Sunday, October 14, 2012

How to take gas and air in labor - how to use TENS during labor

Gas and air for labor: This is a mixture of oxygen and another gas called nitrous oxide. ‘Gas and air’ will not remove all the pain, but it can help to reduce it and make it easier to bear. Many women like it because it’s easy to use and you control it yourself.
How to take gas and air in labor    
You breathe it in through a mask or mouthpiece which you hold yourself. You will probably have a chance to practice using the mask or mouthpiece if you attend an antenatal class.
The gas takes 15–20 seconds to work, so you breathe it in just as a contraction begins. It works best if you take slow, deep breaths.
Side effects of gas and air in labor  
There are no harmful side effects for you or the baby, but it can make you feel lightheaded. Some women also find that it makes them feel sick or sleepy or unable to concentrate on what is happening. If this happens, you can simply stop using it.
Using TENS in labor
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Some hospitals have TENs machines. If not, you can hire your own machine.
TENS has not been shown to be effective during the active phase of labor. It is probably most effective during the early stages, when many women experience lower-back pain.
TENS may be useful if you plan to give birth at home or while you are at home in the early stages of labor. If you are interested in TENS, you should learn how to use it in the later months of your pregnancy. Ask your midwife or physiotherapist.
How to use TENS in labor      
Electrodes are taped onto your back and connected by wires to a small, battery-powered stimulator known as an ‘obstetric pulsar’. Holding the pulsar, you give yourself small, safe amounts of current. You can move around while using it.
It is believed that TENS works by stimulating your body to produce more endorphins, which are the body’s own natural painkillers.
It also reduces the number of pain signals that are sent to the brain by the spinal cord.
Side effects of TENS   
There are no known side effects for either you or the baby.

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