A Conversation for H2G2 Parent and Child Group.

Pain relief in Labour

Post 1

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

I'm thinking about hiring/buying a TENS machine in the next few days, but I've never used one before and don't really know if it's worth it.

Can anyone advise me about this? I really would like a second opinion before spending a lot of money on it.

I'd like to have more options than just gas and air.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 2

Cloviscat

I had one booked for hiring, but the Kitten was sufficiently early that the machine never arrived in time1

They seem to be a hit and miss affair - nobody can predict who they will work for and when, but those who have used them swear by them.

I have a very good friend who used one with her first labour, which had a gradual start and lasted 8 hours-ish. She found the TENS machine very useful, and didn't plan on anything else for the 2nd birth, which was at home. But the second labour was much more sudden and determined, and she didn't find the TENS machine helped one little bit, so she just coped with backrubs from hubby. She feels that you should get one sooner rather than later, and try 'practicing' on braxton-hicks contractions beforehand, then put it on the *moment* you start labour, rather than wait until you're struggling to cope with he pain.

The thing about TENS is that if it doesn't work, you can stop immediately, no side-effects, no wearing off time, you just go straight on to the next method of pain relief. And, my friend says, you can use it while watching vidoes!

It seems such a perfect solution that I'd be keen to have a go next time, but I don't know if I'll have the chance if labour is as quck as the first one. What sort of a labour do you expect. given past experience?

smiley - smileysmiley - blackcat


Pain relief in Labour

Post 3

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

Charlotte took 27 hours and I was screaming for an epidural after the first eight hours with no pain relief - I wasn't even offered paracetamol, and felt very inhibited and tense anyway because I was on the gynaecological ward instead of the labour ward. All the other women on the ward seemed to be in early pregnancy, and I was afraid that if I let myself go they'd all be terrified.

Isobel took 15 hours, and I had nothing except gas and air for the second stage, which I put down to the much more relaxing experience of being at home.

I expect this one will be a fairly long labour too, but since it'll be at home I'll probably be relaxed and relatively pain-free.

I reach 37 weeks tomorrow so I should get my TENS machine this week if I'm getting one. I think I'll spend the extra money and buy one, since Isobel was 2 1/2 weeks late and the rental period is one month, but it is a lot to spend if I end up not using it.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 4

Cloviscat

smiley - yikes

Who would you have been you looking to rent off? I found the prices/deals/extension periods varied hugely....

Is this the Final Baby, do you think? (Ultimagravida, another friend calls it...) I suppose you can always keep the TENS machinetill you're old and rematicky...smiley - winkeye


Pain relief in Labour

Post 5

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

It may not be the last baby so I may get a second use out of a machine, and my sister is planning to have children.

I was looking at hiring from Boots, as I think I've left it far too late for one of the mail order companies and there's nowhere else locally.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 6

Cloviscat

We were given a list of cheap and quick options; this one rings a bell:

http://www.mothersbliss.com/nine/labour/tenshire.asp

Next day delivery and cheaper than Boots!

is it worth me looking out anymore?


Pain relief in Labour

Post 7

Cloviscat

oopsie - should have said, that one's hire, I think, but there were buy options too...


Pain relief in Labour

Post 8

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

Thanks for that link. They charge a bit more than Boots to buy, but if I decide to hire even the next day delivery is a bit less, and they give you an extra week, which would take me past the date by which I'd have to be induced, if I leave it another few days.

I think it's probably better to buy one, at the cost of 4 or 5 DVDs, but I've got to overcome the remnants of my penniless student mindset before I can let myself.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 9

Dorothy (used to be Baby Driver)

Probably too late, & sorry for butting in, but I just discovered that my local NHS Medical Centre rents TENS machines out for women in Week 38 onwards - at a cost of £10.

Might be worth it for you to ask (if you're still in need?)

x x Driver Driven (still only week 35)


Pain relief in Labour

Post 10

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

I don't think my local NHS trust do anything like that - the midwife who ran the antenatal classes told us to try Boots or Babitens, though she said they had them available if you gave birth in the birthing centre.

Actually I bought myself one on Saturday, and was really glad I had on Tuesday night when I had about four hours of really bad 'false labour'. The TENS machine really helped with that, so I expect it will make a big difference in real labour, too.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 11

Dorothy (used to be Baby Driver)

I've not tried TENS. The Midwife said that if you put it on at the very start of the pain, it will work - sounds like your experience. She didn't do a bad selling job, considering I was saying it looked like a torture implement and that I didn't want to be electrocuted - I'm almost in favour of getting one!

Now I just have to wait until Week 38 until I go into labour, in order that I can get the one from my Health Centre!

x x Driver (ps thanks for visiting my space!)


Pain relief in Labour

Post 12

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

Speaking of torture instruments, at the last antenatal class (I signed up for a refresher course) we were shown the needles they use for epidurals. I'm glad I didn't see one before my epidural, but I'd still have an epidural in the same circumstances.

I've used an electrolysis machine, so I'm already used to wiring myself to batteries. At least the TENS is designed to help you minimise pain.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 13

Dorothy (used to be Baby Driver)

Speaking again of torture - I know that most people swear by the comfort of Epidural, but I'd sooner remain active. My local hosp doesn't do "mobile epidurals" so I'm not that interested, but the worst part of the explanation was definitely the fact that since you can't go to the loo, they insert a catheter for you!

Maybe I'm being too much of a baby, but I can't think of anything more scary! We all have our phobias, and that would be mine!

x x Driver


Pain relief in Labour

Post 14

World Service Memoryshare team

Epidurals are rubbish. They build them up to be the ultimate cure-all for the pain of labour and they're horrible. I shivered uncontrollably and threw up everywhere for 10 hours when I had mine!

Anna


Pain relief in Labour

Post 15

Bernadette Lynn_ Home Educator

I think you must have been really unlucky, Anna. I had a mobile epidural when I had Charlotte, and within seconds all the pain had gone, although I could still feel the strength of the contractions. The downside was that I had to have a syntocin drip, which didn't really limit how much I could walk around but made my hand itchy and sore, and that after a few hours and several top ups my legs started to go numb. That was getting on for twelve hours later, though, and I was pretty tired by then and didn't want to be on my feet all the time. I wouldn't want a non-mobile one, though, under any circumstances. Or Pethidine, which is why I've gone for a TENS.

I think I must be mad, choosing to do all this a fourth time. And yet I'm looking forward to it. smiley - weird

One week left.


Pain relief in Labour

Post 16

Dorothy (used to be Baby Driver)

Pain relief for me (according to my birth plan) is *husband's massage; *birthing pool; *TENS; *ENTONOX; *active labour; *meptid (they don't give pethidine, which my mum swore by). I've written that I don't want an epidural, just in case I start yelling "GET ME ONE NOW" in the throes of laboursmiley - smiley.

Decided to have a very relaxed birth plan, so that they could see how I would like labour to progress if there are no problems. TBH, I've had a lovely easy pregnancy so far - baby's already engaged, cephalic, and ready for out; there are four weeks of increasingly painful contractions to gosmiley - winkeye, that's all! Oh, that's what I'm doing online at 3am!

Good luck for next week Bernadette - & thanks for the agreement about the Epidural, Anna!

x x Driver


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