How To Use A Breast Pump For Inducing Labor


Many midwives throughout the years have used nipple stimulation for induction of labor. In this technique, the nipples are rubbed cyclically on term or when your cervix is dilated and labor is starting. It’s considered a natural way of inducing labor.

This is a bit different from how labor is typically induced at the hospital. There, patients are admitted to have their membranes ruptured and to receive intravenous injections of prostaglandins and oxytocin.

How Does It Work?

Breast pumps mimic a baby’s natural suckling reflex. They stimulate the nipples, causing a surge in oxytocin. This hormone stimulates the uterine muscles to rhythmically contract and relax, causing your birth canal to widen up for the passage of your baby.

When to Induce Labor Using Breast Pumps

This technique works best for women who have an already dilated cervix. Because of that, you should wait when you are perfectly ready to deliver. If you perform it too early, you might end up with premature delivery.

Also, make sure to perform it under the guidance of someone who green lights you as a viable candidate for labor. Talk to your doctor to know if you’re fit for normal spontaneous delivery or a C-section.

After knowing if you are a viable candidate for normal delivery, you’ll need to place a warm towel on your breasts. Uncover one and place a breast pump over. Allow it to work for 15 minutes maximum. After, cover the breast and do the exact same thing on the other one.

Remember to keep the other breasts covered with a warm towel. This will ensure maximum relaxation of your mammary glands and muscles, allowing more release of oxytocin.

Repeat this in a cyclical fashion for no more than 5 times. If you’ve tried it for five times and you’re still not experiencing labor, wait instead of trying it again and again.

Concerns Regarding the Use of Breast Pump for Inducing Labor

Medical researchers have been trying to find out if using breast pumps for inducing labor is safe. With that, it is very important to have a specialist check you before you start pumping yourself.

Another thing you have to consider before giving the method a try is its ability to trigger the release of colostrum. It’s the first fluid that comes out of your breast which contains natural antibodies and minerals essential to the growth and protection of your child.

This is one of the most common reasons why many mothers refuse to use this technique for labor induction.

With that, you have to carefully weigh your options between natural and artificial techniques for labor stimulation and choose how you want to give birth.

Now, if you worry about breast pumps causing pain, there’s really no need to feel that way. They are not painful unless you have mastitis or infection of the mammary glands.

Further Reading on Best Breast Pumps