Beginners Guide to using a TENS Machine: Tips and Tricks

All the best tips from a midwife on how to use a TENS machine for labour

(3 min read)

Bliss Birth founder holds the Elle Tens Plus obstetric TENS machine

A TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Machine is a portable handheld device with 4 electrode pads. It sends tiny electrical impulses through the skin layer to block the body’s pain pathway to the brain. This means that less of the pain signals get through to the brain and therefore less pain is perceived. Therefore, using a TENS machine hired from Bliss Birth can provide relief from pain and promote muscle relaxation.

Here's a beginner's guide with tips and tricks for using your Bliss Birth Elle TENS machine effectively:

  1. Understand the Basics: Prior to going into labour, take out the TENS Machine, electrode pads, electrode cords and lanyard. Have a play around with the device and read the instructions so that you are familiar with how the TENS machine works prior to going into labour.

  2. Prepare the Skin: Ensure the skin where you plan to place the electrode pads is clean and dry. Avoid applying lotions, oils, or creams, as they can interfere with the pad's adhesion.

  3. Proper Electrode Pad Placement: It is important to follow the instructions that come in the Bliss Birth bag with your TENS Machine Hire for proper placement of the electrode pads. This will ensure that you are able to get the most out of your TENS Machine.

  4. Use in Early Labour: Putting your TENS Machine on in early labour and gradually turning it up as you need can help you get the most out of your TENS Machine and help your body to release their own pain-relieving hormones called endorphins.

  5. Boost during contractions: The Bliss Birth TENS machines offer various modes, such as continuous and burst as well as being able to increase the strength. When you have a contraction, you can click the burst mode, and this will help to increase your pain relief during that contraction.

  6. Safety Precautions: Never place electrode pads over broken or irritated skin, wounds, or areas with decreased sensation. Do not use TENS machines near the head, neck, or on the chest if you have a pacemaker or any other implanted electrical device, unless instructed by a healthcare professional. Do not use your TENS Machine in or near water. Do not use your TENS Machine prior to 37 weeks gestation.

If you experience any adverse effects or discomfort, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

Remember, when hiring your TENS Machine from Bliss Birth it can be helpful to familiarise yourself with the TENS Machine and electrode pads prior to going into labour, this will help you feel empowered, confident and ready for your upcoming labour.


Written by Lauren Brenton
Endorsed Midwife
Founder of One Mama Midwife Pty Ltd

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