Using nipple stimulation to induce labor has been practiced by women for centuries. This stimulation brings about the release of oxytocin, which is the natural form of pitocin. Oxytocin causes contractions, which can lead into true labor. It's important to note that this will only happen if your body is already close to labor. As with all natural labor induction techniques, don't attempt this until you are over 40 weeks.
It is a practice often recommended by midwives when a woman is long past due or when labor is stalled. It causes the release of oxytocin, the same hormone that causes uterine contractions. This can be done manually or with an electric breast pump.
When this is performed, the uterus sometimes becomes hyperstimulated, meaning that it gets too little rest between contractions, so use caution and consult your practitioner first.
Stop using nipple stimulation if the contractions are 3 minutes apart or lasting 1 minute or longer.
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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE
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