensation. 
  • Ease of use – fast administration helps tend to pain more effectively. 
  • Accessories – supplementary accessories like interchangeable pads enable optimal treatment of various body parts. 
  • Certification – FDA-cleared devices like the iTENS ensure it has passed the safety requirements for safe use. 


TENS Machine for Pregnancy Use: Usage and Safety Guidelines

TENS therapy is generally safe and can be used by pregnant women to manage labour pain without harmful side effects. Nevertheless, it is important to follow usage and safety guidelines when using a TENS machine for pregnancy. It is best to consult your obstetrician when employing TENS therapy for pain management. For instance, TENS is not advisable if you have an irritable uterus, a history of miscarriage, or complications with the current pregnancy. Furthermore, the essential information to remember about TENS is to avoid using the device during the first thirty-six weeks of pregnancy. Also, avoid placing the TENS unit on the belly or abdomen, as it may induce uterine contractions. However, you may seek advice from a doctor before using TENS to relieve pain affecting other areas like the neck, shoulder, or legs. 

A TENS machine is a medical-grade device available without a prescription. However, do not use a TENS machine for pregnancy while showering or in a birth pool. Likewise, refrain from placing the TENS pads anywhere in the head, throat, on broken skin, open wounds, or numb areas. Health professionals recommend positioning the electrode pads on either side of the spine to help reduce lower back pain. However, do not place the electrodes directly over the backbone or joints. Moreover, TENS is unsuitable for individuals with the following conditions heart disease, a history of epilepsy, and electrical implants like a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator.

TENS Machines: Other Treatments and Uses

TENS therapy is versatile pain management for various body aches, conditions, and disorders. Apart from using a TENS machine for pregnancy or labour, it is beneficial for treating acute or chronic pain. Most acute pain is accompanied by sharp sensations needing urgent or short-term care. For example, TENS therapy can help soothe sore muscles from overuse, reduce swelling, boost blood circulation, and accelerate the healing of broken bones or damaged tissues. Meanwhile, an underlying health condition may result in chronic pain that requires long-term pain management. Therefore, a TENS machine can help ease the following conditions:

General pain in the following regions:


Pain Relief Effects with a TENS Machine

Pain and pain relief varies for every person. Similarly, TENS therapy can have different effects individually. For instance, some people may feel relief while using the device, while others have long-lasting results after the TENS sessions. Likewise, women who need sufficient drug-free and non-invasive pain relief can benefit from a TENS machine for pregnancy. Furthermore, women can control their pain treatment through the adjustable settings of a TENS device. It may also take a few minutes to feel therapeutic results as the body produces more endorphins or block pain signals. However, continue increasing the intensity level as labour pain or contractions get stronger. Lastly, TENS is more effective when it is administered at the first stage of labour rather than the active labour phase. 

iTENS Australia: Best Wireless TENS Device

iTENS Australia offers efficient pain management through innovative wireless iTENS. The wing-shaped design of the iTENS enables it to fit common pain points, including the joints. Additionally, the wireless electrode pads are slim and discreet when worn underneath clothing. It also provides replaceable pads to facilitate pain treatment in multiple areas. As a TENS machine for pregnancy use, it is vital to use the appropriate pad size or accessories to obtain the most pain-relieving effects. iTENS Australia offers wireless pain relief devices:

  • Large wings: for maximum coverage in large treatment areas like the shoulders, back, and thighs. The iTENS large wings are ideal for relieving lower back pain during labour. 
  • Small wings: for narrow or small areas like the joints. 
  • Long strip-spare wings: for elongated treatment areas like a painful sciatic nerve, IT bands, or tendons.
  • Interchangeable pads: spare wings in small and large sizes.
  • Refill gel pads: a set of three replacement pads that can serve up to 60 applications. 


iTENS TENS Pads Care and Maintenance

The TENS machine for pregnancy uses adhesive electrode pads to place directly at the pain site. Thus, it efficiently targets the affected areas. For adequate stimulation, ensure that the pads stick firmly to the skin. Adhesiveness is vital, so it will not loosen during the treatment or while moving and accidentally cause burns or damage to the pads. The iTENS utilises gel pads that are light, flexible, and hypoallergenic. As a result, it reduces the likelihood of redness and skin irritation. However, all TENS pads eventually lose stickiness upon continued use of the device. It may also build up gel residue as you put the pads on and off the skin. Therefore, regular cleaning will help prolong its adhesiveness.

To clean the TENS pads, use a damp cloth to wipe the gel residue. Additionally, avoid spilling liquids on the pads or submerging the device in water. However, if you notice the pads do not stick well as they used to despite regular maintenance, it may be time to replace them. iTENS Australia offers hard-wearing low-cost refill gel pads that can be used for several applications. Therefore, iTENS is more cost-efficient than standard TENS devices. It also enables reusing the TENS machine for pregnancy for other conditions or discomfort post-birth.


More options to manage labour pain enable women to choose pain management for their situation. A TENS machine for pregnancy is an excellent alternative to avoid the possible side effects of oral painkillers. In summary, TENS therapy offers the following:

  • Natural pain relief by stimulating the nerves to block pain signals
  • Release endorphins to help alleviate pain and improve well-being
  • Enable pregnant women to be in charge of labour pain and feel less anxious (only use at the beginning of labour)
  • Provides diversion from painful contractions
  • Allow mobility or a wide range of motion to help ease discomfort

The wireless iTENS device from iTENS Australia is the most suitable TENS machine for pregnancy as it is easy and comfortable to use. It also provides comprehensive pain relief for various acute and chronic pain. Since it does not have adverse side effects, it is safe for multiple daily uses. However, allot a twenty-minute break between TENS sessions. You may purchase the wireless iTENS without a prescription at the iTENS Australia website to prepare for labour or to manage chronic pain. 

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