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TENS Unit Rental
TENS Rental: $50 (includes pads) and a $50 deposit refunded upon return.
Rentals for clients are only $15 to cover the cost of pads. The pads used are special for laboring women.
What is TENS?
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. A TENS machine consists of a small box, with a clip on the back that you can attach to your clothing. The machine gives out little pulses of electrical energy. Leading out of the box are four wires connected to sticky pads.
You can place the pads on your back at any time during labor. Follow the instructions that come with your TENS machine. Two of the pads are placed on either side of your spine at about bra-strap level. The other two go lower down, at about the level of the dimples in your bottom. The pads are covered in a gel to help the electrical pulses pass through your skin more easily.
The TENS machine has dials that you can adjust to control the frequency and strength of the pulses. There's also a boost button for you to hold in your hand and press when you want maximum output from the machine to help you with a difficult contraction.
How does a TENS machine work?
We don’t know exactly how TENS works, although there are a number of theories. One is that the electrical pulses prevent pain signals from reaching your brain, while another is that the pulses stimulate your body to release its own, natural, feel-good substances, called endorphins.
It's also likely that various factors interact to make TENS work. TENS may help you to feel that you have control over your contractions, it may help you to feel less anxious, and it also may provide a distraction from your contractions.
When and how should I use TENS?
TENS seems to work best and give you the most effective pain relief if you start using it at the very beginning of your labor.
It takes about an hour for your body to respond to the electrical impulses by releasing endorphins, so start using it when you're getting regular contractions or backache. You may find your machine works better at relieving your backache than abdominal pain.
Start with the controls at their lowest settings and turn them up gradually as your contractions or the back pain gets stronger. Use the boost button at the peak of contractions.
Very few hospitals provide or allow TENS units. They are very handy to have to be able to labor at home for as long as possible before going to the hospital, or to have for the duration of a homebirth.