Last update Oct. 26, 2023

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Use of low-voltage electrical impulses on the skin to cause muscle contractions for physiotherapeutic, acute and chronic pain treatment (including labour), sports training or cosmetic purposes, and to stimulate lactation, all with insufficient evidence of efficacy. (Johnson 2022, Smith 2021, Deussen 2020, de Sousa 2014, Sillen 2013, Simpson 2013, Maddocks 2013, Giggins 2012, Mello 2011, Walsh 2009, Nnoaham 2008, Olsén 2007, Proctor 2002)

This type of electrical impulses does not have to alter the production or quality of breast milk, especially if it is not applied directly to the breast.

Despite the low voltage and amperage of the electrical energy used, it is prudent not to apply it at the same time as breastfeeding so as not to expose the infant to any risk.

Do not apply on the breast during pregnancy, as it has been used, with mixed results, to induce labour. (Schrocksnadel 1990, Tal 1988)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Groups

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) belongs to these groups or families:

References

  1. Smith KL. How do I use a TENS unit to stimulate lactation? BreastNotes.com. 2021 Consulted on Oct. 27, 2021 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Johnson MI, Paley CA, Jones G, Mulvey MR, Wittkopf PG. Efficacy and safety of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for acute and chronic pain in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 381 studies (the meta-TENS study). BMJ Open. 2022 Feb 10;12(2):e051073. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Smith KL. How do I use a TENS unit to stimulate lactation? Breast Notescom. 2021 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Deussen AR, Ashwood P, Martis R, Stewart F, Grzeskowiak LE. Relief of pain due to uterine cramping/involution after birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020 Oct 20;10:CD004908. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  5. de Sousa L, Gomes-Sponholz FA, Nakano AM. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for the relief of post-partum uterine contraction pain during breast-feeding: a randomized clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2014 May;40(5):1317-23. Abstract
  6. Maddocks M, Gao W, Higginson IJ, Wilcock A. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for muscle weakness in adults with advanced disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Abstract
  7. Simpson PM, Fouche PF, Thomas RE, Bendall JC. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for relieving acute pain in the prehospital setting: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials. Eur J Emerg Med. 2013 Abstract
  8. Sillen MJ, Franssen FM, Gosker HR, Wouters EF, Spruit MA. Metabolic and structural changes in lower-limb skeletal muscle following neuromuscular electrical stimulation: a systematic review. PLoS One. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. Giggins O, Fullen B, Coughlan G. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil. 2012 Abstract
  10. Francis R. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) for labour pain. Pract Midwife. 2012 Abstract
  11. Mello LF, Nóbrega LF, Lemos A. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation for pain relief during labor: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Rev Bras Fisioter. 2011 Abstract
  12. Walsh DM, Howe TE, Johnson MI, Sluka KA. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for acute pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Abstract
  13. Nnoaham KE, Kumbang J. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for chronic pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Abstract
  14. Olsén MF, Elden H, Janson ED, Lilja H, Stener-Victorin E. A comparison of high- versus low-intensity, high-frequency transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation for painful postpartum uterine contractions. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  15. Proctor ML, Smith CA, Farquhar CM, Stones RW. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  16. Schröcksnadel H, Sachsenmaier M, Reider W. [Experiences with breast stimulation for labor induction]. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 1990 Jul;50(7):569-71. German. Abstract
  17. Tal Z, Frankel ZN, Ballas S, Olschwang D. Breast electrostimulation for the induction of labor. Obstet Gynecol. 1988 Oct;72(4):671-4. Abstract

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