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Navigating a Nursing Strike: Strategies for Breastfeeding Mothers

Nov 13, 2023


Embarking on the beautiful journey of breastfeeding is an incredible bonding experience between a mother and her baby. However, the road may encounter bumps, and one common challenge is a nursing strike. Often mistaken for weaning, nursing strikes can be perplexing and concerning for mothers. In this blog post, we'll delve into understanding the reasons behind nursing strikes and explore effective strategies to overcome them.




Understanding the Cause:

The first step in resolving a nursing strike is identifying its root cause. Prolonged separation, pain, distractions, overstimulation, or negative nursing experiences can contribute to a baby's sudden aversion to breastfeeding. By pinpointing the cause, you can tailor your approach to address the specific issue.


Addressing Pain:

Pain is a common trigger for nursing strikes, whether it stems from teething, injuries, or infections. To alleviate teething discomfort, consider offering a cold teething ring, a cold washcloth, or even a homemade breast milk popsicle. For pain related to infections, changing nursing positions and seeking medical help for issues like oral thrush can be crucial steps. Products like Paracetamol or Brauer homeopathic drops may also provide relief.


Tackling Infections:

In cases of infections, such as oral thrush causing babies to "pop on and off" the breast, prompt intervention is essential. Identifying characteristic white patches beneath the lips is a key sign. Consulting a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment, including prescribed antifungal medications, can help resolve the issue.


Exploring Alternative Positions and Remedies:

Changing nursing positions can be a game-changer in easing discomfort caused by injuries or infections. Additionally, using saline drops to clear a baby's nose, employing a vaporizer for upper respiratory infections, and introducing probiotics, such as Qiara, can contribute to a smoother breastfeeding experience.


Minimising Distractions:

Babies are naturally curious, and environmental distractions or overstimulation can lead to nursing strikes. Create a serene breastfeeding environment by reducing distractions and opting for quiet, dark spaces. Plenty of skin-to-skin time, especially during night feedings, can also enhance the bonding experience and encourage successful breastfeeding.


Incorporating Sensory Aids:

Exploring sensory aids like breastfeeding necklaces can engage your baby's attention and make nursing more appealing. Additionally, wearing a necklace while breastfeeding provides a tactile and visual stimulus, helping to minimize distractions and refocus your baby's attention on nursing.



Experiencing a nursing strike can be challenging, but understanding the underlying causes and employing targeted strategies can help you overcome this hurdle. Whether it's addressing pain, infections, or environmental factors, the key is to approach the situation with patience, empathy, and a willingness to adapt. By implementing these tips and staying attuned to your baby's needs, you can navigate through a nursing strike and continue to cherish the precious moments of breastfeeding.



For personalised guidance and support tailored to your unique situation, consider booking a consultation with the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) at Completely Aligned. Our expert team is dedicated to assisting breastfeeding mothers in Australia. To schedule your appointment and receive comprehensive assistance, visit our website or contact us directly.



  1. La Leche League International. (2022). "Nursing Strikes." Retrieved from
  2. Australian Breastfeeding Association. (2022). "Breastfeeding: Managing a Nursing Strike." Retrieved from
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2022). "Breastfeeding: Strategies for Success." Retrieved from

Take a proactive step towards optimal development by scheduling an appointment – online or in-person. Our team are here to guide you through personalised strategies for your child.

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