Saturday, 9 October 2010

Review: MamaTENS My Time TENS Machine

Its been 7 weeks now since Little E was born which means I have almost forgotten about the pain of child birth. Hmmm - almost - not quite enough to start trying for another though!

During both labours my only forms of pain relief were a TENs machine and gas and air  and that is what I have recommended all my friends to do for theirs. In fact, I would recommend it to everyone.

First of all, for those of you that don't know anything about TENS and how it works I have found this piece on

"TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It's is a drug free, non-invasive pain relief method that is safe to use for both mother and baby. It is highly recommended by midwives and widely used during childbirth in the UK. It is a background level of pain relief to which other pain relief methods can be added, although some mothers use only TENS throughout their labour. There are no harmful side effects and as a result babies are born more awake and responsive than those whose mothers have used strong drugs for pain relief. This allows for quicker bonding and consequently breastfeeding difficulties are less likely.

How does TENS work?

Four electrodes (self-adhesive pads) are attached to the back. The TENS machine (a small battery operated unit) emits low frequency electronic impulses through the skin to block the pain signals carried to the brain, thereby reducing pain experienced. It also encourages the brain to produce the bodies own pain killing hormones, called endorphins. TENS machines for childbirth have two currents, or modes of operation. One current is used when resting between contractions and a stronger current is used during a contraction. A hand held boost switch is pressed to change the current between resting and contraction modes. The TENS machine is fully portable allowing the mother to be mobile throughout her labour.

So now you know all there is to know, let me tell you about how things went with my TENS machine this time around. If you've read the birth story then you'll know that things moved pretty quickly once my waters were broken.

I should say, that because things did happen so quick this time, I didn't get to use the My Time to it's full potential. You see, when I had Mister A, things were quite slow, I was induced and as soon as I started having mild contractions the midwife put my TENs machine pads on to my back . Gradually, I increased the  pain relief as the contractions grew more 'uncomfortable'. That's when TENs machines are great - for the early stages of labour. I used mine the first time to get to 6cm without gas and air.

This time, there wasn't really that much of an 'early labour' for me because I had my waters broken. The pain came did not come gradually but was immediately very intense.

I actually found myself being in so much pain that Chris had to take control of applying the pads and he was in charge of the remote - with me shouting at him that I had a contraction so he could 'boost' my pain relief! Once I had the MamaTens 'on' and working things did get easier for me but Chris had failed to notice that he didn't have the machine on the correct 'deep contraction' setting! Typical!


I know that if I had had a 'normal labour' then the MamaTENS would have been a much greater help - just like last time around. You're probably wondering how I know this? Well I'll tell you...

The great thing about the MamaTENS My Time is that it has a 'labour log', which enables you to monitor your contraction times - something which I found difficult to time myself. It also tells you the length of time you've been in labour (which you may or may not want to know once you hit 10 hours!!)

Unlike other TENs machines, the My Time has 3 settings to ensure the best pain relief for your stage of labour and it also has that magical 'boost' button for when your contraction hits!

So all in all I would recommend the MamaTENS My Time to all mums for early labour onwards. Go get yourself one...

The MamaTENS My Time is  available to hire for £39.50 or purchase for £79.50 at but if you find it at a cheaper price elsewhere then MamaTENS will match it.


  1. This post is absolutely perfect for me. I'm due in December with my first baby and only recently realised that accepting all and any drugs offered during labour was the best option. It may well turn out like that but I have been chatting to friends about TENS machines and decided to hire one. Problem is, which one?
    The MamaTENS looks perfect and I'm off to check out their website now.
    Many thanks, Kerry x

  2. I meant to say that accepting all drugs during labour isn't my only option....stoopid brain!!

  3. That's great Kerry - I know a lot of people that haven't bothered with a TENS because of the cost but they have often ended up with lots of drugs. I think TENS is great because it doesn't affect the baby and for me it really did work. If the My Time is too expensive then MamaTENS does have a cheaper alternative aswell. Good luck with it!!