So, Stars & Stripes Doulas have TENS units that clients can rent. But what does that really mean? We have told clients about why TENs units are valuable during labor for a while. We wrote a blog about the more practical information regarding TENs Units – Is it safe? Does it work? and What are the benefits?
But more than that, I wanted to give an actual review. During my last labor, 3 months ago, I used a Obi TENs unit for the first time in my 5 labors. I have used TENs units before during physical therapy, at the chiropractor and for just over all muscular tension in my shoulders and back. But I had never used a TENs Unit specifically meant for laboring women.
My most recent labor was an induction with Pitocin for being a week post due date. It was a pretty uneventful labor. I had been on Pitocin for about 7 hours and had been tolerating labor pretty well. Suddenly the contractions changed (I didn’t know it at the time, but it was transition!) I asked for my doula to pull out the TENs unit from my bag. We got the 4 pads put on my back and I turned it on. It was immediate sweet relief. The buzzing on my back was just enough to take the focus off of my contractions.
As the contractions progressed, I started to need to push the boost button. The boost button on the unit changed the pattern of the shock (I don’t like to use this word because it sounds a little scary but it is not an uncomfortable or sharp sensation – feels more like the massage chairs you use to get a pedicure). The best thing about this unit is that it is simple. It was specifically made for laboring women so there are not many buttons. Boost, level up, level down. When I felt a contraction coming on, I would hit the boost button. When the surge would come down, I would return back to the pre-boost state.
Overall, I would recommend the TENs unit for women who are planning on a pain medication free birth as well as those who are open to the idea of pain medication during labor. This unit helped me to get to 10cm during a pitocin induced labor with no pain medications! Another positive for me was that there is so much that you cannot control during labor – the speed, intensity, etc, I loved being able to control this one little thing — just having the ability to turn it up myself or hit boost was comforting to me. My OB was also happy to allow me to use this device during labor as I had asked for permission during one of my OB appointments prior to labor.
If you are interested in what is fondly described as “The Midwife’s Epidural” for your birth, ask your Stars & Stripes Doula for more information. If you are not a client of ours, we do still rent our units out to non-clients so reach out to us via email or our contact us form!
Written by: Melanie Binversie, Owner | Stars and Stripes Doulas of Colorado