Nursing Strike

We asked the mothers on our Facebook page whether any had been through a nursing strike? [where baby refuses to nurse at breast], and how they got through it.  Here are their comments…

My eldest went on a Nursing Strike when he was about 1 year old. I wasn’t ready for him to finish but I was pregnant so I think the flavour might have changed or something. He refused flat out so I gave up in the end.

When I started alternating bottle to boob, she started refusing, I just pumped until she was ready to jump back on. It was only a few days, but pumping took the pressure off of not breastfeeding and kept my supply going too. I never forced her on the boob if she didn’t want to, I found it just made things worse. So I just kept offering it back to her until she came back!

With my first two kids I did not know about nursing strikes so assumed they were self weaning. With a few tears in my eyes I switched to the bottle 🙁 They were between 7-8 months.  I had heard about strikes with my next one and just kept offering till she was desperate.

My son stopped breastfeeding cold turkey at 11 months. I think it was a combination of me being pregnant (and very sick) and him teething (he got seven teeth in the space of five weeks).

My eldest daughter flat out refused as soon as she turned one, so I thought she was weaning herself and stopped. I didn’t mind so much as I was ready for my independence, and we were pregnant again, but wouldn’t have liked her to do it any earlier. Will do some more research about ‘nursing strikes’ now that am feeding daughter #2 in case it happens earlier this time!

The only good feed my daughter would have was when she was half asleep and I could get her to latch on without lots of screaming and crying! First one was at 12 weeks and we had two more before she eventually weaned at 10 months!

We had a nursing strike last weekend. I just kept offering. I topped him up twice with a syringe. He is back to boob now though 🙂

We are having some issues at the moment baby is 12 weeks and my milk supply is slowly getting worse, would love some ideas. Plunket suggested some new lactation medication as she thought baby might be getting frustrated with lack of flow

Try expressing between feeds. Only offer the breast, no bottles or dummies.Lactation cookies, fennugreek tablets, fennel tea and drink lots of water. Lots of skin to skin time with baby, and plenty of rest should see your supply come back up. 🙂

At 7.5 months, my daughter refused, she was still refusing a month later, but was happy with a bottle. I then just accepted that she wanted a bottle, and not me anymore! All if good now!

My baby went on strike when she split my nipples and kept splitting them at every feed, she was getting a lot of blood in with her milk and obviously didnt like it. I had to put her on formula as my nipples just kept getting worse even if i expressed  (We suggest you try Rite Aid Breast Discs to heal cracks up quickly)

My second was a great feeder from day 1 then all of a sudden on day 10 he absolutely refused to latch and feed. After 15 hours with no latching and by then very upset baby gave bottle of expressed breast milk, gave two bottles of EBM during night (after first offering breast). Then when offered the breast first thing the next morning he latched on and hasn’t looked back. He is almost 6 months now. And by the way he won’t take a bottle these days!! No idea to this day why it hapened, had the midwife baffled.

Had a nursing strike when Ella was 7 months old due to teething. Tried getting as much skin on skin time, not stressing about it too much. In the end she self weaned, which was hard but at least it was her decision.

This happened to us at about 3 months. Up until then he was a sweet feeder. I had problems with over supply in the beginning but by 3 months when he started refusing I was starting to feel that my supply wasn’t keeping up. I tried everything and eventually found that he would feed in one position – lying down – though he never really fed well and never made good weight gains again.    I kept this up for a few more months and tried everything I could to work out what had happened… never really did. It was suggested that he had silent reflux and was objecting because feeding caused pain so put him on losec.. no joy. Recently (he is almost 7 months now) someone noticed that he had a tongue tie – the surgeon who snipped it tells me it was a fairly bad one. I know from reading that this may also have had an impact because he had to work his tongue so much to feed.   I have also just discovered that he LOVES goats milk based formula. He now feeds so well and eats enough to be happy. This makes me wonder about a dairy issue… but really I am resigned to the fact that I will never know why. A VERY VERY hard little episode.

Yes when she was 10 months…tried the vegemite trick and it worked (once only though!) and after about 3 days she eventually started feeding again (I was expressing but not getting much but luckily it kept my supply up!)…7 wks later I found out I was pregnant which was probably why she went on strike! Continued feeding her until about 13 months.

Yes, just before 3 months. She had been great up to then, was a perfect little feeder really. I think I was having supply issues though. It made life too difficult and upsetting so I put her onto formula. In hindsight, I think I wasn’t drinking enough water. I wish I had stuck it out, but at the time it was all too hard.

Our boy took 4weeks to latch on one side then a extra 10days to latch on the other from birth not much fun, had to use nipple shields and express, but stuck with it until he weaned himself completely at 3 1/2 months. I had alot of people told us what a horrible and wrong decision we made to go full time formula from exclusive BM but we stuck by our decision and ended up with a very happy boy and a stress-free mum that is very proud that through all the rubbish baby and I managed the time we did ♥

It was very stressful and heartbreaking but i got through it by doing the ‘out of normal’ with her. So instead of sitting to feed the only way i could get her to drink was to totally take her mind off it by walking around feeding her. It didnt work every time but it got just enough into her. I also at times had to hold her in out of the normal position while carrying her around (like horizontal etc).   I would also try to feed her in the middle of the night or when in a very deep sleep and that worked sometimes too.  It took a while but we got there in the end and she went back to breastfeeding normally!!   I just put it down to one of those dufficult ‘stages’ that endure with our littlies!! then we moved on to a new stage!!

With my 2nd daughter i had to go into hospital when she was 12 months old, she was still having 3 feeds a day at that stage. I was in terrible pain and she couldnt come into the hospital, nor could i express or anthing like that. After 3 days of not seeing her she didnt want a bar of me. it was SO sad everytime she looked at me she cried, no chance that i could hold her or anything.. It must have been some coping mechanism she had had. Anyway it took a day before she would let me near her she wouldnt even try to drink off me. So i did the middle of the night thing inicially, and early in the morning worked eventually. and the AMAZING thing is my milk came back just like before!! i was blown away! and she went on to feed until 22 months!

at about 3 months old my bub decided not to nurse…i tried lying down and it worked a treat the only problem is that now at 6 months he refuses to nurse unless i am lying down.thats ok though as we enjoy the snuggle:)…i just have to make sure he has a decent feed before we go out.

I heard marmite works

Yes, when my son was 6 months and it lasted about 24 hours, was horrible and I had to express and he took expressed milk in a bottle, was scared that he would never breastfeed again, a week later my periods came back so assume it was something to do with that, he has never had a bottle since. He weaned at 15 months and there is definitely a clear difference between nursing strike and weaning. 2nd baby is 2 months now so will be interesting to see if the same happens with her.

Yes, at 8 months. I am a breastfeeding support worker and I dont know why! He had never even had EBM in a bottle before, but refused breast for 3 days in total and happily took EBM in a bottle, even in the middle of the night!, 3 days later just like that (click) , he went back on. I was astonished and extremely happy!

my DD got her first 2 teeth at barely 4 months so it took a wee while to teach her not to bite. Everytime she did I gasped in pain (even if it didnt really hurt much) pulled her off and said “no biting” in a stern voice. It was the gasp that convinced her it wasn’t nice to bite more than anything I think. The last time she bit me it really hurt so I think she got a bit of a fright when I gasped and hasn’t bit since (touch wood!).