Elle TENS & Elle TENS Plus Machine - What is TENS?

What is a TENS Machine?

 Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has been scientifically researched & approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) for effective pain management in childbirth. TENS machines have been in use since the 1960s and over the years have become smaller and easier to use.


The Labour TENS unit is an advanced, small, battery powered device, which sends a pulsed electrical stimulus via pads to the skin.


Can I use an ordinary TENS machine during Labour & Birth?

 Not as effectively as Ella TENS and Ella TENS Plus machines.


 Why use TENS machine during Labour & Birth? 

   Drug free system for pain control

   Quick & effective pain relief

   Easy to use, light weight and portable

   Does not cause drowsiness

   Can be used for as long as pain relief required

   Boost mode for when contractions are really intense

   Can be used at home, hospital or birth centre

   Can be used with other methods / prescribed drugs

   Non invasive

   You're still able to walk and move about


How does a TENS machine work? 

   Releases your body's own pain relieving hormones (beta-endorphin)

   Disrupts pain messages going to your brain ('gate control theory')

   Gives you a sense of control and allows you to focus on something outside your discomfort


What do you feel when you use TENS machine in labour?

·      A pleasant tingling sensation on the skin where the pads are placed.


When do I start using the Labour TENS machine?

·      It is recommended that you start using your TENS at home right from the beginning of labour. Early use of the TENS machine promotes the body's production of beta-endorphin.


Can I practice using the TENS machine before my labour starts?

 Yes! It is good to become familiar with the operation of the unit so you know exactly what to do with it when you labour starts. It best to practice using TENS machine when you are 37+ weeks pregnant unless under healthcare practitioner’s supervision (Do talk to your LMC or Health Practitioner about this). The electrode pads are placed over sensitive pressure points on your back that could possibly stimulate labour prematurely.


When to use or not use TENS machine?

 TENS machine for labour is specifically designed for childbirth. Elle TENS and Elle TENS Plus can also be used for general pain.  It has been scientifically researched, tried, tested and in use since the 1960’s.


However there are a few precautions:

   Do not use over broken or desensitised skin

   Do not use before 37 weeks unless approved by your healthcare practitioner

   Do not use TENS machine if you have a pacemaker

   Seek advice from doctor if you have epilepsy

   Do not use if you have any doubts before talking to your LMC or a healthcare practitioner


I would like a water birth – can I use the TENS machine?

 Yes but not while using water pool, spa bath, shower or bath during labour & birth - it needs to be removed before entering the water. Guidelines suggest it is best to enter pool, Spa bath or a deep bath when you're about 4- 5cms dilated when your labour is established.  The TENS machine is a great tool to help you get to that point if you are planning to use pool, spa bath or deep bath for labour and birth.


 Can I use a TENS machine with other pain relief methods when in labour?

 You may continue using the Labour TENS machine with pethidine, morphine or Fentanyl as well as when using Entonox (gas and air). You will be asked to discontinue the use of the TENS machine when an Epidural or spinal anaesthesia is being placed by the anaesthetist.


Can I use a TENS machine when my baby needs to be monitored continuously in labour?

 Yes! It can be used when external fetal monitoring needs to happen to monitor your baby continuously. If for any reason the baby needs to be monitored by fetal scalp electrode (scalp electrode that is attached to the baby’s head to get optimum monitoring) then it may possible to continue using the TENS machine however it is important that this is discussed with the practitioners involved in your care at the time.  


Can I use a TENS machine after the birth, for General Pain relief or for Pelvic Toning?

 Yes, many women find TENS machine very good at helping with 'afterpains' which are more common if you've had a baby before.


TENS machine is also useful at relieving:

   shoulder pain associated with breastfeeding

   menstrual pain

   back pain

   post-operative pain following a caesarean section

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