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.