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How To Stimulate Nipples To Induce Labor Quickly In 8 Simple Ways

How To Stimulate Nipples To Induce Labor

Nipple stimulation to induce labor for low-risk pregnant women is considered a safe method of labor induction that can be done if you are looking for natural ways to induce labor at home or outside medical inductions. 

Breast stimulation can be done by using a breast pump, your hands, or having a partner or nursing baby suck on your nipples to start the labor process.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to stimulate nipples to induce labor and how to get uterine contractions started with the hormone oxytocin. We’ll also be answering the question: Can nipple stimulation begin labor?

What is nipple stimulation during pregnancy?

First, using your breasts or nipples to stimulate uterine contractions will only work in full-term pregnancies. Trying nipple stimulation to induce labor before at least 37 weeks is not recommended. Doing so beforehand can cause issues such as fetal distress, pain in the breasts and nipples, injury to the breast tissue, and other issues.

Inducing labor through nipple stimulation is considered one of the safest ways to jump-start the labor process, as long as you have been given the okay by your doctor and are considered full-term.

Oxytocin

Oxytocin plays a large role in uterine and nipple stimulation to induce labor. Inducing labor doesn’t just happen because you want it to. The right combination of hormones must be released for labor induction.

The hormone oxytocin is also known as the love hormone. The pituitary gland in your brain releases oxytocin when you feel good when you get a hug from someone you love, when you are in love, or when you bond with your little one.

Nipple stimulation can release oxytocin, leading to cervical ripening, and induce contractions.

Pitocin

The synthetic form of oxytocin is called Pitocin. It is the drug most commonly administered when you have a medical induction. 

Medical induction methods are often scheduled when there are issues in high-risk pregnancies or when pregnant women are close to or past their due dates.

To avoid medical labor induction methods, women with low-risk pregnancies are often desperate to jump-start labor on their own to avoid the prolonged uterine contractions associated with the synthetic version of oxytocin.

Does nipple stimulation work?

Low-risk pregnant women often try nipple stimulation because it’s considered fairly safe. However, there is very little scientific data to conclude that it works. 

While there has been at least one study with a nipple stimulation group, a uterine stimulation group, and a group that did no stimulation of any kind, there were no conclusive findings.

However, many doctors feel comfortable with the science that nipple stimulation can stimulate uterine contractions if the oxytocin levels are high enough. 

While they only recommend this to women who have low-risk pregnancies, many women have sworn by this practice to induce labor and labor augmentation.

Is nipple stimulation safe?

Nipple stimulation is considered safe for most women to attempt to induce labor. It is low risk for most women and can encourage labor if you are lucky. 

Some studies have found that nipple stimulation may decrease the chances of postpartum hemorrhage following vaginal delivery.

While it has its benefits and may even result in the spontaneous onset of labor, there is still a low risk of distress to the baby that can occur when contractions begin but are not steady and are instead prolonged.

Always speak with your doctor before you induce labor or try for spontaneous onset of labor. You should always be aware of any risk factors.

How To Stimulate Nipples To Induce Labor

How to stimulate nipples to induce labor

Suppose your healthcare provider has given you the green light to induce active labor via natural ways, and you are having a healthy pregnancy and not at risk of pre-term labor. In that case, there are a few ways to perform nipple stimulation to induce labor.

The following are the most common ways that breast stimulation can be performed to induce labor.

1. Stimulate nipples manually

Breast stimulation done with your hands or the hands of your partner are sometimes the easiest method of nipple stimulation. It is similar to hand expression if you are a pregnant person who has breastfed or lactated before.

Start by putting your fingers (thumb and index or middle finger) around your areola (the darker skin of your breast). Then push in slightly, and pull out. Squeeze lightly, but not enough for it to hurt.

Doing this repeatedly can provide enough nipple stimulation for some women to go into labor.

2. Use a breast pump

If your insurance company gave you a breast pump in anticipation of the birth of your new baby, or if you have one from a previous pregnancy, using it to achieve nipple stimulation to induce labor is easy.

Your breasts may produce some colostrum, which can be stored and frozen for your newborn to ingest.

Simply attach the clean breast shields to your breasts, and use the pump as you would regularly. Just be sure that you don’t turn the suction up too high. You don’t want a painful experience. 

You’re looking for a “feel good” sensation so that the oxytocin release occurs.

3. Orally stimulate labor with your partner

Nipple stimulation to start labor during foreplay is another option that can be combined with another of the safest and most natural ways to induce labor: sexual intercourse.

Initiating labor doesn’t have to be boring. 

If you and your partner are willing, you can begin nipple stimulation as a precursor to sexual intercourse. Both of these acts can help to achieve natural induction in an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Your partner can use their hands or mouth to stimulate uterine contractions by manually or orally stimulating your nipples. Just be sure to communicate, and if there is any pain or you are uncomfortable at any point, say it and make sure that contact stops.

4. Nurse your baby

If you are still feeding an older child breast milk through nursing, latching the child onto your breast can cause nipple stimulation that can lead to labor.

While it isn’t evidence-based, nursing also creates a close bond with your child, which releases that hormone that starts labor. 

Potentially, you’re not only feeding your child but also bonding, as well as causing natural induction.

How long after nipple stimulation do you go into labor?

Unfortunately, there’s no real answer for the perfect amount of time to stimulate your nipples or how long it should take for you to go into labor. 

Just like other natural methods, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

However, healthcare providers recommend that you stimulate for four minutes at a time, followed by four minutes of rest, for a total of half an hour. Others recommend that you never exceed fifteen minutes of nipple stimulation and always rest between sessions.

You can stimulate one breast or both, but you should take a break for at least an hour if contractions do not start within two hours of the time you begin nipple stimulation.

How To Stimulate Nipples To Induce Labor

Many other natural methods

Nipple stimulation is just one way to try to induce labor. Not only can nipple stimulation induce labor, but there are many other ways you can try to induce labor. 

Ensure that you are full-term and that your healthcare provider has given you the okay. It also works best if you are at least in the beginning stages of labor to the point that your baby’s head has descended into the birth canal.

1. Eating spicy foods

Spicy food is said to induce labor and clean out your bowels. Some say that these two things go hand in hand. 

If you like spicy foods anyway, try this. Just be careful. Some women with heartburn have reported many issues with indigestion and no signs of labor.

2. Walking

This method lets gravity do the work. 

Walking and moving around are said to help baby work their way down further into the birth canal. Not only is it somewhat effective, but it’s also good for you to get out and move around. 

Just make sure that you stay hydrated!

3. Eating pineapple

An enzyme in pineapple is said to aid in the softening of the cervix. While you would have to eat several whole pineapples to see results, many women still swear by it. 

If you like pineapple and have access to it, it can’t hurt to try it.

4. Bouncing

This doesn’t mean you should hop on your neighbor’s trampoline. Instead, opt for a birthing ball or yoga ball. 

Rolling your hips or bouncing lightly on a yoga ball can help your baby descend to where they need to be for active labor to start in earnest.

Just ensure that you are in a safe space and not near any hard surfaces or sharp corners that can injure you. Don’t bounce too hard or too high, and ensure that the ball you use can support your weight. 

For safety, you may need to get a new yoga ball if you are well above your pre-pregnancy size.

Nipple stimulation

Stimulating nipples to induce labor has been tried and recommended for a long time. You can use your hands, your baby’s mouth, your pump, or your partner to help you start labor this way.

Hopefully, this article has given you the steps necessary to try this natural induction method safely and confidently so that you can meet your little one as soon as possible. Just be sure to get your doctor’s stamp of approval before trying anything on your own.

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