What is TENS? It stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It sends mild electrical impulses through your skin where the nerve fibers are stimulated. The TENS unit is a handheld battery operated device that has leads and stimulating pads that are placed on the mothers back in certain areas, which is controlled by the mother while in use. The purpose of the TENS is to reduce labor pains, control over pains, freedom to move and walk around while in use and postponement of request for epidural. Best results of effective pain control by this device is when then TENS is started in early labor and used through out until after birth. TENS is safe and a non-pharmacological method of pain control in labor. Successes reported by women who used the TENS during labor were, it works well for back labor and either made an epidural unnecessary or was able to labor longer before actually requesting an epidural. TENS is not a method of stopping the pain, just reducing it. The amount of pain reduction will vary from woman to woman.
I am now DONA certified on using the TENS on a laboring mother and will have TENS for rent. You can request more information from me if using a TENS in labor sounds like something that may benefit you. We will need written consent from your midwife or OBGYN to use the unit during your labor. This method of pain control is upcoming and rising in the birthing community. I have seen the helpful benefits to mothers while they labored and controlled the TENS themselves.