Sep 17, 2010

The heartbreak of a Mini-Nursing Strike

It started yesterday at our 10am feed and continued straight through to our last 8:30pm feed. Crying, lunging at the breast, pulling off the breast, making a funny face that said, "yuck, what are you trying to feed me, mom?". Oh the agony of a mini-breast feeding strike (sad face).

I did a bit of research and I think there are a few possible scenarios at play:

Maddy's inquisitive face
(Since I'm not going to post one of her rejecting the boob, lol!)
1. New food in my diet: We went over to our friends Laura & Dave's for a delicious dinner on Wednesday night. For the first time in ages I had Asparagus (which I love but always forget to buy). My diet is usually pretty consistent since I make a lot of our meals at home, so I wonder if Madelyn just wasn't digging the new strong flavour. That certainly would explain the funny face.

2. Teething already?: Madelyn just turned 4 months on Sunday. It seems a bit early but it could be possible. Most sites say the average baby teethes at 6 months. Some of the other signs of teething we are experiencing are drool and chewing on toys, but I hear that's also just normal for this age.

3. Distractions: We are at the developmental stage when everything in the room fascinates our little baby girl. I used to be able to nurse her anywhere. Lately, I've notice she pulls off when the TV is on, when someone is talking in the room, if I all of a sudden talk to someone other than her, if there's a change in lights, if Mason barks...etc.

4. Slower let down: I usually have over-supply issues with a fast let down (I'll have to blog about that another day), but lately I've been working hard at creating the right supply to meet her demand. I wonder if that has unintentionally developed a slower let down since there is less milk blasting out of my body?

5. Constipation: It's been 3 days since she had a poop. Lots of gas, no poop. I know it's normal for exclusively bf babies to only go 1-2x a week and that's her usual schedule. Since the fussiness is new this one's last on my list.

Luckily we had a really, really, good feed this morning at 6:30am (big sigh of relief). I always nurse in bed in the mornings while I sleep in and we linger for an hour or so. I know she got lots this morning since she stayed on for an hour (smiley face).  My plan is to try to minimize distractions today and nurse her in her room as much as possible.

I'm interested to hear if any other moms experienced a mini-nursing strike at this age, and what you did to get back on track? Feel free to post or email your info.
Happy Friday!

Some research sites for this post:

And some research Mark did to help with the situation:


  1. Update at 4:30pm -

    We've had 3 ok nursing sessions since my post this morning. Eliminating distractions has helped but not solve the problem so #3 is off the table. I'm still dealing with some of the pulling away so I can also rule out #1(go Asparagus!). When she's pulling off she usually has a mouth full of milk so I'm also ruling out #4. Lots of gas is leading me to focus on #5 more seriously. Tried infant elimination communication (IEC) for 30 minutes but just got a few toots. Also focusing on #2 (Teething). Stay tuned...

  2. Update sat 11:00am -

    Back to feeding but suffered PAINFUL blockage all night. I am still utterly (haha) confused as to what was causing the nursing strike. Mom friends-I need ideas!

  3. Lila would often to do this... and like you said - distractions were HUGE. About this age Lila could only nurse in complete quiet with no one else around.

    She would also do this if she happened to nurse more at night - then she wouldn't be hungry during the day. I was always forcing the boob on her and couldn't figure out why she didn't want any.

    I would say probably not teething... although it happens, it is pretty unusual to get teeth that early.

    Have you been working out? Lila threw up once after I went to the gym, I guess lactic acid builds up in your breastmilk and makes it taste funny.

    Has she been getting too many bottles? Maybe she is getting annoyed bc milk comes out of the bottle faster? I don't think you do bottles but just thought I would mention it.

    Could be the food thing... could be the could just be nothing and a fluke!


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