Can You Use a Breast Pump During Pregnancy?

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By Abby McCoy | Updated on Jan 4, 2024
Image for article Can You Use a Breast Pump During Pregnancy?

If your pregnancy is uncomplicated and your healthcare provider says it’s okay, you can use a breast pump 1 right up until delivery day. 

When a breast pump stimulates your nipples, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin 2 , which can sometimes prompt your uterus to contract. Some of your friends or family might even suggest using your breast pump to get labor going toward the end of your third trimester

Preliminary studies have shown once labor gets going, nipple stimulation can lead to faster delivery 3 . Another study, though, found that while nipple stimulation got labor going, most people needed oxytocin through an IV to progress their labor to the end. 

You can talk to your healthcare provider about your body and pregnancy to see if pumping is safe for you. If you decide to pump, remember to pay attention to any contractions. If they get progressively stronger and closer together, stop and call your provider. You know your body best—trust your gut and ask for help if you need it.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. Feldman, S. (2000) and Harms, R. W. (2012"Breastfeeding While Pregnant"https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-while-pregnant/.

  2. Stephanie Fish, M.D"Brain Hormones"Jan 24, 2022https://www.endocrine.org/patient-engagement/endocrine-library/hormones-and-endocrine-function/brain-hormones.

  3. Gulbahtiyar Demirel PhD and Handan Guler PhD"The Effect of Uterine and Nipple Stimulation on Induction With Oxytocin and the Labor Process"Sigma, vol. 12, no. 5Oct 7, 2015, pp.  273-280https://sigmapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/wvn.12116.


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Abby McCoy
Updated on Jan 4, 2024

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Can You Use a Breast Pump During Pregnancy?

 Abby McCoy Profile Photo
By Abby McCoy | Updated on Jan 4, 2024
Image for article Can You Use a Breast Pump During Pregnancy?

If your pregnancy is uncomplicated and your healthcare provider says it’s okay, you can use a breast pump 1 right up until delivery day. 

When a breast pump stimulates your nipples, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin 2 , which can sometimes prompt your uterus to contract. Some of your friends or family might even suggest using your breast pump to get labor going toward the end of your third trimester

Preliminary studies have shown once labor gets going, nipple stimulation can lead to faster delivery 3 . Another study, though, found that while nipple stimulation got labor going, most people needed oxytocin through an IV to progress their labor to the end. 

You can talk to your healthcare provider about your body and pregnancy to see if pumping is safe for you. If you decide to pump, remember to pay attention to any contractions. If they get progressively stronger and closer together, stop and call your provider. You know your body best—trust your gut and ask for help if you need it.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. Feldman, S. (2000) and Harms, R. W. (2012"Breastfeeding While Pregnant"https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-while-pregnant/.

  2. Stephanie Fish, M.D"Brain Hormones"Jan 24, 2022https://www.endocrine.org/patient-engagement/endocrine-library/hormones-and-endocrine-function/brain-hormones.

  3. Gulbahtiyar Demirel PhD and Handan Guler PhD"The Effect of Uterine and Nipple Stimulation on Induction With Oxytocin and the Labor Process"Sigma, vol. 12, no. 5Oct 7, 2015, pp.  273-280https://sigmapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/wvn.12116.


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