Last April 7, just when our nursing relationship was going well, Gabby decided to go on strike — a nursing strike. She would refuse to nurse and would only take milk from a bottle.
Was it because I recently just introduced the pacifier or because we stopped cup feeding and started using a feeding bottle? Or was it because I got a bit rough that one time while trying to fix our breastfeeding position? I would probably never know. But the nursing strike really affected me, and I was determined to solve it.
Once again, I turned to Kelly Mom and Jack Newman for help. I devoured all the tips related to nursing strikes and tried them one by one. Finally, six days later, I gently offered my breast while she was thumb sucking. Tada! She latched! The nursing strike was over.
There were a lot of things that I tried, but I feel these were the ones which made a difference:
Carried the baby as often as possible. As soon as I would get home from work, I would carry the baby as long as my rheumatoid athritis would allow me. Whenever she would accidentally fall asleep in my arms, I wouldn’t put her down immediately — I would continue cradling her for at least 30 more minutes.
Offered the breast as often as possible. Very gently, without forcing her. If she refuses, then I tell her softly it’s okay and offer her the bottle.
Co-slept. We were already 90% co-sleeping, but ranked it up 100% during the nursing strike.
Stopped using all items which possibly caused nipple confusion. This means the pacifier and the feeding bottle (we were using Medela’s Calma). We want back to cup feeding, although this time, we used Medela’s soft feeding gizmo to reduce spillage.