The #1 Way to Minimise Labour and Delivery Pain


Ultimately, you experience labour pain because
your brain receives messages from your uterus, telling it that the uterine muscles are working,
and they’re sore. So… the number one way to minimise labour
pain, is to interrupt those pain messages, and you can do it, without an epidural. Keep watching. Four weeks ago, I began this series on How
to Have a Natural Birth with 7 Ways to Deal With Labour Pains Without Drugs. That video covered 7 techniques that you can
use to manage labour pain so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. But there was one thing missing from that
video. One key tool that I used during my own drug-free
labour, that was absolutely vital in managing my labour pain. So today, I want to introduce you to my secret
weapon… my TENS machine! I’ll tell you what a TENS is, how it works,
and why it is SO fantastic! And for a little bit of fun, I’ll be getting
my husband on camera to show us how you use it! First of all, TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous
Electrical Nerve Stimulation. That’s a whole heap of big words to say
that the TENS machine is a unit that gives off small electrical pulses that stimulate
your nerves. A TENS machine comes with…
the handheld unit to control the strength of the electrical current
and that will generally have a lanyard to hang around your neck
and the wires connect to two big long labour electrodes, which are placed on your back So how does a TENS machine work? [get Steve on screen while I’m saying this,
attaching the TENS to him] Right at the beginning of labour you place
the two electrodes on your back with one each side of your spinal column. You hook it all up, and use the control to
turn the TENS up to a strong but comfortable level. You’ll feel tingling, but it shouldn’t
hurt. Then, when a contraction comes, you hold down
the BOOST button for the entire length of the contraction. This essentially gives you a strong electrical
zap! Now, why on earth would you want to zap yourself
throughout labour? Well, what’s actually happening when you
use the TENS is that the strong electrical stimulation scrambles the pain messages being
sent from your uterus. And it’s very effective at reducing the
level of perceived pain! In fact, during my own labour, the TENS was
so effective that I was scared to take it off and hop into the birth pool (because it
can’t be used in water). In the end, I did take it off, because I wanted
to birth my baby in the water. But this little machine got me all the way through 20 hours
of labour, through transition, right up until the pushing stage! Did it eliminate pain? No! But it definitely minimised the level of pain
that I experienced during my labour. Now, if you’re still not convinced, here
are 3 reasons why I think the TENS machine is so fantastic (and why I think every labouring
woman should hire one!) The first is that you are in control! Probably the best thing about the TENS machine
is the fact that you are in control the entire time that you use it… You choose when to
put it on. You choose the strength of the stimulation. And you choose if you don’t
want to use it any more. There are other pain relief options available
to you, but they are interventions that are done to you, and they often come with unwanted
side-effects. Which brings me to the second reason the TENS
is so fantastic… There are no negative side-effects! Of course, you should talk to your doctor
about using the TENS, since they know your medical history. But for the average, healthy
mama, the TENS is a risk-free option. The fact is, you might decide you don’t
like the TENS. You don’t want to use it, so you take it off. But that’s it. It’s done. Your labour
continues on without any negative side-effects. And that’s simply not the case with most
of the other pain-relief options that are available to you. Finally, it’s relatively inexpensive to
hire a TENS machine. I hired my TENS from Tens Australia. It cost
me less than $100 and, when I decided to purchase, they actually deducted the hire cost from
the purchase price, and gave me a brand new unit. So, if you’re pregnant, and preparing for
a natural birth, I highly recommend that you hire a TENS machine. Now, it’s also worth saying that not all
TENS are created equal! I have seen TENS units that are much larger
than mine, so they don’t fit as nicely in your hand. Some have sensitive buttons that can be knocked
during labour, and accidentally turn your TENS off! And
some units use four small electrodes, but
to my understanding, the two long labour electrodes are more effective at blocking those pain
messages. Now, I
am passionate about getting the word out about
using a TENS machine during labour. I truly believe this little tool could help
many more women have the drug-free labour that they’re hoping for. So before you go, I’d love for you to share
this video. If you have any pregnant friends who are planning
a natural birth, quickly send them a link to this video. And like I said, this video is actually part
5 of my How To Have A Natural Birth series. So far I’ve covered topics such as…
7 Ways to Deal With Labour Pain Without Drugs How to write a birth plan you’ll actually
use And last week I interviewed my twin sister
about how to be a great birth support So make sure you check out the rest of the
videos in
this series, and
I will see you next Monday. Bye!

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