Equipment Rentals

The cost of renting an OB TENS machine is $ 110 for 30 days.  $15 per each additional week.  There is a $50 damage deposit which is refundable once the machine is returned.   The price includes the OB TENS machine being shipped directly to your home priority post and a prepaid self addressed priority post envelope to return the unit after you have given birth.


What is a TENS machine?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a professionally researched, tried and tested method of pain management in childbirth and chronic pain. It has been used in European hospitals and clinics since the 1960’s, providing electrical stimulation for pain control.

The OB TENS unit is an advanced, small, battery powered device, which sends a pulsed electrical stimulus via pads to the skin. In Europe it is common for women to rent the OB TENS machine from the local chemist (pharmacy) approximately 3 weeks prior to their due date as women are technically term from 37 weeks on.

In Canada there are only a few businesses that rent the units privately.

Why use a maternity TENS machine?

There are many reason why we use TENS machines during pregnancy, such as:

- No harm to baby
- Drug free pain control
- Instant long lasting pain relief
- No side effects or drowsiness
- Fully controllable with boost button
- Used at home when contractions start
- Can be used with other methods/drugs
- Safe and easy to use at home or in the hospital
- Proven up to 90% effective for reducing labour pain
- Non invasive giving freedom to move and walk about

HOW does TENS work?

As the TENS machine is providing the electrical impulses, the body releases endorphins (Natural Pain Killers).

These endorphins block out pain messages to the brain, which in turn provides an alternative focus thus providing a sense of control over contraction pain.

- It releases endorphins (natural pain killers)

- Uses the gate control pain theory (blocks out pain messages to the brain)

- It gives an alternative focus and provides a sense of control over contraction pain

WHAT does TENS feel like?

- A pleasant tingling sensation on the skin where the pads are placed, the intensity is fully adjustable by the user.

What is the difference between an ordinary TENS machine and an Obstetrical TENS machine?

The ordinary TENS machines such as the Dr. Ho TENS Units will be less effective as the maternity TENS uses larger pads to transmit the electrical stimulus. They also are programmed with specifically designed programs to accommodate the variable timing of contractions. The variable programs and the ability to “boost” allows for an increase in pain relief during contractions, these however, do not exist on the standard (Dr. Ho) TENS units.

Is the OB TENS machine safe?

Yes, the OB TENS machine is specifically designed for labour. It has been professionally researched, tried and tested in Europe since the 1960’s.

The OB TENS MACHINE is safe to use with other pain medications such as nitrous oxide, morphine/gravol and fentanyl. You do not want to not use over broken or desensitized skin. It is not safe to use in water or if you have a pacemaker.

Please discuss use with your Doctor or Midwife if you have epilepsy or want to use the OB TENS prior to 37 weeks.

WHEN do I start using the TENS machine?

The use of the OB TENS during early labour releases endorphins in a timely matter throughout labour. It is recommended to start using the OB Tens machine at the onset of contractions (home or hospital).

How long should the OB TENS be used?

The OB Tens machine should be used for a minimum of 60 minutes and can be used as long as desired during labour.

In conclusion, the OB TENS machine is a great natural way of coping with labour pain.  It is complimentary with medical pain relief options as well.

I continue to be amazed by the successful results labouring women have with the OB TENS machine. It is not uncommon for women to come into the hospital when they feel it is time, to be surprised that they are 7-8 cms dilated.

As a RN, I would love to be able to send patient’s home that are in early labour with an OB TENS as an option for pain relief. My hope is that the OB TENS machine will become mainstream for use in labour here in Canada.