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

What Is A TENS Machine Labour?

Pregnant woman sleeping

People have been saying many good things about Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. However, many are still not aware of what it is, and they want to know. More specifically, women are wondering what a TENS machine for labour is. It is a handheld device that relieves pain during labour contractions. Professionals suggest using it in the early stages as it can alleviate mild pain.  Thus, they typically operate it at home or on the way to the hospital.

Commonly, doctors recommend using painkillers and other techniques to reduce pain when a pregnant person is in labour. Unfortunately, not everyone reacts positively to those methods. Hence, they want to try TENS as an alternative. It has low risks and is drug-free. To help expectant mothers understand better, the following sections will detail what the device is more comprehensively. It will also show the differences with regular TENS and the advantages it has.

Understanding What a TENS Machine for Labour is and How it Works

Those who want to learn what a TENS machine for labour is must understand that it can manage pain naturally. It stimulates the nerves to produce the painkillers of the body, which are endorphins. The body relaxes when they are produced. Hence, pregnant women feel less pain with reduced anxiety levels during labour. The device also serves as a distraction that helps them forget their pain.

TENS also works by pain gating. It means that the electrical currents block the pain signals from reaching the brain. The sensation of pain diminishes when this happens. Thus, they can feel little to no pain. Initially, they must set the frequency to low so that they can see how much is comfortable for them. It takes a longer time to take effect, but the effects of low frequency will last longer on the body.

On the other hand, women can turn the setting higher when they feel they can take it or when they need more pain relief. Higher frequencies act faster than lower frequencies. However, the effects on the body leave faster as well.

Safety Guidelines

It is important to follow safety guidelines to ensure TENS does its work properly. Here are some of the reminders:

  • Avoid placing on damaged skin. Infections may arise when the adhesive sticks to open lesions.
  • Women should not use it during water birth. Water can damage the electrical components of TENS. They can use it during labour before entering the water.
  • Epileptic people or those with heart diseases and pacemakers must consult their doctors first.
  • Do not place the electrode pads on the abdomen. TENS is mostly helpful in relieving back aches that are common in the third trimester.

iTENS large wings

What is a TENS Machine for Labour: Its Difference with Regular TENS

People are curious about what a TENS machine for labour is and if it is any different from a regular one. They practically do the same thing. Both of them relieve pain by stimulating the nerves. Moreover, they can manage different body pains. However, many companies catering to pregnancy created TENS machines for labour to add one more option, which is the boost. It allows women extra pain relief when contractions are heavy.

On the other hand, a regular TENS machine can still greatly help pregnant women. Those who think they do not need the boost option can opt for a regular wireless TENS machine. Bluetooth-enabled devices allow the user to connect to a smartphone app. Hence, it is beneficial for women as they can control TENS on their phones.

Furthermore, there are TENS units for labour that are for hire. This is a cost-effective way of dealing with pain. It can be cheaper than buying one. Nevertheless, purchasing a personal unit can be more advantageous. They can use it in the future if they are planning on having more babies. Also, they can use it for other body conditions.

Who Should Consider It?

TENS therapy is generally safe. However, it may not work for everyone. Pregnant women are vulnerable. Hence, if they plan to use TENS for the first time in their pregnancy, they should consult with their doctors beforehand. It is because they deem that TENS is more effective for those who already had success with it during previous body pains.

Additionally, the research for TENS is minimal. Thus, they should not rely on the device alone for pain management. It would be good to combine it with other techniques like breathing exercises. People can proceed with TENS once they considered and understand the guidelines.

Man massaging the foot of a woman

What is a TENS Machine for Labour: Advantages

Many want to learn not only what a TENS machine for labour is but also its advantages. Firstly, its advantage is that it can effectively reduce pain fast. The combination of proper pad placement and a good-quality device can make this happen. Studies state that women who used TENS had less back pain than those who only did exercises.

Secondly, the cost can be minimal to none. Insurance providers can cover TENS therapy. Thus, people should check their coverage. As long as it is a part of the treatment plan or recommendation of doctors, they can try filling up forms for it. Furthermore, there are options to hire TENS. This requires less money than constantly buying medication.

Lastly, their partners can get involved in the process. Attaching the electrode pads to the back is difficult without the help of another person. Hence, women can let them stick the electrodes in the pain area. Moreover, couples can feel more connected this way. As one of the reviews, expectant mothers feel happy having them included in the process.

Are There Disadvantages?

TENS prides itself on being a drug-free and non-invasive way of relieving pain. However, there are minor disadvantages. One of which is skin irritation. The pads have adhesives so that they can stick to the body. This can lead to redness and irritation. Women who have sensitive skin can use hypoallergenic pads.

Unlike other techniques, TENS heavily relies on electrical currents to reduce or stop the pain. With that, the impulses may cause a tingling sensation that others find uncomfortable. It is not harmful as it is part of the effectiveness of TENS. People can take breaks in between sessions if they dislike the sensation.


People are interested to know what a TENS machine for labour is. Hence, its demand is growing. It is a safe, convenient, and non-invasive way of relieving labour pain and other health conditions. The device has electrodes that stick to the skin. Then, it sends low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the nerves. It stops pain transmitters from moving along, and it can produce endorphins. The body relaxes and feels less pain afterwards.

Pregnancy is difficult, and pain can be too much at times. Therefore, women and their partners can buy or hire TENS to help them manage it. They can choose options that offer more pain relief or ones that provide more convenience, such as wireless TENS devices. The advantages are plentiful when using TENS. Overall, TENS is a good thing to add to pregnancy kits. Before anything else, however, they must speak to their doctors.

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