20210804_123720_edited.jpg

TENS Unit

-transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation-

 

A drug-free option for labor 

TENS units, commonly have been used in other countries for many years as a method for pain relief during labor. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. A Tens unit is a wonderful choice as a safe drug-free option for pain relief that is applied in early labor. Whether you're planning a medicated or unmedicated birth, we recommend the ELLE Tens unit specifically designed for use during labor. You can add a TENS unit to any birth doula package. 

For more information: Read this great article, TENS: The "Natural Labor Tool" No One Talks About

How a Tens unit is it applied

At the onset of labor, four pads will be applied to your back as shown in the movie and instructions.  Switch the TENS machine on. The unit is small and portable.  You'll wear it comfortably from a lanyard around your neck.  When you turn the unit on, you will feel a pleasant pulsing sensation. This will help to raise the level of her pain-relieving endorphins. When experiencing a contraction, you'll press the boost button for the extra surge of power needed to combat the pain. When the contraction ends, you'll press the boost button again - it is that simple! The unit comes with all necessary pads and leads, a neck lanyard, and batteries.

How does it work?  

You attach the electrode pads directly to your skin (on your back). When the machine is switched on, mild electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of your body to stimulate nerve fibers, which you feel as a tingling sensation. 

One way it works is the Gate Control Theory of Pain - introducing pleasant stimuli overrides the painful stimuli. Secondly, the stimulation increases endorphin production in the patient - our body's natural pain killer. The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles.  It also reduces the number of pain signals sent to the brain by the spinal cord.

You attach the electrode pads directly to your skin (on your back). When the machine is switched on, mild electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of your body to stimulate nerve fibers, which you feel as a tingling sensation. 

It is very important to mention that for maximum benefit, TENS needs to be started in early labor before contractions become overwhelmingly strong.

What are the Benefits of a TENS unit for labor?

  • Medication free pain relief

  • Laboring person is in control of the unit

  • Freedom to move around

  • Can help delay or prevent the use of other medications if desired

  • Can be stopped at any time

  • No known side effects to mom or baby

Studies have shown that TENS shortens the length of labor, and postpones the administration of an epidural.  It may be particularly beneficial for back pain.  Well, over half the women who used TENS said they would use it again!  Having a TENS unit gives moms a sense of control, especially with the ability to use the boost button during a contraction!

The Elle TENS is so easy to use. The Elle TENS is a dual-channel unit that allows for separate intensities on upper and lower pads.  All the settings are preset so there is no fuss.

The Elle TENS uses the latest Opti-Max technology. What is Optimax? An extra pulse of pain control, often used in the final stages of labor - when you most need it.

Features and Benefits of The Elle TENS
  • Preset modes for ease of use

  • Integrated boost button when you are having a contraction

  • Uses 4 large pads

  • Easy to read user display

  • Neck cord for mobility

Are there any risks or side effects?

For most people, TENS is a safe treatment with no side effects.

There are no known side effects for either you or the baby

Some people may be allergic to the pads and their skin may become red and irritated.

TENS isn't safe for everyone to use. Don't use it without first seeking medical advice if:

  • you have a pacemaker or another type of electrical or metal implant in your body

  • you are not full term. TENS is not recommended early in pregnancy, use only after 37 weeks

  • you have epilepsy or a heart problem

Always check with your provider before using a TENS unit. 

What does it cost?

  • $50 for the rental of the unit

  • $50 deposit (refunded when unit is returned in the condition it was given & within the agreed upon time frame) 

If you are interested in renting an Elle TENS unit click here

*TENS units are only available to current Willow Tree Doula Services clients. Units are limited & not guaranteed.

Elle_TENS_Tens_Unit_use__15488.1501359251.jpg

Elle TENS instructional video

Information on this page is for educationl purposes only. No medical advice is being given. Please contact your provider to see if a TENS unit is right for you.