Breast stimulation significantly reduced the number of women who hadn't gone into labor at 72 hours compared with nonintervention (62.7% vs 93.6%; relative risk [RR]=0.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-0.74; number needed to treat [NNT]=3.2).
One trial reported 4 perinatal deaths in a high-risk population--3 in the breast stimulation group and 1 in the control group--but this finding was not replicated in any other trials)
Breast Stimulation Breast stimulation to augment labor is a traditional birthing technique used by lay midwives and birth attendants over the centuries in countries as far apart as Turkey and Indonesia.
While induction of labor is beyond the scope of this paper, it should be noted that two randomized studies, using small numbers of patients, have shown that breast stimulation is effective in ripening the cervix and inducing labor.(84,85) In addition, one randomized trial has evaluated the relative efficacy of oxytocin and amniotomy for induction of labor.(86) Amniotomy was found to be more effective than oxytocin.