Advantages & Disadvantages of a TENS Machine

What are the advantages of a TENS machine?

  • TENS is non-invasive and therefore allows freedom of movement including walking around.
  • It won't directly interfere with your labour.
  • The Elle TENS is a small, portable, battery-operated machine; therefor it is a great option for at home use (and fab for the car ride to hospital too).
  • You can use it for as long as you want to and take it off if you want/need to. Simply reapply your electrode pads if you want to use it again.
  • The impulse frequency and strength can be self-adjusted, to suit your needs, allowing you a sense of control.
  • If you don’t like the feeling, or you’re not getting the desired effect, you haven’t committed to anything. The electrodes can be removed and you are able to try other pain relief options.
  • Most importantly, there are no known adverse outcomes from the use of a TENS machine; it is safe for both mum and bub.
  • You don't need an anaesthetist, doctor or midwife to help you use it.
  • It can be used at home, they are highly recommended for home birth.
  • TENS can be used on its own or in conjunction with some other form of pain relief.


What are the disadvantages of a TENS machine?

  • You probably won’t be able to put the pads in place without help.
  • You may find it only gives you relief in the early stages of labour.
  • You may not find it helpful at all. TENS is not for everyone and some dislike the feeling of it on their skin.
  • TENS can’t be used in water, though you can still use it prior to getting in a bath or birth pool.
  • If you want your birth partner to massage your back, they will have to work around the pads.
May 16, 2022 — Mintt Studio