frequently asked questions...

The following are the a list of the questions we are most regularly asked about. Click on any question of interest to see our response....

About TENS

What does TENS actually do?
TENS encourages the body to release endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals (the bodyís equivalent of morphine). It also targets the pain gate, which stops pain signals from reaching the brain.
What does TENS feel like?
Depending on the mode used it will vary from a soft tingling feeling, similar to pins and needles to a pleasant thumpy feeling.
How effective is TENS?
Research has shown TENS is very effective when used from the onset of labour, because it allows the body time to build endorphins. Used in the early stages of labour and TENS can help mum remain at home for longer and have control over their pain relief.

Maternity TENS machines allow mums to easily switch between two strengths of stimulation, from a soothing, relaxing sensation between contractions, to a stronger more intense stimulation, by pressing the boost button during each contraction.

Many women find this level of control incredibly empowering, as this allows them to be completely in tune with their body's needs, enhancing their level of pain relief exactly when they need it; something that isn't always possible with drug based therapies.

MamaTENS is also beneficial after the birth, easing post-natal pains.
Itís an electrical current. Is it really harmless?
Yes. Women have been using TENS in childbirth for over 25 years, and in all this time there have been no recorded side-effects on the mother or baby.
Does TENS have any effect on baby?
No. Tens is drug free, so an ideal choice for mums wishing to have a natural labour. Studies have shown that babies born to mums using TENS are more awake and responsive than those born to mums using strong drugs for pain relief. This often means mother and baby bonding can start immediately and breast-feeding difficulties are less likely.
Are there any side effects?
No. There are no known side effects from TENS use, and long term stimulation is not harmful.
Is there anyone who should not use TENS?
Please do not use a TENS machine if you have epilepsy. Do not use TENS if you have a pacemaker or heart rhythm problem and do not use TENS before 37 weeks unless your doctor or midwife has approved the use. Please check with your midwife or doctor if you have any doubts about using TENS.
Canít I just use a standard TENS machine?
Maternity TENS machines are designed differently to general TENS units. As childbirth causes pain that comes and goes, maternity TENS provide a constant level of soothing relief which helps mum relax into labour but can be 'boosted' to provide addition relief during contractions.

The MamaTENS has been especially designed for use during labour. Digital pre-set programmes eliminate the need to fiddle with dials, making it easy to choose the correct programme and achieve the desired level of intensity. MamaTENS uses extra large pads to ensure that all the relevant nerves on the back are covered to give the most effective relief.

When to use MamaTENS

When should I start using my MamaTENS?
As soon as possible. When you feel the first contractions, start straight away. TENS takes around 45-60 minutes to start building up endorphins, so the earlier you start using it the better.
How long can I use the MamaTENS for?
As long as you want. You can use the MamaTENS from start to finish, or take it off at any time.
What if I start using it too late?
Put it straight to programme ďCĒ. This targets the Pain Gate rather than the release of endorphins, and is designed for use in later labour. It doesnít need time to build up and will give relief immediately.
Can I use it if Iím having a water birth?
It canít be used in the water as itís an electrical device. However, you wonít actually be able to get into the water until quite late on (as water can slow down labour), so TENS is an ideal pain relief solution up until this point. Water births and TENS work very well in combination for a natural childbirth.
Iím booked in for an epidural/caesarean. Will TENS help?
Yes. Both epidurals and c-sections donít take place until relatively late in the labouring process. TENS will offer pain relief until this point, when there is little else on offer; in particular at home, in the early stages, and even for back pain as long as itís after 37 weeks.

MamaTENS can also be used for afterbirth pains, and the pain felt after a caesarean; simply place the pads on your back in the same position as you would during labour and set to programme A or B.
I'm having labour induced, when should I start using TENS?
Ideally the TENS unit should be started approximately 60 minutes before the induction of labour. This gives time for the endorphins (natural pain killers) to build up in your body.
Can I use the MamaTENS with other forms of pain relief?
Yes, you may continue using†the TENS machine with other methods such as pethidine and gas and air.
Can I take the MamaTENS with me to the hospital?
Yes. Midwives recommend the use of TENS during labour and will usually be happy for you to continue using the TENS in hospital. Some women use the TENS from start to finish! Your midwife may remove the TENS machine or turn the machine off temporarily if they feel it is necessary, particularly in cases where electronic monitoring is in use.
Can I use the MamaTENS before labour?
If you suffer from back pain or sciatica in your last stages of pregnancy, you can start to use the MamaTENS unit from your 37th week of pregnancy.
Should I practice using the MamaTENS?
Yes. We recommend you try the MamaTENS machine out once you are over 37 weeks, so you understand how the machine works and how it feels.

Using MamaTENS

What is included in the MamaTENS rental kit?
Everything you need is included in the kit: The MamaTENS machine, 1 sealed pack of 4 MamaTENS pads and leads, belt clip, neck cord, storage pouch, 2 AA batteries in place in the machine and 2 spare, instruction booklet, pictorial guide and a pre-paid envelope to return the machine after use.
Why is MamaTENS the leading TENS labour pain relief system?
It has an integral boost button, vital for contraction; three pre-set programmes, for ease of use and four extra-large pads. It is the most hygienic maternity TENS on the market, since it is the only one which uses pads with integral leads, which are disposed of after each use. The unit is only sent out again after it has been cleaned, tested, sterilised and refurbished.

It is the most popular maternity TENS in the UK! A recent customer survey said that over 90% of women who used MamaTENS would use it again; our customer service is consistently rated as ďexcellentĒ.
What's the difference between MamaTENS & MamaTENS my time?
Both units have the same three pre-set programmes to take you through the different stages of labour (programmes A, B and C) and a boost button for use during contractions. The MamaTENS my time has three additional features available;
  • Contraction timer, which enables mums-to-be to monitor the time between contractions and the length of time in labour.

  • 140 steps of intensity, a smooth, gradual increase in intensity, for comfortable stimulation (MamaTENS has 15 steps of intensity).

  • A pad alarm, as perfect pad contact is important to obtain maximum benefit from any TENS machine

Is it difficult to use MamaTENS?
No. MamaTENS uses digital technology, which means no annoying and inaccurate dials, just buttons to press. Apply the four pads to your back then just turn it on, choose the programme (A, B or C), and raise it to an intensity level you are comfortable with. You can raise the intensity as labour progresses and push the Boost button for contractions. You can also lock it so it doesnít get accidentally pressed when youíre moving around. Once set up, fiddling is at a minimum, and the buttons give precise measurements. You begin with using programme A in early labour and progress to C. Easy!
What if I place the pads wrongly?
You can move them. Our pads can be re-applied up to 30 times, so you shouldnít be afraid to change the position. Follow the diagram in the instructions and pay attention to what feels best for you. Don't apply electrodes to skin that has oil or lotion on as this may affect the quality of the pads.
I canít feel anything from the pads, is something wrong?
Please make sure you have a pair of electrode pads or all four stuck to your skin. If you only have one pad applied you will not feel anything as it is not a complete circuit.

Ordering a MamaTENS

When should I place my order?
As early as you want. We dispatch the rental unit to arrive to you three weeks before your due date, so for your 37th week. This will give you a little time to try the machine and get used to how it works and feels. You can also use the machine if you are suffering with back pain. Payment will be taken at the time of placing the order.
What should I do if Iím past 37 weeks?
Please call us and we can arrange for your machine to be dispatched promptly. A Special Delivery service is available for those who would like to pay a little extra for next day or Saturday delivery.
I am having twins, can I receive the rental unit early?
Yes. Please call us directly and we can arrange the dispatch date with you to ensure you receive the machine in plenty of time.

At the end of the hire period?

What happens if I go over my due date and need it longer?
Please call or email us with your order number or postcode to extend the hire period. Your unit return date will be stated on the top of the letter that you will receive with your machine. The return date will be two weeks after your due date. If you are worried you will need the machine past the return date then please contact us and we will add a two week extension, free of charge.
Is return postage included in the hire?
Yes. A pre-paid return envelope will be supplied with your unit.
When returning my rental kit, what should I send back?
Please throw the pads, leads and batteries away and return the machine, belt clip, neck cord and instructions booklet in the pre-paid envelope. Please return via the post office and ask for a certificate of postage. Keep the proof of postage for 3 months, in case something happens to the machine on its way back to us.
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In her award-nominated British family lifestyle blog, Katy describes her experience of using the Perfect MamaTENS

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