Nursing Strikes

A nursing strike is when your baby is refusing to nurse for a period of time. He or she may be due to eat, may appear hungry or your breasts may feel full, but he or she will refuse to latch.

Why Would My Baby Go on a Nursing Strike?

Some babies will have a nursing strike with teething, thrush or ear infections. However, sometimes it can occur without a clear reason. During a nursing strike, focus on keeping the baby calm. Skin to skin is very important. Try to feed the baby when sleepy, not distracted, laying down or in the bathtub. Most nursing strikes will resolve with patience and your baby will return to direct breastfeeding. If it persists, we recommend scheduling an appointment to have your baby evaluated and make certain there is no medical reason for the strike.

Why is My Baby Pulling Away From My Breast?

Babies usually pull off the breast for several reasons:

  • In order to burp
  • At the very end if your baby is full and satisfied
  • If your milk has too slow of flow or too rapid of flow

Sometimes if the flow slows down after the initial let down, some babies become impatient with the slower flow. If this is the case try breast compressions while feeding. Some mothers with a generous milk supply, may have a very strong let down and rapid milk flow. These babies may choke while feeding or pull off the breast to control the flow. You can help this by trying different positions including feeding your baby in a more upright position, utilizing the football position or leaning back. For more assistance, see Low Milk Supply and Oversupply of Milk topics.