Rebecca shared her birth story with us – she told us she “Used the TENS for a calm, positive, and in control labour”
I decided to rent a TENS machine to use during the labour of my second child at the recommendation of a friend. My first labour had been over multiple days with the baby in a posterior (backwards) position and involved very intense back pain. When I found out my second child was most likely going to be in a posterior position for labour again I hoped the TENS machine would help with this back pain.
I actually didn’t practice with the TENS machine prior to labour. My husband and I just made sure we read the instructions and figured it would be easy enough. And it was.
In the early afternoon on a Saturday my waters broke in a sudden and dramatic fashion on the tiled floor (thank goodness for tiles!) at home. My contractions started almost immediately and they were quite intense and fast right from the beginning. With my husband’s help getting the TENS machine on it was really very easy to use. I noticed the difference it made immediately.
Without the TENS machine on I was focused on the pain in my back, but using it seemed to take away a great deal of that pain and I was able to really “notice” the pain in my lower abdomen, which was far preferable.
The really important difference that the TENS machine made for me was the car trip to the hospital. Our hospital was an hour away from home. After labouring at home for 2 hours my midwife told me it was time to head in. I was really nervous about this part. I like to walk around and use different positions during labour but I knew from the birth of my first child that being restricted to a car seat for an hour was going to be nothing short of horrific. During my first labour I was so stressed on the car trip to the hospital that my labour stalled and took a while to get going again. I really didn’t want that to be the case this time.
However, once again, the TENS machine made such a difference. Of course the journey was still hard. I still got mad at my husband whenever he tried to take a corner at more than 20km an hour or went over any sort of pot hole – poor man! But I believe that because of the TENS machine my labour progressed very smoothly all the way out to the hospital and the pain was very manageable.
When I arrived, the hospital offered me a bath for a water birth and because of this I did not use the TENS machine for the final 2 hours of my labour (as it can’t be used in water). Altogether my labour lasted only 5 hours before I got to meet my new daughter. I really do believe this was in a largely due to the way I was able to feel more in control and manage my pain with the use of the TENS machine. I was able to stay calm and positive and I was so happy with the beautiful, calm, birth story I now have to tell.