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Is This a Nursing Strike? How to Get Your Baby Back to Breastfeeding

Is This a Nursing Strike? How to Get Your Baby Back to Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and beneficial things a mother can do for her baby. However, sometimes things don't go as planned and mothers may experience difficulties in getting their baby to breastfeed. One common issue that can arise is a nursing strike. In this article, we'll discuss what a nursing strike is, how to identify it, and some tips on how to get your baby back to breastfeeding.

What is a Nursing Strike?

A nursing strike is when a baby suddenly refuses to breastfeed after previously having no issues with it. It can happen for various reasons, including teething, illness, changes in routine or environment, and even stress or anxiety in the mother. It's important to note that a nursing strike is not the same as weaning, as the latter is a gradual process that happens over time.

How to Identify a Nursing Strike?

If your baby suddenly stops breastfeeding, it can be challenging to determine whether it's a nursing strike or something else. Here are some signs that can help you identify a nursing strike:

  • Your baby is fussy and crying more than usual
  • Your baby is not interested in breastfeeding, even if they are hungry
  • Your baby is pulling away from the breast or arching their back while nursing
  • Your baby is taking shorter feeds than usual or only nursing for a few seconds before stopping

If you notice any of these signs, it's crucial to act quickly and address the issue to get your baby back to breastfeeding.

How to Get Your Baby Back to Breastfeeding?

The good news is that nursing strikes are usually temporary, and there are several things you can do to help your baby get back to breastfeeding. Here are some tips:

  1. Rule out any medical issues: If your baby is refusing to breastfeed, it's essential to rule out any underlying medical issues that could be causing it. Consult with your pediatrician to ensure your baby is healthy and doesn't have any oral or ear infections.

  2. Be patient and persistent: Nursing strikes can be frustrating, but it's important to be patient and persistent. Continue offering your breast to your baby, even if they refuse it initially. Don't force your baby to breastfeed, but keep offering it regularly and consistently.

  3. Try different positions: Experiment with different breastfeeding positions to find one that your baby is comfortable with. Some babies prefer to nurse in a more upright position or while being held in a certain way.

  4. Offer a bottle: If your baby is refusing to breastfeed, you can try offering a bottle of pumped breast milk or formula. This can help to maintain your milk supply and provide your baby with the nutrition they need while you work on getting them back to breastfeeding.

  5. Seek support: Nursing strikes can be stressful for both mother and baby. Seek support from a lactation consultant, your healthcare provider, or a breastfeeding support group. They can provide guidance and support to help you and your baby overcome the nursing strike.


A nursing strike can be a challenging and stressful experience for both mother and baby. However, with patience, persistence, and support, you can help your baby get back to breastfeeding. Remember to rule out any medical issues, be patient and persistent, try different positions, offer a bottle if necessary, and seek support if needed. With these tips, you can overcome a nursing strike and continue to enjoy the many benefits of breastfeeding.

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