I recently acquired an Obi-TENS unit to use with my clients. Many women swear by these devices as an alternative to pain medications and I am really excited to begin using it in my practice! They are frequently used by physiotherapists for helping individuals manage musculoskeletal pain and to help encourage blood circulation. As for use in labour, they tend to be very popular in the UK, where many hospitals have them available. In North America you need to have a doula who has one or buy one of your own. The unit is controlled by the birthing woman, which is helpful in encouraging her to feel in control and like an active participant, rather than a passive ‘patient’. As many of you are, I’m sure, aware, research shows that a sense of control is the key factor in how women report feeling about their birth experiences days, weeks and even years later.
Check out this handy blogpost about how TENS works for labour: http://www.meghanprice.ca/2012/11/03/handheld-magic-elle-tens-machine/
I had gone through both of my labours without an epidural, using the OBi-Tens unit. I strongly recommend it to any woman who is considering a natural labour!