Tens Unit for Lactation?

Aug 12, 2019 | clog, increase breastmilk, tens unit | 11 comments

Tens Unit for Lactation?

First, I have to thank the moms who posted this information on Facebook and let me share it. If you have seen my posts recommending a Tens Unit I am sure you have a lot of questions and I will do my best to answer them. The blog explaining it all is finally here!

What is a Tens Unit?

A Tens Unit is a small device that is used to stimulate nerves and muscles by producing small electrical currents to damaged areas of the body. Most often used by physical therapists for pain relief, promote healing and muscle strength. Who can use it? I recommend the tens unit for moms struggling with low supply, slow letdowns, clogs and moms wanting to re-lactate to produce breastmilk. Moms who shouldn’t use a tens unit are those with pacemakers or internal electrical devices.

How do you use a Tens Unit?

Typically a Tens Unit has 4 sticky pads and you stick a negative and a positive roughly 1″ away from either side of your nipples. Never place them on your nipples or over your heart. Use the settings you feel comfortable with. My suggestion is that if you have a clog or are getting ready to pump then use the higher settings you are comfortable with. Lower settings can be used for increasing your supply with continual use. What’s a great option about the Tens Unit is that you can leave it on for several hours, with or without using your breast pump; it is noiseless, motionless and discreet. It is so small you can keep it in your pocket and no one would be able to see it. If you intend to use it several times a day you can leave the sticky pads on so you are not constantly having to re-apply.

What does it do?

The Tens Unit provides stimulation much like a baby would. The electrical currents stimulate the nerves in your breasts and contract the milk ducks and stimulate the release of prolactin, the hormone responsible for your milk production. With continual use, you will stimulate and grow new milk tissue that will assist in producing milk. If you haven’t already done so you should get your hands on a Tens Unit.
For more information on how to find your ideal size flange for your pump, please reach me via my website, Let’s work together and SAVE THE MILK!

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  1. Newton Laureen

    Using an electric pump with a double kit is best. This takes milk from both breasts at once. Not only does it save you time, but pumping both breasts at once results in higher prolactin levels, more let-downs and milk with a higher energy content than pumping one breast at a time. Double electric pumps can be hired from many local Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) groups. Make sure that your pump is working well and is suited to long-term use. Some of the smaller pumps, like those that take batteries or that only allow you to pump one breast at a time, are not designed for constant use and may lose their suction with time and just not work properly.

    • Sheryl

      I love you blog! You are doing amazing work ❤️! Tens helps me a lot with my milk supply, but I would recommend giving Domperidone (Motilium) a try.. It is different. I am on Dom since my baby was 2 months old. It is easy to take and increases milk. So happy 😊 I found in Google “Getdom2bf” and got Dom. No side effects. I take 9 x 10mg tablets every 24 hours (ie. 3 tablets 3 times a day) and that keeps everything going nicely. Tens + Dom = great combination to my supply! Good luck to all!

      • Crystal Nelson

        Domperidone is illigal in the USA. It is not FDA approved for increasing breast milk supply and studies show that domperidone is linked to cardiac arrest in mothers.

        • Elizabeth

          Crystal, can you cite the studies finding cardiac arrest in breastfeeding mothers? It was my understanding dom was removed from FDA market approval in the US (NOT the same as being illegal, btw) because some older individuals had problems, not breastfeeding mothers. It was and is a controversial decision given its safe use with other populations.

        • Valerie

          You have to weigh the pros and cons. It doesn’t increase cardiac issues in women that don’t already have them. It is legal and easily attainable overseas.

          The FDA is not the only reputable regulatory body.

  2. LaToshia Thompson

    I’m a new mom at 40 yrs old…..I had complications with my pregnancy and when my daughter was born I was not able to see her until few days after by that time she was already taking donor milk from a bottle which caused my baby nipple confusion to the point she just refused my breast… So I’ve been exclusively pumping from birth until now. My daughter is 7 months old and now my milk has basically be depleted and since my cycle had come back full force it’s worse… I’m trying to relactate for my baby girl I’m ordering the tens unit for stimulation I’m taking herbal supplements and lactation cookies… How soon will I notice a change? How do I place the pads do they need to be in a circular pattern? When I wear them should I put on milk collectors too or pump after???

    • Crystal Nelson

      Hi LaToshia. There are 4 pads for the tens unit. I place one pad on either side of the breast but never on the nipple. Place the pads only on the breast tissue not on the chest wall. Other blogs say to continuously use the tens unit for 6 weeks if relactating. As you are using it with supplements and cookies you would likely have faster results on an increase. I would wear milk collectors.

      • LaToshia Thompson

        Thank you I wasn’t sure if I needed to be pumping at the same time or after our during the wearing of them units…I do have milk collectors though so that’s no issue… My unit came today I’m eager to get started. Should I do the every two hours like I’m starting to breastfeed all over again?


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