TENS stands for, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS is a safe, non-pharmaceutical method of pain control, and can be helpful for a women in labor.
Two electrodes are placed on your skin and connected to a battery pack that sends small pulses of electrical current to the body.
It is believed that the TENS unit helps to activate gate control which means that the stimulation of the nerves caused by the TENS unit travels to the brain faster than the pain from the contractions!
You’ll learn more about gate control in our prenatal appointments!
TENS are used in many ways for pain management often by physical therapists in patient treatment.
Many moms find they have the ability to make it further in labor before choosing an epidural.
advantages of using the Tens
The advantages of TENS are that:
it doesn’t require medicines or injections
it may give you some control over pain relief
you are able to move about
you can use other methods if TENS does not give you enough pain relief
there is no harm to you or your baby
it can be used at home during early labor
The disadvantages are that:
it doesn’t work for everybody
TENS machines can’t be used in the bath or shower
Risks & side effects of using the Tens
TENS is thought to be very safe. But it shouldn’t be used:
on an open wound or if your skin is irritated
by women who are pregnant but not in labor
by some people with epilepsy
Some people find:
irritation of the skin where the electrodes are stuck on
that TENS is uncomfortable but not painful
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