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Cat tested the Obi TENS Plus at home, ahead of expecting her first baby.
How did you use the Obi TENS Plus?
I had a home birth and used the Obi TENS Plus through the whole labour. The only other pain relief I had was two paracetamol. However, I was lucky to have a very short labour and had I been in hospital, I would definitely have asked for additional pain relief.
How does it work?
TENS machines work by releasing electric impulses through pads attached to your back to help reduce the pain of contractions.
The Obi TENS Plus reduces pain during labour, but obviously doesn’t get rid of it altogether.
I found knowing that I could press a button to lessen the pain helped me psychologically to cope better with it.
The benefit of the machine may be as much in the mind as in the body – but every little helps!
Is the Obi TENS Plus easy to use?
This machine is really simple to use, which is vital during labour, as I found the pain of the contractions meant too much thought wasn’t possible.
My husband hadn’t looked at the machine before I went into labour, and yet he was able to figure out how to assemble it and attach it to me fairly quickly despite the stress of the situation.
It’s tricky to place the pads on your own back, so you do need someone else to do that for you.
What else does it do?
The Obi TENS Plus is great because it also times the gaps between contractions. This is useful during early labour and can give you a guide as to when you should go to hospital, if that’s where you plan to deliver.
Having something to focus the mind on, other than the pain, is also a useful way of coping, and I found myself riveted by the numbers on the display when my breathing techniques went out of the window!
It would be handy if it timed the length of contractions, too.
Who would you recommend it for?
If you are keen to use minimal drugs during labour, or are planning a home birth, I’d recommend this TENS machine.
You shouldn’t expect it to magic all of the pain away, but it is a useful way of distracting yourself from the different sensations.
Is it value for money?
The Obi TENS Plus is affordable and priced very similarly to other maternity-specific TENS machines like TensCare MamaTENS Digital (£59.99 on Amazon). It can also be used to relieve pains such as period pain and post-Caesarean aches, so you may get future use out of it.
The sticky pads can be used several times (by the same person) and you can also buy replacements.
Do you need to buy anything else?
Everything you need to use the Obi TENS Plus is provided in the box, including batteries. You can buy extra pads if someone else wanted to use it.
What does the Obi TENS Plus look like?
The Obi is smaller than a smart phone, neat and discreet and has a cord so you can hang it around your neck, which is useful if you’re still mobile during the early stages of labour.
Where can I buy the Obi TENS Plus?
If you’re keen to use minimal drugs during labour, then the Obi TENS Plus is definitely worth getting. It’s not expensive, so if it doesn’t work for you, then you haven’t lost much. And when you’re in labour, you’ll be grateful for anything that helps with the pain, even if it just distracts you from it.