Nipple Stimulation to Induce Labor

Nipple Stimulation to Induce Labor

The following is a student blog post by Aly Espindola

Are you approaching your due date or has your due date already passed? You might be wondering how you can induce labor at home. With your doctor’s approval, one of the most effective things you can do is nipple stimulation. If you have a high risk pregnancy, nipple stimulation might be dangerous. Always talk to your doctor before trying any induction techniques.


Some common ways to induce labor naturally at home include eating spicy food or having sex. One of the hormones that makes the uterus contract during labor is oxytocin. In traditional inductions doctors often use pitocin which is a synthetic form of oxytocin. One natural way to help the body release oxytocin is by initiating arousal. One way of initiating arousal is by rubbing a rolling your nipples to help the body release oxytocin.


It is recommended to try and mimic the baby’s latch as closely as you can, some use fingers, a breast pump or even your partner’s mouth to stimulate the nipples. Things you want to do to avoid overstimulation is focusing on one breast at a time, limit stimulation to just 5 minutes and wait another 15 before trying again, stop nipple stimulation when contractions are 3 minutes apart or less, and 1 minute and length or longer.


A total of 719 pregnant women at term were randomly assigned to stimulate their nipples for several hours. 37.8% went into labor within the three days following the nipple stimulation, compared to 6.4% of the controls, according to a 2005 analysis of six randomized control trials.


One of the studies in the 2005 analysis conducted with high-risk women delivering in India was stopped early because of 4 fetal deaths. 3 in the nipple stimulation group and one in the oxytocin induction group, this is one of the many reasons why nipple induction should not be used in high-risk population.


The women in the Indian study were considered high risk because they had intrauterine growth retardation, high blood pressure, or were post-term. Or contractions that are too frequent or prolonged, which can lead to fetal distress. Nipple stimulation does increase the likelihood of going into labor, but because it can cause contractions that may be too intense this is why is not recommended for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Works Cited


Media, Healthine. “Nipple Stimulation to Induce Labor: Does It Work?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2005,

“Trying to Bring On Labor? Forget Sex and Spicy Foods. Only Nipple Stimulation Works.” Expecting Science, 2 Feb. 2018,


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