Safe Ways to Induce Labor Naturally: Using Nipple Stimulation

January 7, 2012

Looking for methods to induce labor from home? Well strangely enough using nipple stimulation is a safe and (exceptionally low) cost method to try!

Bizarrely enough, in 1989 a patent for a device that mechanically stimulated the nipples of a pregnant woman was filled. Not my idea of fun, but if you’re anything like me, after 38 weeks pregnancy you’d give anything a go!

The science goes something like this.

Labor is stimulated naturally through the release of labor-inducing hormones in your body. These hormones are released into your blood supply and when they reach certain level, contractions will increase in rate and lead to a natural birth.

Nipple stimulation is believed to resemble breast feeding and trigger the release of oxytocin, one of the labor inducing hormones that occurs naturally.

This has been studied for years and an article in January 2011 monitored foetal heart rate, uterine activity and oxytocin levels in healthy full-term pregnant women who were in weeks 38 to 39 of pregnancy.

We need a little more information than that!

Midwives and some midwifery society have prescribed nipple stimulation because of the increase in oxytocin but medical folk will admit it’s somewhat aggressive compared with say acupressure to induce labor.

How to Induce Labor Using Nipple Stimulation

Step 1: Warm your nipples up using a damp cloth or gauze
Step 2: Gently massage your nipples using either the cloth of your fingers.
Step 3: Roll your nipples between your finger and thumb for several minutes
Step 4: Rest and repeat

The medical trials are typically very standardised, say stimulation of your nipples for one hour per day for three days consecutive days.

The key is to listen to your body. Sure you’d like to see your baby sooner but look after and listen to your body. Stop if you start to feel discomfort and be careful not to apply too much pressure.

Experiment with two to three minutes of nipple stimulation and then rest them for two to three minutes more before starting again.

The biggest downside (and something that pushed me towards acupressure) is how stimulation can lead to nipple irritation and discomfort. You might also experience some milk secretion during nipple stimulation.

This is something you might want to consider if you’re planning on breast feeding and want to avoid having sore nipples before your newborn arrives.

As you can imagine it’s quite hard to post a video on Nipple Stimulation (another reason you might want to try a different method)!  And of course if you’re worried about sore nipples?  Then click to find out more about Maternity Acupressure 


Safe Way to Induce Labor Naturally Using Simple Acupressure Techniques

January 1, 2012

In 2010 after almost 38 weeks of pregnancy – I was as big as a house and ‘ready’ to be a mom.

As much as I loved the feeling of being pregnant with my new born – life was just uncomfortable, I felt fat and just wanted to see the new man in my life (we already knew ‘it’ was a boy).

So I started looking around for ways to induce labor naturally – eating spicy foods and drinking castor oil – to having sex.

None of which have been proven and some had me a little bit worried!

My new husband has always been a fan of ‘the alternative’ and regular uses Chinese Medicine (acupuncture in particular) to treat aches and pains from physical work and sport.

Quite often he books himself an appointment with our local acupuncturist and has had massive success with some very old and painful injuries. And that’s when I discovered a very old, tried and tested method called Maternity Acupressure.

It’s a little similar to reflexology, visiting the chiropractor or having acupuncture… without the needles!

Dotted around the body are points which can be stimulated to help the body heal and relieve natural tension. During an acupuncture session needles are pushed into this points (only a handful at a time) which stimulates the body.

Acupressure works in exactly the same way – but instead of using needles – you apply pressure directly to your body using your finger tips.

To stimulate the acupressure points (to aid inducing labor naturally) you simply press the acupressure point firmly and then rub in a circular motion.

You can tell you’ve found the right point because they are usually very sensitive and once you’ve applied pressure you’ll start to feel the muscle contractions at that point.

Does Maternity Acupressure work?

Well first off you’ll never give birth unless your body is ready to… but within a few days of trying these methods the new guy in my life had arrived!

He may have come anyway – you can never be 100% sure – it was definately worth the extra effort to try and speed things up.

For the sake of a few minutes everyday versus waiting another week or two was a good investment of my time as far as I’m concerned!

Plus it’s a safe method for mother and baby – which can never be said for drinking caster oil or taking various herbs.

The best source of information on finding a safe way to induce labor naturally using acupressure for comes from Dr. Lena Leino – author of Easier, Shorter and Safer Birth.

Safe Way to Induce Labor Naturally