TENS Machines During Pregnancy
TENS machines can be used to safely and effectively relieve back pain and other common types of pain while you are pregnant. Research and clinical trials have found that TENS therapy has no damaging effects on the unborn foetus or its development.
However, TENS should not be used prior to the 37th week of your pregnancy unless medically advised by your doctor or physiotherapist. You should also never place the electrode pads directly on a pregnant uterus.
TENS Machines In Labour
You can safely use TENS in your own home during early labour to help you manage the pain of contractions. The machine won’t restrict your movement and has no harmful effects on either you or your unborn baby at this late stage of your pregnancy.
For the most effective pain relief, you should begin using your TENS machine as early in labour as possible, from the very first contractions. It will typically take your body about an hour to being responding to the electrical impulses, so you should start using it as soon as you’re getting regular contractions. Start at the lowest setting, and turn it up gradually as the contractions get stronger and more painful. You can boost the settings at the peak of the contractions.
Once you are in established labour, TENS will begin to be less effective. It is safe to keep using it for as long as you want, but you will find that the pain relief will be more predominant during the early stages of labour.
Keep mobile. It will give you more of a feeling of control, and increase the effectiveness of your TENS machine.
Try using it in combination with other methods of pain relief such as massages, relaxation and positioning.
Replace or reposition the electrode pads every 3 hours, for optimum contact with your skin.
If you are using a birthing pool or want to have a bath, do not use your TENS machine in the water.