Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding Strike!

It has been 6 months and you have been breastfeeding normally. One morning you go to nurse and for some reason the baby will not take your breast. What has happened?

Something has changed in your breastfeeding routine that they baby is not happy with. It is called a “nursing strike” and it usually last for about 2-4 days. For moms who feel they have been breastfeeding for long time this gives them the opportunity to wean. For other moms who are enjoying the special time they have with their baby and the bond they have created, this is devastating.

My son went on “strike” a few months ago. He would take breast and bottle. One night around 4 am I went in to feed him as usual, he refused the breast and would not stop crying. He wanted nothing to do with it. We took him to the doctor and he checked out okay. I could not figure out what had changed so I started back at square one in a quiet room and began to rebond. It has been suggested that you should try to re-introduce the breast when the baby is slightly tired. I tried this and it worked. I was very patient with him. If I offered him the breast and he didn’t want it we would move on and I would offer it again later. Even though he wouldn’t take it I would still offer it before and after each nap. I wanted to establish a pattern with him that this was when we feed. After about 6 days he started to nurse again. In the meantime, I pumped and fed him by bottle. This was the problem I believe. The bottle allows for instant gratification and you need to work to get the milk out of the breast. Mr. Lazy baby wanted to take the easy way out and get fed faster. I don’t know if I blame him. He has since decided that he wants breastmilk, only if I retrieve it for him and give it to him in a bottle.

If you experience a nursing strike La Leche League has some excellent suggestions. They are extremely knowledgeable and have pretty much experienced all breastfeeding issues.

Related arcticles:

When a baby won’t nurse by Carrol Brussel

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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