You and your partner are sitting at the table having dinner. All of a sudden she exclaims “What’s that?”, you answer “What?”, she replies “That trickling of water down my leg?”
Her waters have just broken and after 20 minutes her contractions begin. Both of you are excited, nervous and curious of how this labour/childbirth experience is going to pan out.
You notice that your wife goes into organisation mode, getting out the yoga ball, CD player and calming CD, ensuring her water and sweets are at hand and that the TENS machine and electrodes are on the table. She suddenly starts bouncing on the yoga ball, you ask her if she’s practising or having an actual contraction…she doesn’t answer, you reason that she’s gone into that inward focus thing you both heard about in the Childbirth classes.
Midst all this she hasn’t asked you to put the TENS machine electrodes on her, YET this is the crucial time when to get them in place. Once you are sure that your partner has completed the contraction, demonstrated by a relaxation from bouncing on the yoga ball and a general look of ‘I’m not in pain any more’, suggest you put the electrodes on her straight away. The sooner the TENS machine gets to work the better as it takes a little time for it to stimulate one’s own natural pain killing chemicals and the TENS machine is developed to follow the stages of your labour starting from the beginning.
It’s best that you and your partner, prior to labour, have a verbal agreement that you, the husband, are going to suggest early on to put the electrodes on her, therefore if she’s very focussed and you’re getting the feeling she doesn’t want you to interfere then you’ll know THIS was definitely pre-agreed.