One of the fun things about childbirth is playing with the toys you can get for pain relief. Mines a TENS machine; that’s Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, as recommended by midwives… (see my story ‘Charged’ on the home page). You can hire the machine online direct from Tens-Hire.co.uk which works out a little cheaper than ordering through a retailer such as Mothercare. I’ve heard mixed reports from different women about how useful this is for helping deal with contractions, but if there’s even a slight chance of some relief, it’s got to be worth a go. Anyone tried this?
One of the fun things about childbirth is playing with the toys you can get for pain relief. Mines a TENS machine; that’s Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, as recommended by midwives. You place four sticky pads with a mild electrical current running through them on your back. A machine with a little hand held button allows you to order either a ‘burst’ or a ‘continuous’ surge of electrical impulses to the area of pain. The instructions recommend you test run your machine before going into labour by attaching the pads to your arm or leg. So I placed the pads on my left forearm. I switched on the machine and slowly turned up the controls to increase the pulse rate … it’s pretty impressive; like buzzing pins and needles on a focussed area of your skin. BUT, if you’re curious and want to explore the machines potential…(Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus)…WATCH OUT! You WILL feel as though plugged into the national grid.
I tried this on both the ‘burst’ (advised) and ‘continuous’ (not recommended) mode. The ‘burst’ mode, as it suggests, delivers a pulsating electrical current. On increasing the surge rate, the pins and needles become more like repeated electrical shocks which unwontedly instructed my hand to flex and jump in rhythm with the surges. A Carry-On moment followed as my hand (no longer my own), repeatedly grabbed at the air as if trying to squeeze an invisible breast. Trying this on ‘continuous’ mode however was admittedly plain stupid! Within a spilt second of turning it on my ass leapt out of the seat and my heart jumped into my throat - Christ. SHOCK is the word!
Having done my research, I am now as you can imagine looking forward to applying my new found skills to the real thing - Labour. Bring it on! I’m armed and ready with my boost button. Man, I’m gunna be wired!