Pain Relief During Childbirth - TENS
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, otherwise known as TENS may sound like a rather odd treatment but it does offer some degree of pain relief during childbirth and in the early stages of labour.
Looking a little like a personal stereo, a TENS machine has wires coming from it with electrodes on the ends of them which are placed on particular parts of the body.
By delivering electrical pulses to these points, thus stimulating pain, signals are sent to your brain to block the nerve signals which carry pain messages.
It is also believed that this action stimulates the production of natural pain relieving hormones, endorphins, thereby lessening the pain of labor.
Many women use a TENS machine during the early stages of labor, and because they control the intensity of the signals and the length of time it is used for, it may be possible to stay at home or drug-free a little longer than otherwise.
Some NHS hospitals provide TENS machines but in general you will have to provide your own. They can either be purchased directly or hired for a short period of time.
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