Archive for March, 2008

Mar 29 2008

Drug free birth with vacuum extraction using only TENS

Published by under Birth stories

I had a 16hr labour and no other pain relief other than labour TENS. I couldn’t have done it without the TENS machine it was fantastic.

My husband reminded me to put the TENS unit on when I started getting regular contractions and I’m so glad he did. We attached it to my ipod arm band which meant I could move around and only had to hold the boost button. When I put the TENS on I felt instant relief soothing away the pain. Having the TENS unit made me feel in control when the pain intensified I just pushed the booster button. I was able to concentrate on my breathing I’d learnt in yoga and push the boost button to get me through each contraction. The pulsations of the machine gave me something else to focus on.

Being English I’d heard about Labour TENS as this machine is known as the best and they are a lot more common back home. I really hope that more women obstetricians and midwives in Australia find out about it and give it a go. I never imagined that I could labour so long without any additional pain relief. I don’t think I have a high pain threshold -but I’m testimony to believing that the body is made to give birth and open.

I was 8cm dilated when I got to hospital. I was feeling relaxed and in control of my contractions. It then took another 8 hrs of labour as my baby wouldn’t descend and got stuck. I took the Labour TENS machine off to get into the bath but decided the TENS was better so I got out and put it back on. Despite needing a vacuum extraction to pull my baby out I feel I did really well to avoid a cesarean. I feel I had a positive birth experience. Knowing that my baby didn’t have any drugs made me feel I’d achieved something. I’ll definitely use Labour TENS next time too.

Beck. Dee Why. NSW

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Mar 25 2008

No drugs and no stitches

Published by under Birth stories

Thank you for sending the labour TENS so quickly. I had a great labour. Only 9 hours, no drugs and no stitches. I used the labour TENS throughout as it worked so well. I have recommended it to everyone.

Katie, Emu Plains

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Mar 25 2008

No drugs needed with labour TENS

Published by under Birth stories

I’m a 42yr old first time mother. I hired a labour TENS because I wanted a natural birth. It was fantastic, I did not require any drugs during or after labour. I just used the labour TENS to get me through. The first six hours were spent at home, with the labour TENS I was able to doze between contractions. Then we drove to the hospital and jay was born two and a half hours later. I couldn’t believe it was so easy.The pushing stage only lasted 14 minutes. The labour TENS was easy to use and it helped me have a natural birth with no drugs. Thanks.

Sharon. Sydney

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Mar 19 2008

Quick and easy birth

Published by under Birth stories

Monday 3.30am I woke up in the middle of the night with a pain in my tummy that I hadn’t felt before. I was 10 days before my due date and hadn’t felt any Braxton hicks so I though this must be Braxton hicks. I went to the toilet and noticed a pink discharge and wondered if this was the plug that the midwives talk about. So I went back to bed and tried to sleep. Twenty minutes later I have another pain just like the last – so I woke my husband and said I think this could be it. We waited to see if there was another contraction and sure enough 20 minutes later there was. I wanted a drug free natural birth so I’d hired a labour TENS machine. I knew it would be useful as I’d used one previously with my physio for lower back pain. Soon the contractions were 15 minutes apart and then 10 minutes. By this time it started to get painful so I put the labour tens on. What a relief, I felt instantly more relaxed and it took my mind off the pain. I switched up the volume as the pain got worse and used the boost button when I had a contraction which helped distract me. By 7am the contractions were very close together so we rang the hospital and they suggested we came in. When we arrived I was already 5cm dilated. The pain was getting worse so I had gas and air to take the edge off. I was determined not to have pethidine or an epidural and coped well with the labour TENS and gas. Soon I felt pressure down below and an urge to push. By 8am our daughter was born –I couldn’t believe it –I though there was more to it than that! Even my obstetrician was amazed how easy it was.

J. Banks Westleigh

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Mar 19 2008

Labour TENS is essential for VBAC

Published by under Birthing articles

Experts agree that women wanting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) would be more successful if using a Labour TENS in the early stages of childbirth. Often women going for VBAC are fearful due to previous experiences of birth. Labour TENS expert Heather Greer explains that labour TENS helps stop the cycle of pain and fear by blocking out pain signals to the brain and releasing endorphins; the body’s own pain relief and feel good hormones. Heather adds “When pain control is literally in the hands of the women they feel empowered and more able to cope with labour.”

In Australia one in four births are born via caesarean section every year. This is higher than average according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) who recommend a caesarean section rate of 10-15%. The research suggests that women should have around an 80% chance of success of vaginal delivery even after more than one caesarean. Yet the figures for vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) in Australia are usually much lower than this, even in hospitals where VBAC is encouraged. Heather Greer suggests that this figure can be improved upon. In Australia labour TENS is still relatively new compared to Europe. Heather says “as more women use labour TENS successfully for VBAC the word is spreading and health care professionals are encouraging women to use labour TENS.”
Dr Chris Vose who has a PhD in midwifery and specialises in home-birthing agrees “I believe Labour TENS are essential to women who are having a VBAC”. Dr Vose explains that women wanting a VBAC are usually monitored continually which increases pain due to an inability to move freely. When using a labour TENS from the word go women are less frightened, more relaxed and more able to cope with discomfort. Dr Vose adds “I strongly believe a birth using Labour TENS is safer because, when women feel more comfortable, they are less fearful and this reduces the likelihood of adrenalin being released. When adrenalin is released in the first stage of labour it causes a preferential redistribution of blood supply away from the uterus and other visceral organs and this deprives the uterus and the foetus of oxygen’.

Lisa’s experience of a successful VBAC using labour TENS reflects this. The birth of her first child was long and difficult and ended in a caesarean. Second time around Lisa did lots of research, hired a labour TENS from www.labourtens.com.au and prepared her birth plan hoping for a vaginal delivery.

Labour started in the early hours, so she tried to sleep through the contractions. By 7am in the morning Lisa put on her labour TENS and timed each contraction which by now were only 3 minutes apart. After a quick call to arrange care for her toddler she informed the hospital of her progress. They told Lisa to come in whenever she felt ready or if she wasn’t coping. Lisa remembers coping well at home “as each surge came, I leant against a bench or wall, and pressed the ‘boost’ button on my labour TENS to relieve the pain. My husband held a cold flannel to my forehead and heat pack on my belly.

“After about 3 hours of this, the surges were closer to 2 minutes apart and lasting longer so we decided to make the 10min trip to the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital I was informed I’d have to be on the bed attached to the CTG monitor for at least 20min to get a good trace of the baby heart rate. I wasn’t too happy about this as I’d been coping well in upright positions but figured if it wasn’t for too long I’d be OK. I was also asked if I’d like to be internally examined at this point and was told I was 3cm dilated but my waters hadn’t broken yet. I was given the option of having them artificially ruptured but declined that since I felt there was no need to rush things only having been in labour for about 4 or so hours. About 1 hour after being strapped to the foetal monitor I was struggling to relax with the surges in this position. By this stage my husband was using the labour TENS boost button for me as I needed to solely focus within using the breathing techniques I’d learnt. During one surge he accidentally put it to ‘rest’ mode instead of ‘boost’ and I wasn’t too calm after that one ended, let me tell you.”

The seated position on the bed wasn’t helping things and I started to get cranky and demanded to know when I could get off this monitor and the bed. The midwife patiently explained that the baby’s position and movement was making it difficult to get a good trace and admitted I’d probably need to stay on the monitor for the entire labour. At this point I just about lost it and said “well if I’m forced to labour this way, I may as well have the caesarean!” She offered me an alternative of using a wireless monitor that needed to be inserted in the babies scalp and would allow me to walk around but this would mean breaking my waters to get it in. At this point I gladly agreed – anything to get off the bed. After breaking my waters, I felt a warm gush and then a strengthening of the surges as the babies head put pressure on my cervix. Having a surge while the midwife was inserting the monitor is something I’d never want to repeat but once it was in and I was given the all clear I just about cart wheeled off the bed with glee. I was told I was about 5cm dilated when she broke my waters.

The bed was raised so I could stand and lean over it. My husband continued to boost the labour TENS and reassure me that I was doing well, and that the baby was coming. After what seemed like only 3 or 4 surges in this position I started to get transition ‘shakes’ in my legs and feelings of wanting to push. At first the midwife didn’t believe me but after a quick check she said sure enough I had dilated remarkably quickly in this position with my waters broken.

I was told I’d have to get back on the bed to deliver which I wasn’t too keen about but managed to find a comfortable all fours position with my upper body resting on pillows. When the doctor arrived he wanted me in a side lying position. I wasn’t too keen to move but by this point I was feeling so positive that I could do this, I didn’t let it put me off. It only took a few surges to push the baby out and I don’t even remember at what point the head and shoulders came out, it just all seemed to happen in one surge. Before I knew it a baby was passed to my belly and my husband was telling me it was a little girl.

It was barely 6 hours since I had been breakfasting with my toddler and felt the first signs of labour. There was a bit of commotion at the other end as the doctor was worried about how short the cord was, but I was just happy she was out and I was looking into her big dark eyes. The placenta was delivered without problem and I required some stitches, which wasn’t too pleasant but at least I got to hold my little girl throughout. When all was said and done…and cleaned up we were left to feed and get to know our little girl. My husband opened the curtains to let in the warm sunlight and we were full of amazement and happiness at how alert and eagerly she fed. My husband and I joke this was a very ‘civilized’ birth. Given the choice I would definitely choose a VBAC over the repeat caesarean. I was so glad I’d hired the labour TENS -it was an amazing birth experience.”

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Mar 12 2008

My drug free natural birth with labour TENS

Published by under Birth stories

My labour started at home at 9pm -my contractions where painless at the start so I tried to sleep. At 11pm I got up and went to the lounge room, I started using labour TENS from then on. At 1pm I had a shower and woke my husband. He was timing the contractions whilst I walked, squatted and moved around the house. I used the boost button at the start of each contraction which helped me. I found the contractions very manageable at this stage whilst using labour TENS>

At 6.30am we drove to the hospital-I was 3cm dilated. I continued with Labour TENS, walking around, and then took it off to have a bath. By 9.30am I was 7cm and my waters were broken. From then on the pain increased. I had another bath but didn’t find it helpful so I put the labour TENS back on and got on all fours. My husband pushed the boost button for me at the start of each contraction. This eased the pain and the distraction of the TENS helped me cope. I was soon 10cm dilated, and after 5-6 big pushes, our son was born. I had no chemical pain relief -just Labour TENS. I had a completely natural birth with  no tearing, and a gorgeous healthy boy. Kaden (3.45kg, 50cm) born 27.02.08. I would definitely recommend Labour TENS to all mums to be. Labour TENS, pre-natal yoga and breathing exercises helped me prepare for a natural, drug free birth.

Leanne. Collaroy. NSW

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