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Frequently Asked Questions

 How does TENS work?

TENS units supply gentle, electrical impulses through your skin via four self-adhesive electrode pads positioned on your back.

These gentle impulses attack pain in two ways:
1. by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s own pain-relieving hormones
2. by stimulating the nerves to block the slower-moving pain messages coming from your cervix and womb before they reach your brain.

What does TENS feel like?

TENS feels like a pleasant tingling sensation on the skin where the electrode pads are placed.

How is a labour TENS used?

Self adhesive electrodes are placed on the lower and mid back. You switch on the TENS and turn it up until you feel the tingling. You can increase the intensity to ride out each contraction. The unit can be worn as needed for as long as needed. Labour TENS is best used at home when the contractions begin and continued for up to several hours after birth. Labour TENS will help with uterine contractions after birth and whilst breast feeding.


When do I start using the Labour TENS?

The earlier the TENS is used, the better. This gives your body time to build up natural endorphins. Labour TENS is used in the first stage of labour when the contractions begin and start to become painful. 


How long should Labour TENS be used for?

The unit can be worn as needed for as long as desired.


Is TENS safe?

Yes, very safe. Labour TENS units are specifically designed for labour. However there are a few precautions. Do not use over broken or desensitised skin. Do not use before 36 weeks unless approved by your doctor. Do not use in water. Seek advice from doctor if you have unstable epilepsy or a pacemaker.


I would like a water birth – can I use a Labour TENS?

Yes, although NOT whilst in the water. You need to REMOVE the TENS BEFORE you enter the water. While you are in the water your Birthing Partner can be responsible for preparing the TENS unit so it can go straight back on when you come out of the water.


Can I take the TENS into hospital with me?

Yes. The midwives and doctors are usually very happy for women to use TENS. Check with your midwife or doctor if you are unsure. You may need to turn the TENS off temporarily if using electronic monitoring equipment.


What type of TENS unit should I use?

Make sure you use a TENS unit specifically designed for labour. Also make sure the unit is modern and comes with brand new electrodes which you can put on and take off again. The unit should also come with batteries and instructions. NeuroTrac Labour TENS and BabyCare Elle TENS units hired from NatalCare Naturally offer modern, reliable TENS units with all these important features. Features and benefits include:

Easy to use push button control
Our TENS units have a hand held control to change the stimulation mode from LOW frequency bursts to HIGH frequency stimulation. The low frequency is used during rest periods (between contractions). As soon as a labour contraction is felt strongly you can change the mode to high frequency stimulation. Once the contraction has subsided you can change the mode back to low frequency.
Easy to follow instructions
Enclosed with your TENS unit you will find a small booklet with instructions on how to use your TENS unit. The diagrams are clear and simple to follow. It is recommended however that you make an appointment to see the physiotherapist at your local hospital for further instructions. 
Small and Lightweight
Our TENS units are small and light-weight. You can move around easily without feeling restricted in any way.

Where can I hire a TENS unit?

You can hire one from NatalCare Naturally! The hire fee includes FREE door-to-door courier service anywhere in New Zealand and FREE return postage. You receive the unit approximately 21 days prior to your due date (unless you require it earlier) and the unit is due back 21 days after your due date.

When should I book a TENS?

Anytime during the 2nd trimester is a good time to book your TENS (or earlier if you wish). If you have left it to the 3rd trimester or even a couple of days before your due date, then go ahead and book on-line and a unit will be  available for immediate dispatch.

Have I left it too late to book?

If a booking is made and paid for by 2.30pm on a regular working day, then we can usually dispatch a unit on the same day. Delivery to main centres usually takes 2-3 working days. This is an estimate only. Rural deliveries take at least 4 days longer. 


What if I need the TENS unit longer? or if I go over my due date?

We will simply deduct $10 per full week for each week longer you require the unit. We deduct this from your bond before returning it.

How do I track and trace my TENS?

Once we dispatch your TENS unit delivery usually takes 2-3 working days.In some cases delivery may take longer (around holiday periods). If you would like to track your parcel you can do so with the tracking number provided to you by email at If you are concerned your parcel has not arrived you can contact Toll's Customer Service number on 0800 865 547.  If you live in a rural area then your parcel will be passed onto your local rural driver and delivery will take 2-3 days longer to reach you. 

Where do I place the electrodes? 

You don't need to be absolutely exact when it comes to applying the electrodes on your back. The top two electrodes should be placed either side of your spine with the top of the electrodes in line with your bra strap. The bottom two should be placed with the bottom of the electrodes in line with the top of your where your buttocks meet. See the internet for more details diagrams.