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by Claire Smith
After hearing so many positive birth stories with using TENS, from mums and midwives, I felt reassured knowing I had my perfect mamaTens machine ready and waiting. I was hoping for a natural birth following an emergency caesarean with my first baby.
Two days before my due date, I was sitting with my friend, late in the evening, chatting and feeling really relaxed, when I felt my water break. My friends face made me laugh when I told her, “I think my waters have gone”, her eyes went really wide and she said, “shall I make you a cup of tea?!”
Knowing its best to start using TENS as early as possible during labour we stuck the pads on my back, and I started using the machine on the first programme, A, increasing the intensity so I could feel a gentle pulsing. We called the hospital and they asked us to visit, in order to monitor my progress for a little while, to make sure all was well with me and the baby. After an hour I was relieved that the midwife was happy for us to continue with my labour at home. It was around midnight, and I was only getting a few small twinges, so my husband took himself off to bed. But I really did not feel like sleeping and wanted to keep upright and moving around, so with my TENS machine attached to the neck cord, I slowly walked around, packing and repacking my hospital bag several times. I felt so calm and relaxed and with it being the middle of the night it was lovely and peaceful.
As my labour progressed, I increased the intensity of the TENS machine and used the boost button to help me through the contractions. When you press the boost button, the stimulation changes from a pulsing feeling to a more constant buzzing, then when the contraction has passed you turn the boost button off to return back to the pulsing. Having this to focus on really helped me when my contractions became stronger. I switched the TENS to programme B, which is similar to A, as it works by building your endorphins, but the feeling of the stimulation is slightly different. Having the back-lit screen was also helpful, so I could see what I was doing with the machine when pottering about in our dark bedroom.
At Around 6.30am my contractions became strong and frequent; it was definitely time to make our way to the hospital. When we arrived at around 7am I was so happy to hear I was 9.5cm dilated! Still using the TENS machine, now along with gas and air, our beautiful Chloe arrived at 8.16am!
I was so happy I could enjoy those first cuddles and spend time skin to skin with my precious new baby, and able to hold my little one straight away. With no side effects from the pain relief, I could really enjoy the moment.
It was an amazing birth experience, very different from my first and the recovery time was very different too. We were able to go home the same day.
My tips for using TENS, practice with the machine first and start using the machine as soon as you can during labour. And remember you can also use it for general back pain from 37 weeks and to help ease any after pains.
Blog provided by TensTalk with TensCare.