When can I start using a TENS machine?
TENS machines have been proven to be effective at reducing lower back and pelvic girdle pains.
You must consult with your Midwife, Doctor, Obstetrician, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist before using a TENS machine for pregnancy related pains prior to 37 weeks gestation.**
** Mama and I TENS take no responsibility for the incorrect use of a TENS machine prior to 37 weeks.
We advise that you test your TENS machine from 37 weeks gestation to ensure the machine is functioning correctly and that you familiarise yourself with how to use the device. You can practice using this on yourself, your birth partner or a friend. It is fine to use the electrodes that are supplied in your pack and then reuse these for labour.
It is best to use a TENS at the beginning of your labour, as it is believed that the longer the device is insitu, the more effective it will be at reducing pain and creating endorphins. TENS is most likely to be effective in early labour and you may still need other forms of pain relief as your labour progresses.
Some mums experience horrible after birth pains, so reuse your birth electrodes and place your pads over your uterus!
How do I use my TENS machine?
- Your birth partner or midwife will be able to place the pads on your back for you. Follow the instruction manual of where to correctly place the electrodes. The instructions in your manual will also direct you as follows:
- Ensure your TENS machine is turned off before placing the pads on your back.
- Place two of the pads on either side of your spine, with the tops of the pads at about bra-strap level.
- Place the other two lower down, at about the level of the dimples on your lower back, just above your bottom.
- Switch the machine on, starting with the controls at the lowest setting. Turn them up gradually as your contractions get stronger, or when the pain in your back gets worse.
- Use the boost button at the peak of each contraction. The boost function results in more intense, wave-like tingling or buzzing sensations.
- Remember to turn off the boost button again when the contraction has ended. This is so you feel the benefit of the boost next time you have a contraction.
- Keep mobile. Moving around during labour helps you to feel in control and will make TENS more effective.
- Don't give up straight away if you think TENS isn't doing anything. You may need to keep using it for at least an hour before it starts to work for you.
- If the pads start to lose their stickiness, rub a few drops of water into the gel side of the pads before putting them back on. The more firmly the pads are stuck on, the better they'll work.
- If you don't think the pads are helping you after a while, take them off. You are in control of your labour and what is working for you. All other forms of pain relief, both medical and non-medical, are still open to you.
Do TENS machines work?
There is minimal evidence for the effectiveness of the use of the TENS machine (particular in labour). A review of the effect of TENS for pain relief in labour was conducted by researchers in the Cochrane Collaboration. After searching for all relevant studies, they found 19 studies done by other researchers. Their findings are summarised below.
The studies showed that applying TENS to the lower back in labour:
- Probably* makes little or no difference to the number of women satisfied with pain relief during labour. *Probably (based on moderate quality evidence).
- May** make little or no difference to the caesarean section rate. **May (based on low quality evidence).
However, 1 in 5 women do plan to use a TENS machine during their labour and of those mums who have tried it, they state that they would use it again for consecutive labours. Users also often report less need for other pain relief!
When NOT to use a TENS?
Never use a TENS machine under the following circumstances, without talking to a Midwife or Doctor first:
- Prior to 37 weeks gestation unless in consultation with a midwife, doctor or other allied health professional.
- When you are in the shower, bath, or birth pool.
- If you have broken skin or a healing scar where you want to place the pads.
- If you have a cardiac pacemaker or a heart rhythm problem.
- If you have pain that you don’t think is labour pain. See your Doctor or Midwife.
What are the advantages of TENS?
- You can keep moving around while using it.
- It won't directly interfere with your labour.
- You can use it for as long as you want to and take it off if you want/need to.
- There are no lasting side-effects.
- It's safe for you and your baby.
- You don't need an anaesthetist, doctor or midwife to help you use it.
- It can be used at home.
- It's portable and non-invasive.
- You control it.
- It's easy to use.
What are the disadvantages of TENS?
- 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.
- 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.
How does the process of hiring a TENS machine work?
Go to the 'Hire' section on our website and simply follow the steps. Make sure you fill out the hire request date so we can have your TENS machine to you in time!
Once you have paid you are all booked in.
You can select for your machine to be sent through regular or express postage at checkout. We also offer the option of pickup/drop off in Mitcham (Eastern suburbs of Melbourne).
If you would prefer this option email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We offer two types of hire at Mama and I TENS:
The ultimate 12 week hire for pregnancy, labour and post birth. From 30 weeks gestation until 2 weeks postpartum.
Mama and I TENS are thrilled to offer you a 12 week TENS machine hire. This option is perfect for you, if you are struggling with pregnancy aches and pains; and are also wanting to use a TENS machine for your upcoming labour and post birth (think after birth pains). In order to be eligible for this hire you must have been in consultation with your midwife, doctor or allied health professional.
8 week hire for labour and post birth. From 36 weeks gestation until 4 weeks postpartum.
Our hire period is for a total of 8 weeks. We advise that you hire your machine from 36 weeks gestation until 4 weeks postpartum, to allow sufficient time at either side of your baby's due date.
We also strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself and your birth partner with the TENS machines functions prior to your labour.
Your TENS machine is due back 8 weeks after your hire date. We will send you a text message reminder one week prior to your return date!
Simply place your Mama and I pouch into your return postage bag and drop it off at your nearest Australia postage outlet, and make sure to keep your receipt, so that we are able to track your order.
Can the hire period be adjusted?
Of course. Just send us an email at email@example.com and we are more than happy to cater to your needs.
Where do you ship?
We are Australia wide! We also offer the option of pick up in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. If this is your preferred option please see the above, 'Online Booking'.
Can I cancel my order?
Yes, you are more than welcome to cancel your order up until your booking date. Please allow at least one weeks notice and inform us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that we do charge a $15.00 administration fee for cancellations.
What if I don't use the TENS in labour?
As stated in our Terms and Conditions, we cannot provide any form of refund if the TENS machine is not used in labour.
It's less than four weeks until my due date can I still book?
Yes, you can, make sure you choose express postage at checkout. After placing your order, contact us/email us directly so that we can prioritise your order and arrange for urgent delivery.
Terms and Conditions
- We do not provide any refunds if you do not use your TENS in labour.
- A late fee of $10 per day will apply for any TENS not returned by the agreed upon return date.
- In the event of a cancellation, we do charge a $15 administration fee.
- We do not take responsibility for the success of the TENS machine in labour, as it's effect varies for each individual and their unique circumstances.
- In the instance where a TENS machine is misplaced, stolen or damaged, we will charge the full retail pricing of $230.00.