Nursing Strike: How To Get Through This Time
What is a nursing strike?
Is your baby 4-7 months old and suddenly loses interest in breastfeeding or gradually decreases the number of feedings at the breast? This could be, what is known as a nursing strike. Your baby may be happy at the breast for a couple of minutes, then all of a sudden appears upset or not interested in the breast anymore.
Many mothers start to feel rejected or as though their baby is starting to wean themselves from breastfeeding. According to La Leche League- GB, it is very uncommon for a baby to wean themselves from the breast before 1 year of age.
Rest assured, if you feel like you are experiencing a nursing strike, these are temporary (about a week). One of the hardest things about a nursing strike is knowing what to do when you feel rejected by your baby and your breasts are full. See some of the tips below to help you and your little one get through a nursing strike.
Typically you hear about skin-to-skin in the early newborn stage of life, however, skin-to-skin can be helpful when your littles are sick or going through a nursing strike.
If you haven’t tried dream feeding yet, this can be a great way to nurse your littles and avoid the “fight”. When you dream feed, you wake your baby enough to get them to latch on to the breast and passively nurse. Don’t change their diaper, turn on the lights or even talk to them; just try to wake them enough to nurse.
Nursing strikes can be a very challenging time. You can feel rejected, stressed, nervous, and even upset. It is important to try and stay relaxed. It is easy for your baby to sense some of your stress and that can add to the nursing strike, let alone, inhibit your letdown.
Take a Bath
Grab your little and hop in the bathtub. Often taking a soothing bath with your baby will help to recreate the birthing experience and your baby will just want to breastfeed.
Time & Patience
This can be a time of development, small or large motor skills development, or times of change. Time and patience can help with the nursing strike along with trying some of the previously mentioned tactics.