Some mothers are fortunate enough to never go through a nursing strike. This is where there is an issue of any kind in which your baby does not want to nurse from one side or at all. The strike can leave you feeling desperate or even afraid. It has happened to me and it may happen to you. It is important to stay calm in these kinds of situations as strikes never tend to last more than a day and there are solutions that can help you to get past the ensuing discomfort you might feel.
The first thing to remember is to have patience. Whether the strike is occurring because your baby was sprayed in the face with milk due to a let-down or the milk is not coming out as fast as your baby would like, it can cause your baby to be apprehensive about feeding. Just make sure that you are consistently trying to feed your baby. Use the side that your baby is opposed to until it is apparent that it will not happen. Never force your child or the strike will last even longer. Simply present as you normally would, when resistance happens, wait for a beat and then switch to the other side.
If an all-out strike is what you are encountering, make sure that you are still offering your breasts on both sides before resorting to pumped breast milk in a bottle. Make sure that during a strike, if you have to use a bottle that you are the one feeding with the bottle. Keep your baby close to your chest to remind them about where the milk is coming from. This will also help to make sure that the connection you have worked so hard to create is not severed.
If you are dealing with a strike that lasts for a day or more, you will need to make sure that you are using pumping to express the milk. Not only will the pain become too much for you to bear, it can also cause problems in milk production if the milk is not being used. Simply express like you normally would and use this is addition to what your baby is normally drinking. If the strike ends, you can allow your husband to use the bottles so you can sleep for a little while in the night.
The biggest frustration most mothers feel when going through a strike is not understanding. Keep in mind that in most cases, you have not done anything wrong. These kinds of things happen from time to time. You are not the first mother to encounter a nursing strike and you will not be the last. Be calm, follow these instructions and you will be able to get through it without any problems. Before you know it, your baby will be latching on again and feeding happily as if nothing happened. Your baby will not remember the incident and it is best if you can have the mindset of moving on as well.