ActivNatal intended purpose

  • Aches and pain relief, during or after pregnancy
  • Pre-labour and early stage labour preparation
  • Obstetric TENS pain relief
  • Pain relief after C-section
  • Re-strengthening pelvic floor muscles
  • Exercise to re-strengthen the abdominal sheet muscles and help repair separation, if any

Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) listing number #174871

Modes of operation and electrode placement

  • RELIEVE       - Site of pain or same dermatome
  • LABOUR      - Either side of lumbar spine
  • EXERCISE    - Pelvic floor or abdominal muscles

A detailed specification is available here.


LABOUR mode is a strong TENS stimulus, i.e. a constant frequency at 50 Hz, with maximum output 60 volts, in 30 * 2 volt increments.

When your labour pains become intense and close together, you select LABOUR mode and ride the wave of each contraction by increasing the intensity to your desired level. You are in control.

We supply a pendant attachment so you can wear the device around your neck, move when you want to - and generally benefit from an active labour.

Electrodes are placed either side of the spine - usually at the bottom of the lumbar region but you can position them slightly higher for variation.


Pre-labour preparation with TENS

Use RELIEVE mode before you leave home for the hospital or birthing centre. It will help to release the body's natural well-being hormone beta-endorphin and help you to benefit from a relaxed birthing experience.

Electrodes can be placed on the lower back.

During pregnancy and after childbirth

ActivNatal has been designed for antenatal and post-natal use, as well as labour pain use. In one small, compact unit we have included electrotherapy functionality, to help mothers cope with some of the painful issues surrounding their pregnancy, and in that critical post-natal recovery period. The RELIEVE mode may be used as part of a pain management plan during and after pregnancy; for example:

  • Breast pain
  • Low back pain
  • Aching legs - circulation
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain

Electrodes are placed at the site of the pain or on the same local area; muscles must not twitch.

DO NOT place electrodes on your abdomen during pregnancy.

EXERCISE mode - 6 plus weeks post partum

We have included an EMS mode designed for muscle exercise e.g.:

  • Strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor (after pregnancy)
  • Rehabilitating the abdominal sheet muscles - helping to repair any separation that may have occurred during pregnancy and re-establishing muscle tone

Six to eight weeks after childbirth your doctor will probably give you the "all clear" to resume normal physical activity. This is the time you may commence rehabilitating your abdominal sheet and pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor

Place one small electrode on the perineum, i.e. the surface area between the anus and the vulva.  Place one large electrode over the sacrum, i.e. the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and above the coccyx.

Abdominal muscles

Place the electrodes above and below the centre of the abdomen OR place electrodes either side of the abdominal centre line.

ActivNatal technical specifications

  • 30 intensity settings
  • Maximum output of 60 volts
  • Bi-phasic square wave signal
  • Pulse width of 200 micro seconds
  • Modulation period less than 1 second
  • RELIEVE mode - 10 to 50 Hz, no surge
  • LABOUR mode - constant 50Hz, no surge
  • EXERCISE mode - 10 to 50 Hz, surging 6 seconds ON and 12 seconds OFF

ActivNatal therapy guidelines

Purpose ModeIntensity TimeHow often / when
Ante natal and post natal
Musculoskeletal pain relief RELIEVELow to medium Minimum 60 minutesOn demand
Muscle tension, stress RELIEVELow Several hoursOn demand
Circulation, swollen ankles RELIEVELow Minimum 60 minutesEach evening
Early labour RELIEVELow to medium Several hoursBefore you leave for hospital
Stage 1 labour to transition LABOURHigh - increase intensity with contraction Duration of contractionWith contraction
Post natal – 6 or more weeks after childbirth
Pelvic floor EXERCISE MODEStart low; gradually increase 20 to 30 minutesDaily
Abdominal Sheet EXERCISE MODEStart low; gradually increase 20 to 30 minutesDaily

ActivNatal Labour TENS and EMS
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  • Many women find the pain relief offered by labour TENS beneficial and satisfactory
  • They draw comfort from the thought that they are reducing, or potentially reducing, their intake of analgesic drugs
  • However, there is a limited number of published clinical trials researching TENS use for labour

"We never made it to hospital and my husband safely delivered our baby girl on our bed!  I am so thankful that I had an ActivLife Tens Machine providing pain relief from powerful contractions. The ability to adjust levels on the machine helped to keep me calm and feel in control. I don't quite know how I would have got through without the Tens Machine. Thank you so much" .....Rebecca Stewart, April 2016