Natural Childbirth with a TENS Machine
There are many ways to cope with the pain of childbirth. Certainly, an epidural or other pain medication can help to ease the discomfort. For women who don't want to take medicine, there are many natural methods and techniques that can help a woman to take her mind off of the pain and to work through the contractions. One such tool is a TENS machine.
What's a TENS Machine?
A TENS machine is an electronic device that gives you electric currents in an area where you are experiencing pain. TENS, standing for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, has four pads with electrodes that are connected by wires to a battery operated pulsar. You put the pads onto your back in four specific locations and use a hand held control to give yourself weak, directed electric currents at the locations where you've placed the electrodes. These machines are commonly used for physical therapy and are now available to help with labor pains as well.
How Does a TENS Machine Help with Labor?
The stimulation that you receive in these four specific areas on your back feels like pins and needles. It affects how pain signals are sent to the brain and they stimulate the body to produce even more natural painkillers, known as endorphins. The machine can be set at many levels, allowing the user to direct the amount of stimulation received.
The Benefits of Using a TENS Machine
The beauty of a TENS machine is that it helps the laboring woman to cope with the pain of childbirth in a medical free way. There are no drugs involved with using this device and no result whatsoever on the baby. You can be completely mobile while using it and can feel in control of the amount of stimulation you receive from the device.
The Miracle of TENS - A Personal Story
While I had read about this device in many books about pregnancy and delivery, I had never given it much attention until my recent fifth birth. Two weeks before the delivery, as I was getting scared of coping with another natural childbirth, and a midwife recommended that I look into renting a TENS. It was the best piece of advice that anyone could have offered to me. It allowed me to feel in control and to have something that took my mind off of my labor. The TENS machine that I rented had ten settings, from one to ten, to direct the intensity level of electrodes. When I felt a contraction coming on, I moved the level up, and then readjusted it back down when the contraction past. It allowed me to feel that I had some control over each labor pain. In addition, the tingling, pins and needle feeling helped to mask the sensation of the contractions and to help me to cope with the pain. After delivering five babies using natural childbirth, the TENS machine was the best tool that I've found to help me to cope with the pain of childbirth.
There are many places where a woman can rent a TENS machine that is specifically designed for labor. It's important to look into this approximately a month before delivery, as most companies say that it takes about three weeks to order and receive the TENS. It's certainly worth a try, if your goal is a natural, un-medicated birth, to try something new!