If you are being induced, it is ideal to place the TENS machine on 30 minutes before starting the process of membrane rupture or the administering of the Pitocin hormone. If you are in the earlier stages of induction you can hold off, but if you start to feel contractions it is best to place it on.
For spontaneous labour you can start using it once you believe you are getting labour contractions, if they fizzle out you can always take the electrodes off and keep them for when it starts up again.
If you don’t have access to it right away you can still find the TENS machine will benefit you, it has just shown to be a little more effective when started ASAP.
Why do they recommend you start using it early?
One of the ways the TENS machine works is by building endorphins which are your body’s natural pain relievers. It is believed that it can take up to 30 minutes to build endorphins, so the earlier you can get that working the better you may find your experience is with the TENS.
Another way it works is by distracting your mind and helping you to feel more in control and giving you a more overall positive experience, the earlier on in the process you are feeling in control of your labour, the better you’ll feel as labour intensifies.
If you start using the TENS further into labour and are finding it doesn’t feel effective we do recommend trying to keep it on for at least 30 minutes if possible, though if you feel this is negatively affecting you then you can always take it off.
Share your experience:
When did you start using the TENS in your labour?