Thank you to Gemma and Pete for sharing the birth of their second baby using water and TENS. Following a more complicated birth this time round Gemma and Pete felt they wanted to attend antenatal classes to prepare properly. They particularly wanted to remove any fear that stood in their way of enjoying the birth of their little boy. Through additional knowledge they were able to plan and prepare together. Gemma decided to use TENS and Water to help her achieve her natural water birth. Here is her story…
Just wanted to let you know that Pete and myself welcomed baby Ethan into the world at 1.56am on Thursday 16th August. My daughter Katie is completely besotted with her new brother.
After my first labour with my daughter 3 years ago I really believed that my body didn’t have a clue what it was doing. My waters broke at 38+5 and I was induced at 39+2. During that time I didn’t sleep properly as was in hospital and so was completely knackered before induction began. I wanted to do the talking babies course not only to meet more mummy friends but also to better prepare myself and have a more positive frame of mind going into labour.
With this pregnancy going overdue I had a sweep at 41+1 and my induction was booked. I took my daughter to the cinema for the first time on Wednesday afternoon and on the way home at 5pm was feeling twinges but thought it was just more Braxton Hicks. Reading my daughter her bedtime story at 8pm I realised I was still getting twinges and that they were now more frequent and also happening when in different positions and moving about.
I decided to get an early night and on laying down at 9pm the pain was different and now very much in my back as well as in the front. I called the birth centre at 10pm as contractions were around every 5 minutes and they told me to hold on a bit longer. By 12 o’clock I was in agony and the TENS machine was no longer helping the intensity with contractions every 3 minutes. I rang and was told to come in ASAP. We had to wait for my in laws to pick up my daughter. This took 40 minutes and by the time they got here I was telling Pete that we needed to just leave Katie at home on her own!! (Which, of course, we didn’t!)
We got to the birth centre at 1am and I was examined and was 6cm. They asked me if I wanted to go in the water which I did. I told them I felt like I needed to push and they said I needed to trust my body. My body did know what it was doing after all and Ethan was born in the water at 1.56am. It was such a different experience to before and I was so glad to the classes for preparing me with what to expect.
Ethan’s waters had meconium in them so we had to stay in for observation till 2pm but came home after all was seen to be fine.
Thanks once again
Gemma and Pete’
Talking Babies Takes A Closer Look
‘the TENS machine was no longer helping the intensity with contractions every 3 minutes’
A TENS machine is a small machine that is battery operated. This machine is attached to pads called the electrodes. These pads need to be stuck to the woman’s back in a certain place. I always cover this in class, or you can ask your Midwife for guidance here. When the machine is turned on impulses of small electrical currents pass through. These impulses prevent pain ‘messages’ going to your spinal cord and brain.
In class I always recommend a Transcutaneous Electro Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine. I have seen so many women get on with them in labour and it is one method of more natural pain relief that is adaptable in different birthing environments, for example at home or in hospital. This is because TENS machines do not interfere with the machines used on maternity. Therefore, if monitoring is recommended in your labour you can still use a TENS machine.
The only place you CANNOT use a TENS machine is in water! …It would be far too effective!
However, the TENS machine is not loved by everyone however, it is a fantastic tool to have for when you are at home or if you have a more complicated labour. You may find you want to use it only at home or you may love it for your whole labour. Lots of women, Like Gemma, find that they get to a certain point in labour and no longer want to use it. I have looked after women who have used only a TENS machine in labour and they will use nothing else next time. The great thing is that you are in control.
They cost around £50 to buy here is one I particularly like, because it is simple to use and designed for the purpose of labour, plus Amazon have it on sale, £17.56 off! (at the time of writing this). Click here. Alternatively, you can hire them for around £35.
I hope the TENS helps you like it helped Gemma.