Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) has been used to treat surgical and chronic pain. For labor, the placement of electrodes will be on the lower back or suprapubic area, through which a low current is passed results in a non-painful sensation at the electrodes. This current is thought to prevent pain impulse transmission to the brain and may stimulate endorphin production.

It is important to realize that the maternal satisfaction and relaxation obtained by the above techniques is not necessarily related to the degree of analgesia obtained. These techniques have no or minimal adverse effects and should be encouraged for all women, especially those with uncomplicated labors (Eappen and Robbins 2002).

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