Breastfeeding during labor

August 4, 2011. Posted in: BF FAQ: Tandem

Nursing naturally increases oxytocin levels, and so can speed labor once it starts. Nipple stimulation is often suggested as a natural alternative to pitocin, and so this is just another option for a mom who is nursing. Nursing will also speed delivery of the placenta.

Some mothers nurse during early labor, but usually because the child needs it rather than as a means to speed labor. Many mothers feel that nursing during active labor would be too distracting, but this (like labor) will vary from mother to mother.  

Personally, I did not nurse during labor. My daughter did not ask to nurse during this time, and (at least after the first couple of hours) I was way too busy working through the contractions to deal with nursing. — Kelly