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Review: BabyCare Obi TENS

A great TENS machine that's easy to use for pain relief at home and in hospital, throughout your whole labour

Posted: 21 January 2008
by Laura Lee Davies


Light, easy to hold and efficient for pain relief
Not much to fault!
Features: Pre-set modes for ease of use, intergrated booster button, large LCD screen so it's easy to read, can be used for post-natal pain relief, comes with four large pads
Price: £44.99
Contact: Babycare TENS

The concept:
All women find different forms of pain relief for labour work for them. One women will hate gas and air and another will use nothing else, or swear by their epidural, but for many women TENS is a great option because it's non-invasive and can be used at home. Indeed, it is regarded as most successful when it is used early on and kept on as contractions increase in intensity into late labour.
For more about how TENS works, check out our guide to using TENS.
Some outlets like maternity clinics (or maternity wards in hospitals) have TENS machines to rent out or loan, though bear in mind that in our experience, these aren't quite as powerful/effective as one that is bought, once it's been used a quite a few times as a rental model. You can buy new pads to go with a TENS machine quite easily, if you decide to buy one, and from experience, I know my one was used by many relieved friends and was still pretty powerful!
The Obi TENS from BabyCare is a light and easy to use new model that is ergonomic to hold – important when it lives with you through the hardest hours of labour – and our mum-on-the-verge of giving birth gave it a sturdy test. (She'd be writing this for us now, but she's busy looking after her new baby - her third born with the aid of TENS pain relief, so she has quite a bit of experience to compare this machine with!)

In action:
Most TENS machines are compact, but the Obi TENS is much lighter and slender so it's easy to clip onto what you are wearing – which is really useful because you might have to go through early contraction stages for several hours and will still be at home, probably, trying to take your mind off it what is to come.
You push buttons allowing a gentle pulse to send a signal through sticky pads (not so sticky that they irritate the skin, though) on to key areas of the back to distract the brain from the pain signals it's receiving during contractions. As you feel more pain you can crank up the signal and even when you need it to be very intense it is completely safe (for you and your baby).
The Obi TENS is easy to use in every way. Some are more fiddly to fit batteries into – with this one it's a doddle, plus they last even a fairly lengthy labour.
It can be used with other forms of relief too, like entonox (gas and air) or acupuncture, though not in a birth pool, for obvious reasons.

The ThinkBaby verdict

A nifty, easy and discreet little source of pain relief you can control yourself
Usefulness: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Value: 4/5

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But does it work?

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 15:46

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