Written by Laura Ham

Simulating Labour: Gender Warfare with Lehmo and GoldFM

I wouldn’t say it’s usual to receive a call from one’s boss on a Tuesday night, requesting assistance to simulate childbirth on morning radio.

Whilst not part of the usual job description of a physio, I was ‘fairly’ easily convinced into giving it a crack and so ended up at GOLD FM headquarters in Richmond at 7am the next morning.

Having never been to a radio station before, I had no idea what to expect from the whole thing.

Walking in to the room was like entering a hub of activity – everything seemed to be moving at double speed, with people everywhere talking and planning. There were microphones everywhere!

Turning to look at the corner of the room yielded an interesting sight… a physio bed with Lehmo reclined, wearing rather ill fitted green scrubs.

At the suggestion of a listener, Brig + Lehmo had decided to try to simulate the contractions of childbirth via use of a TENS machine on Lehmo. Basically the TENS machine has two settings – for muscular contraction (this can be quite painful) or for inhibition of pain signals.

Clearly, we were planning to use the former in this circumstance.

We attached the TENS pads to Lehmo’s abdominal region and ramped up the intensity of the machine so that a muscular contraction was clearly evident through Lehmo’s abs – trembling with activity in fact.

The electrical conduction comes through in waves, so it will be more or less intense over certain times in the minute – kind of like labour contractions (sort of).

I actually remember using the TENS machines during Uni prac classes and eliciting some great involuntary sit-ups!

Lehmo screamed and made a fuss, and did a great job of convincing everyone that he could have indeed been in labour, if it were possible.

Whilst we don’t actually use TENs machines very often in our everyday practise, they certainly provided their entertainment for the day.


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