TENS Pain Relief In Labour

Updated: May 5

Well, there’s no sugar-coating it, labour hurts! And this you have no control over.

However, how you choose to minimise and cope with this pain is something that remains firmly within your grasp. 

As a mother, you will always want what’s best for your child, to protect them in any way you can. This begins before you even set eyes on your newborn baby. There is now a tiny little life that depends upon you for everything, even the oxygen and food essential for their survival. So it is understandable why many moms-to-be opt for a natural/drug-free form of pain relief during labour.

You will have almost certainly heard the term ‘epidural’ before. The idea of having an epidural has most soon-to-be moms running for the hills. Similarly the idea of being injected with all manner of drugs can be quite off putting, especially when you have a little one to think about. In worst case scenarios an epidural can result in a prolonged second stage of labour and increase the risk of having an instrumental delivery (with forceps or ventouse). While drugs can make it difficult to push, and if administered too close to birth could affect the baby’s breathing.

Regardless of how prepared you are, as soon as you go into labour, panic will undoubtedly ensue. It is important to try and remain calm; a feat sometimes easier said than done! Do what you can to ensure that you are in a relaxed environment and feel completely comfortable. You may want to try listening to calming music, having a back massage from your partner, or even burning some essential oils (check suitability during pregnancy). 

Do try to remain mobile though; walking around not only eases the pain of contractions, it can also speed up labour itself. Remember all of those helpful tips you learnt in antenatal class? Well, it won’t be long before your knowledge is being put to the test. Hopefully you were listening when they were teaching those all-important breathing techniques?

Approximately one in five women will use TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to help them through the early stages of childbirth. Designed to block the pain signals sent to the brain, whilst stimulating the release of endorphins (the body’s own natural painkillers), a TENS machine also offers a welcome distraction from the trials and tribulations associated with labour. This is achieved by a gentle electric current passing through the body (between electrodes placed on your lower and mid-back) and will feel like a soft massaging buzzing against the skin.

Although less effective during established labour, using TENS for as long as practical can stave off and reduce the risk of a drug assisted birth.

In addition, going through the early stages of labour without any pain relief can be tiring and diminish the ability to cope with pain during the latter stages. It is certainly a good place to start, and can be combined with other forms of pain relief, including entonox (gas and air), to create a dual barrier against pain.

Although Labour TENS machines like the Kegel8 Mother Nurture remain a popular choice, they are becoming less readily available in hospitals, as women are no longer admitted until the active stage of labour. Hence, many hospitals are choosing to not invest in alternative forms or labour pain relief.  Because of this very fact, it has become quite common for women to purchase their own TENS machine (like the Kegel8 Mother Nuture pelvic toner and labour TENS machine, which is a Class IIa medical device in the UK that uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to strengthen pelvic floor muscles before and after childbirth, as well as provide natural pain relief during labour) prior to going into hospital. In this way, the pain and discomfort can be eased from the very first contraction.

It is highly unlikely that any new mom goes into childbirth with an epidural or drugs as their first choice of pain relief. However, things don’t always turn out as planned. So, don’t put yourself under too much pressure, you’re only human!  Regardless of your intentions, unforeseen circumstances may make drug free labour impossible.

Remember; it will be worth it in the end!  You’ll be handed your little bundle of joy and the pain will become a distant memory.  Knowing your options is half the battle, so we hope this article has, in some way, helped to give you a greater understanding.

Kegel8 can help

If you’ve decided that TENS pain relief in labour is something that you want to try, we have just the product for you!  The revolutionary Kegel8 Mother Nurture Pelvic Floor Toner and Labour TENS machine is not only designed for strengthening the pelvic floor before and after childbirth (after, you may notice you have a weak bladder and that you are leaking), it also doubles as a TENS machine for labour itself. 

The device comes with two attachments, a probe for strengthening the pelvic floor and electrode pads for TENS pain relief during labour. A boost button will help you to stay in control of your pain relief, and ensure that you get a ‘boost’ as and when required.

To get your Kegel8 Mother Nurture Labour TENS machine & pelvic toner go to Takealot.com.


If there is no stock on Takealot, please order your Labour TENS machine using our order your Kegel8 products page.


Original article: Kegel8 Website

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