In this article, I’m going to be talking about how to use nipple stimulation to induce labor naturally.
Being over due to have your baby can be a stressful time of your pregnancy. Every mom has the expectation that when they were told they would have their baby they will. So many months of anticipation and preparation add a sense of urgency to that due date, when labor does not begin by the due date and still does not happen after the due date it can be very disappointing and a little concerning.
Over due babies are sometimes not really over due at all! Sometimes baby is just not ready yet and in those cases you may be fighting against your body to induce labor. Twenty years ago it would be much more likely that the dates were just off and a woman that was over due was actually just due.
Science has made progress by leaps and bounds in detecting exactly how far along a woman is in her pregnancy, so the dates are a bit more accurate today then they were even a decade ago. Typically your due date is pretty accurate but there is always room for human error, so before you decide it is time to deliver make sure your medical professionals are on board with that idea, not only by date but by size as well!
There are quite a few tricks you can try to naturally induce labor. A lot of the recommendations from well meaning relatives and friends can be dangerous and should be avoided. Never ingest anything or cause physical strain to try to induce labor, it is not worth the risk.
People mean well when they share their “this is what I did story”, and in many cases some of the things that they have used may have helped them, but many times people share what they have heard other people do and not have tried it themselves.
Just be weary.
If you find yourself going past your due date you may be able to move things along by simple nipple stimulation. This is a non invasive option for bringing on labor naturally. Nipple stimulation to induce labor usually works within 72 hours if it is going to work.
Does Nipple Stimulation To Induce Labor Really Work?
Of course does it work is the big question! First before we get into whether it works or not, you should know that it does not cause any side effects so that is an added bonus of trying nipple stimulation to induce labor.
Here are the facts:
37% of women surveyed that attempted nipple stimulation reported that they in fact did begin to labor within 72 hours! 6% of the women that participated in the study went into labor within 72 hours without nipple stimulation
Those are pretty good odds when you take into account that the study was only looking at the immediate 72 hours after the stimulation began. No one is accounting for the 73rd or 74th or 75th hour after stimulation began and I bet if nipple stimulation induces labor for you after 74 hours you will be happy to have it!
This is likely one of the best ways to induce labor naturally. It is simple. It is something you can do at home and you do not have to buy anything to do it!
Why It Works?
Nipple stimulation works by tricking the body into thinking that you are nursing your baby. The body releases oxytocin when the nipples are stimulated which is a labor hormone.
Oxytocin will help your uterine contractions along. Oxytocin also contributes to the manufacture of breast milk. If you are going to be a breast feeding mom then you should be gently stimulating your nipples to toughen them up a bit too get ready for baby.
Oxytocin when released by your brain also conveys a feeling of wellness and works to reduce pain as well. It is an all around win win situation. It is not invasive, without side effects and serves several purposes.
Nipple stimulation is simple! You will have to devote about an hour a day to get things rolling along nicely. You do not actually stimulate only the nipple, you stimulate the entire Areola.
When a nursing baby latches on they take the entire area of the nipple and the areola into their mouth, this is why you will stimulate the entire area around the nipple.
Nipple stimulation to induce labor requires that you take the palm of your hand and press firmly on the breast covering the areola and moving your hand in a gentle circular motion. You do not have to press down hard but you should be firm.
It maybe a little uncomfortable is your breasts are tender but the discomfort will pass quickly. You should massage each breast for 15 minute intervals until an hour has elapsed. You will get a feeling of fullness in the breast and feel the milk coming in.
You will have to repeat this action everyday to get the most benefit. Even if you do not go into labor immediately you can practice this exercise in preparation for breast feeding. It will help stimulate milk flow and get your body used to nursing.
Nipple stimulation is well worth the effort, especially since it is beneficial in other ways as well.
If you have experienced a high risk pregnancy that included:
High Blood pressure
Pre Term Labor
Or any other complication of your pregnancy then you should not take ANY measures to induce labor, it may be harmful to both you and your baby.
It can be hard to wait and it can be frustrating but if you have experienced a high risk pregnancy or had any problems with your pregnancy then you and your baby will be best served by waiting for the go ahead from your doctor or midwife.
Safety should always be the first concern when you are pregnant, even when using something safe like nipple stimulation to induce labor.