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Elle TENS Machine - Great Pain Relief During Early Labour (Product Review)

Posted Sep 18 2011 12:00am

I've been starting to put together some bits and pieces for my labour bag  and yes, I know it's a bit early since I still officially have ten and a half weeks to go, but considering each of my children came earlier than the last I'm telling myself I might only have 7 weeks before the big day.

Anyway, as I was sorting through what I may and may not need I came across my Elle TENS machine . In case you've not come across TENS machines before, the initials stand for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and what they do is produce an mild electrical current  which stimulates the nerves in the body to react to pain in the form of natural painkillers, known as endorphins. The more endorphins, the less the pain - this explains why people can be seriously injured in accidents and not feel any pain until afterwards when the endorphins are no longer being produced. Thankfully, after a baby is born, the pain is gone so you don't have to worry about suffering any longer!Many women use TENS machines in the early stages of labour to help them cope before using other forms of pain relief during childbirth .

Before buying the one I currently own I actually hired one before the birth of my first child but, typically for me, she made an appearance the day before it arrived. I didn't bother with one the second time around because first time early labour hadn't been too painful. That was a mistake. With my second daughter I was sent home from hospital in absolute agony because I apparently wasn't in established labour!

So, third time around I decided early on to buy one for myself and opted for an Elle TENS machine, pictured above. I read all the instructions to acquaint myself with it before relaying it all back to my husband who was, after all, going to have to ensure all the little pads were in all the right places!

When I was sure both of us understood, it went into the labour bag along with a spare set of batteries... just in case!

When my labour began, it was again a fairly painful one and I made use of my Elle TENS at home before heading off to the hospital where I had to remove it for initial tests to discover how far my labour had progressed. Thankfully this time I was admitted immediately - much to my surprise really as the pains, although bad, hadn't come anywhere close to those experienced with baby number 2!

To describe what a TENS feels like isn't difficult. It's a little like having a mild electric shock applied to your back. Although initially I found it slighty stingy, within a few moments I barely noticed it and was turning up the levels to make the sensation stronger. The nice thing about the Elle TENS is that you are always in control and can adjust the sensations to your own personal preferences.

Although you can use the TENS throughout labour, I, like many labouring women, chose to remove mine in the later stages as I began to find it distracting. However, up until then, it was an absolute blessing for me.

I also discovered recently, though I didn't make use of it  at the time, that the Elle TENS machine can be used to help post-natally, for example, with lingering backache that sometime accompanies childbirth, afterpains and even to help with pelvic floor strengthening. I ended up buying a whole other product for the pelvic floor when I needn't have, but that's for another blog post!

Would I recommend a TENS machine? Most definitely. As I said earlier, mine is already packed and ready to go. It might be six years since I last used it, but I'm so glad I held onto it and am not fearing being left in pain whilst I await established labour. I've only tried the Elle TENS machine since it was the one I read most reviews about and which was recommended by the NCT but I can say it was easy to use, didn't let me down and offered me decent pain relief when I needed it most!

You can buy an Elle TENS from many pharmacies and online stores, priced around £50 to £55 sterling. Alternatively, hover over the image above to buy from Amazon UK and read previous customer reviews.

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