Is your baby suddenly refusing to breastfeed? It’s called a breastfeeding or nursing strike! Find out the reasons behind this and how to end a nursing strike!
If you’re a breastfeeding mama and you suddenly have to deal with a little one who refuses to nurse, this can be extremely nerve-wracking. Thankfully, this scenario is pretty standard (and can be overcome!), so there’s no need to panic, Mama.
Remember that even if your baby is on a nursing strike, you still need to express milk using a breast pump. Doing this ensures a steady milk supply and prevents clogged ducts.
What Causes Nursing Strike?
Babies can suddenly refuse to breastfeed for various physical and emotional reasons. Here are six possible causes of a nursing strike.
1. Feeling sick or uncomfortable while breastfeeding
Your little one could be teething or have an ear infection, making breastfeeding difficult because of the fussiness. Nasal congestion can also make it difficult for babies to breathe while breastfeeding, which is why some babies may refuse to breastfeed altogether.
Healthline states other conditions that may lead to nursing strikes include an ulcer in the mouth, sore throat, or hand, foot, and mouth disease.
2. The smell or taste of breast milk changes
Changes in your body odour can cause your baby to feel uncomfortable when they want to breastfeed. For example, Mama uses a new or more intense perfume or soap.
Changes in breast milk taste, which can be because of the food you eat or the medicine you take, can also be the reason behind your baby’s breastfeeding strike. In addition, hormonal factors such as menstruating can trigger changes in breast milk taste.
3. Unpleasant experience
If your baby has had an unpleasant experience while breastfeeding, it may refuse to breastfeed again. One example is when you reacted strongly when your little one bit your nipples or when your baby choked because of a too-strong milk flow.
4. Changes in breastfeeding routine or schedule
If you usually breastfeed in a quiet place, your baby will refuse to breastfeed in crowded areas. Likewise, if there is a long breastfeeding break. For example, when you need to go on a business trip abroad, your baby may become fussy after not breastfeeding for so long because they’ve gotten used to feeding on a milk bottle.
5. Mama is stressed
Believe it or not, babies can sense your mood. So when you are sad or stressed, your baby can also feel uneasy, so he refuses to breastfeed.
6. Lack of breast milk supply
When your milk production is low, your baby will feel frustrated because they are not getting enough milk. As a result, the baby may choose to stop breastfeeding.
How to End A Nursing Strike
Here are some ways to help you deal if your little one goes on a nursing strike.
1. Try the dream feeding method
Try to nurse your baby when they are sleeping. In a semi-conscious state, babies are usually less fussy, which can help make breastfeeding easier. However, you need to pay attention to the proper position in breastfeeding your little one with this method. It’s best to put your baby in a semi-upright position, with their head cradled in your arm to prevent choking.
2. Change breastfeeding position
You can try changing the baby’s position while breastfeeding, or you can try modifying your position as well. For example, breastfeeding while walking around a bit or sitting in a different position. This helps your little one find a more comfortable position that would best ease her back to her usual breastfeeding routine.
3. More skin-to-skin contact
Make your baby feel comfortable by increasing skin-to-skin contact. Then, slowly try to offer the baby to breastfeed. In addition to helping your little one suckle, skin contact between mother and baby can also improve bonding.
4. Keep away from distractions
Avoid crowds or unusual places for your little one. When your little one is three months old, his hearing is better than when he was born. If there is a disturbance or distraction in the form of noise, the little one will divert his attention from the breastfeeding process.
Therefore, a calmer environment will help your baby focus more while breastfeeding.
5. Improve diet and fragrance
Changes in breast milk taste and smell can make your little one refuse to breastfeed. Therefore, avoid using a different fragrance than usual. In addition, you can also stick to a regular diet so that the baby does not feel the change in the taste of breast milk.
6. Maintain breast milk supply
Don’t forget to keep your milk production up, Mama. Don’t let your hungry little one be disappointed because he doesn’t get enough milk. You can consume almond milk and natural breast milk booster supplements to maintain your breast milk supply, such as Mama’s Choice Breast Milk Booster which is proven effective at increasing milk production.
Enjoy Your Breastfeeding Journey with Mama’s Choice
A breastfeeding strike isn’t the only thing. Mamas have to deal with during their breastfeeding journey. There will also be sore, cracked, and dry nipples. Thankfully, there’s Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream to help make Mamas’ breastfeeding journey a little easier and more comfortable with how it effectively moisturizes and soothes chapped skin.
Get a 16% Discount on Mama’s Choice Intensive Nipple Cream |
Our nipple cream is formulated to be safe for the little one, using ingredients carefully selected from nature. So what’s in our nipple cream?
- Date Palm: Renowned for its antioxidant and anti-ageing properties, it soothes and hydrates sore and cracked nipples.
- Coconut Oil: An edible oil known for its hydrating properties. As a natural emollient, it moisturizes dry and stressed skin.
- Shea Butter: Pure butter from the shea tree that is rich in skin-protecting and anti-inflammatory properties to help improve skin suppleness
Food-grade and free of harmful chemicals, we ensure that you can 100% focus on your baby and not worry about the safety of our nipple cream. Best of all, our breastfeeding nipple cream is lab-tested in Singapore and certified Halal.
Get a 21% Discount on Mama’s Choice Breast Milk Booster |
Meanwhile, Mama’s Choice Breast Milk Booster is the ideal beverage for breastfeeding mamas as it can effectively boost milk supply thanks to its blend of galactagogues, such as almonds, fenugreek, katuk leaf, and dates. Even better, it’s enriched with DHA, so it’s not just good for improving milk supply but for boosting your little one’s brain development too!
Discover how these two products can support your breastfeeding journey by clicking the banner below!
Get a 22% Discount on Mama’s Choice Breastfeeding Basic Kit |
How To Relieve Breastfeeding Pain: Common Causes and Remedies
Can You Breastfeed While Pregnant And Other Questions Answered!
How To Boost Breast Milk Supply Naturally
Mama's Choice Team
A team of passionate writers, young mamas, and creative superheroes who help mamas face motherhood one educational article at a time!