Having used a TENS machine during my first labour and getting great results from it, I knew I would need to use one for my second labour, especially as I was adamant that I was going to have a natural birth. So, when Babycare TENS got into contact with me to ask me to try out their new Elle TENS2 machine I jumped at the chance.
However, if you have followed my pregnancy story you will know that I began to have a few problems which led to my waters breaking at just 30 weeks. Due to this, I knew there was a big chance that my son would be born prematurely and that another emergency c-section could have been needed if he was at risk. Through everything that was going on, my one aim was to get him here safely and via a VBAC with only gas and air and on 21st November, 8 weeks early, this was exactly what happened! I had a very fast labour and delivery but it went as smoothly as I could have hoped for with the pain relief help of the Elle TENS2.
What Is A TENS Machine?
A TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine is a battery operated product which aids in pain relief by sending electrical currents through the body via electrodes and sticky pads. The electrical impulses interrupt the pain signals going to the brain and can help your body to produce endorphins, your happy chemicals. It can be used to treat muscle spasms, arthritis, period pains, sports injuries and of course, labour pains.
The Elle TENS2 has all the award-winning features of the Elle TENS, plus a contraction timer, recording your last 5 contractions and in-between contractions. It is lightweight, easy to use and, in my opinion, a must for your hospital bag. You get everything you need in the pack including:
- 4 Large Maternity Electrode Pads
- 2 Leadwires Plus 1 Spare
- 2 AA batteries Plus 2 Spare
- Neck Cord And Carrying Pouch
- FREE – A Women’s Guide To Drug-Free Pain Relief
Which means it is ready to go once your labour starts. The last thing you want to be doing is hunting around for batteries when you are in pain.
Ease of Use
As my labour happened very fast I needed to get the TENS machine on as quickly as possible to deliver my pain relief. I had already read through the instructions and set it up with the batteries but whilst I was in pain I couldn’t clearly tell my sister and husband how it worked. Luckily for them, the instructions were very simple to follow and they easily applied the four pads to my back and took control of administering the right amount of pulsations, as per my directions (orders!) in order to reduce my contraction pains. The pads are made from a soft material and they move with your body. There is no pulling of your skin and they are comfortable enough to be able to lie down.
The machine has intensity buttons which allows you to increase or decrease the level of these impulses and this can be altered for each pair of pads. The boost button can be pressed to give a quick burst of electrical impulses when you need them, usually when a large contraction is coming on, plus this model also has an opti-max key which adjusts the depth of the pulsations which is helpful during the later stages of labour. By that point, I put all my trust in my husband to sense when I needed these functions because I couldn’t bring myself to do anything but suck down on gas and air and concentrate on what I needed to do in order to deliver my baby. I kept the Elle TENS2 on all the way through the birth and I truly believe it helped to reduce my pain.
Due to the speed of my labour I didn’t have the time to use the contraction counter but if I’d have had a longer labour like I did with my first son, this would have been put to good use as we were using the clock to check their frequency and we had to remember to do this. Having a TENS do this for you will remove another factor for you to think about.
The best thing about a TENS machine is the fact that you are in complete control of your own pain relief. It will allow you to stay at home for longer (as long as you have had a straightforward pregnancy) and it will allow you to cope better as your contractions increase. It can be used in conjunction with gas and air and pethidine but once an epidural is administered you won’t be able to or need to have the TENS on. You also cannot use one once you get into the water if you choose to have a water birth but you can use it in the lead-up to full active labour.
Have you had a good experience with a TENS machine? Would you also recommend one?
*I received this product in exchange for this review. As always all opinions remain honest and my own. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.