Breast pump to induce labor
Did you know that nipple stimulation works effectively when you are trying to induce labor? In fact, this is an ancient technique that has been used for centuries, when midwives realized that nipple stimulation could excite the pregnant woman’s uterus thus contractions would often start occurring almost immediately.
Stimulating your nipples with a breast pump in order to induce labor is a natural way of inducing your labor, if that is what you would like to do, as it is very different to how it’s usually done at the hospital.
As a matter of fact, women are usually having to deal with a rupture of their membranes and this procedure can be considered as extremely painful, disrespectful and even intrusive. They also have customary intravenous injections where nurses administer drugs – such as oxytocin – that are trying to emulate what real hormones do.
However, always keep in mind that this should only be done if it has been previously approved by your doctor or midwife and if you are more than 39 weeks’ pregnant. In fact, this technique will work better if your cervix is already dilated and labor is about to start.
If this is not your case, then you can still try to stimulate your nipples through the use of a breast pump, but be very careful with not over-doing it, and always, always ask your doctor about it and obtaining an OK from them before doing any sort of labor induction – as natural as it could be.
Nipple stimulation with the use of a breast pump:
The human body is very wise. It has been perfectly designed to perform complicated actions and performances and it does it without even knowing it or without being truly aware of it. Moreover, a woman’s pregnant body is something extraordinary, it is truly magical, as a lot of changes are constantly happening in her body.
For example, the pituitary gland releases a hormone called oxytocin or the ‘’love hormone’’ that will help to induce labor. So, how can you make this love hormone to come out? Through the use of a breast pump, so you start stimulating your nipples and this almost automatically pushes the hormone oxytocin out.
This is actually the same hormone that starts the natural feeling of milk let-down as soon as a woman has given birth. Furthermore, after childbirth a woman’s uterus goes back to its pre-pregnancy size (of course this may take a while, several months even, but it changes for every single woman) but if you are breastfeeding then this can help you out by making your uterus cramp, thus a stimulation of your hormones are also taking place.
This hormone is so important that of course, the pharmaceutical industry has created its own version called ‘’Pitocin’’ and it is usually administered in hospitals that are not very respectful towards soon-to-be moms and who are trying to induce their labor in any possible medical way.
In summary, breast pumps have been designed to mimic a newborns (or child’s) natural and innate suckling reflex, thus this will make moms to segregate oxytocin which, in turn, stimulates her uterus to contract and relax in a very rhythmically way, and, in that case, the birth canal is often making itself wider in order to allow your baby to pass through. Isn’t pregnancy and childbirth something beautiful?
How to use a breast pump to induce labor?
Always ask your doctor about it first. However, if they say yes to you because you are well-advanced in your pregnancy and you don’t present a high-risk pregnancy or any related issues, then here are the basic steps that will guide to you use your breast pump to induce labor:
1. Find your ideal breast pump. Wash it properly and thoroughly.
2. Place the cup on your nipple area. Pump one breast first then the other one. It is usually advisable to do this for 15 minutes maximum.
3. You should get some rest now.
4. Pump the other breast for another 15 minutes, remember to take deep breaths.
5. Repeat if necessary.
6. Do remember to place a warm towel over your breasts, as this will allow your mammary glands to feel calm and safe and you will then be able to release more oxytocin.
Note: If you don’t have a breast pump and you are not really intending on buying one then you can always stimulate your breasts by using your hands. Or, you could ask your partner to come in and help you out…that can always lead to great sex that will also help you induce labor, so it’s a win-win situation!
Will you be releasing colostrum as soon as you start pumping your breasts?
This is a frequently asked question by moms who are intrigued about using their breast pumps to induce their labor, however, the answer is often dependant on the physiognomy of each person. That is to say, you may be expressing yourself colostrum or you may not even take anything out yet.
It is understandable that a soon-to-be mom is worried and nervous about doing something that could possibly damage their milk supply or colostrum, especially when it is a well-known fact that colostrum is filled with the perfect antibodies and immunoglobulins that will protect their newborns while also providing a beneficial first earthly meal.
Nevertheless, there is no need to worry about your milk or colostrum supply as you need to understand that a woman’s pregnant body is very wise, and her milk production will usually take place from 2 to 10 days after the birth to be fully released.
What should you keep in mind?
Are you almost reaching the end of your pregnancy? Are you feeling ready and somehow anxious about getting to know your little one? Some women have described the last couple of weeks of their pregnancy as the toughest of the whole time.
This could be because they are feeling extremely tired, isolated and have a huge bump that won’t allow them to do much…this is why these final weeks of any pregnancy can be difficult, regardless of the journey a woman has lived throughout their (usually) 9 months of carrying her child.
So, women start looking for ways to induce labor as they feel quite tired, even stressed out. They start eating spicy foods, or going for long walks, they ask their doctors whether they could get acupuncture done on them, and they start looking for their partners even more in order to have sex. But what about using a breast pump to induce labor? What should you keep in mind if you decide to go down this route?
● Always stimulate both breasts in order to have a balance between them. You may start noticing that one of the breasts – or maybe the two of them- are very sore. This is normal as your breasts are ‘’preparing’’ for the arrival of your child.
● Do not overdo it. We know what is like to carry a child, especially if they are still very comfortable inside of you. However, you should be taking rests in between your nipple stimulation time because this way you will be avoiding contractions that could potentially be too fast or dangerous for you or your baby.
● Being pregnant is something that usually takes almost a year..so it is definitely something you don’t want to hurry either. If your baby is comfortable where he or she is, then there is a reason why they are still there having fun! Enjoy it, mama!
Should you avoid using a breast pump to induce your labor?
As always, there are some contraindications you must be aware of, especially if you have had a tough pregnancy. For example, if you happen to be in any of these situations, then it is highly recommended for you not to involve and use a breast pump to induce labor, even if you have passed your due date:
– Have you had a high-risk pregnancy? If yes, then nipple stimulation is definitely discouraged as it could lead to several complications and concerning side effects.
– If you already have had contractions during your pregnancy then you mustn’t apply any extra pressure nor stimuli to your nipples’ area, as you could end up having uterine hyperstimulation, where you will have endless and painful contractions.
– Have you had a previous preterm pregnancy? If yes, then you should definitely avoid using a breast pump to induce labor, even if you have passed the 38 weeks of pregnancy, as it could lead to complications.
– Did you have gestational diabetes? Are you expecting twins or maybe even triplets? If this is your case then don’t stimulate your nipples either, as is better to be safe than sorry.
– If you have been pregnant before and you tend to develop mastitis, then it is also advisable to avoid the stimulation of your nipples to induce labor.
Be aware of your body throughout all times, as you must know that inducing labor could take days. In fact, if you have never given birth before, inducing labor is not something that will happen immediately, no matter what method you use to induce your labor.