I have a 6 month old who stopped nursing during the day at around 5 months but continued to nurse at night and first thing in the morning. During the day he received bottles of pumped breastmilk. I attributed the refusal to nurse during the day to his being so active and distracted by everything around him and figured he would settle down soon and go back to nursing. Over a week ago he came down with a bad cold and since then has refused to breastfeed at all, even during the night. We have been giving him bottles when he won't breastfeed, which I'm afraid has made the problem worse.
Since he stopped BF during the day I started getting plugged ducts that are very painful and last for days until I can get him to nurse and unplug them. I started taking Lecithin which has helped decrease the plugs but now that he has completely refused the breast the plugs are worse because the pump just doesn't unplug them well. I struggled with my milk supply in the first few months and pumped a lot to stimulate production. I HATE the pump but breastfeeding is so important to me that even when my son started sleeping through the night I would wake up to pump and keep my supply.
After researching online I spent the last 2 days trying to break his strike by feeding only with a cup, spending lots of skin to skin time, and offering the breast often. Today I broke down and gave him a bottle because he was so hysterical and hungry. (He'd only had a couple ounces of milk from the cup in 48 hrs). My son has never been that into "sucking", never took a pacifier and eating has always been just business. We actually struggled with is weight quite a bit until he started refusing the breast last month and he started with bottles during the day. He seems to eat much more that way and seems happier. We also started solids a few weeks ago and he seems to love feeding himself and mealtime.
I had hopes of breastfeeding past a year but if I have to exclusively pump I just don't know how long I can keep it up. I feel tied to our home and rejected by my baby, who kicks and screams and scratches whenever I offer him the breast. I want what's best for him and I just don't know if I should give up and resign myself to pumping or keep fighting him all the time. I don't want our relationship to be defined by struggle! Does anyone out there have any advice? Been through anything like this? Help!!!
Re: Nursing Strike
My LO went on a nursing strike when he was sick as well. I had to pump when he wouldn't nurse. For a week he would only take an ounce or less from a bottle during a feeding and/or I'd have to feed more with a syringe just to make sure he was getting enough fluids.
48 hrs is a long time to go with only a few ounces of milk for your LO. I would definetely try a dropper or syringe next time he's sick or even different flow or types of nipples to encourage him to eat something.
If he's eating enough solids to be considered a meal replacement, this could be interfering with his desire to nure as well. If he's full from eating; he's not going to want to nurse. Food at this point is for fun and expiramentation.
I'm not sure what type of flow you're using for your LO's bottles, but if he has a fast flow nipple; he's not having to work as hard as he would to nurse and may be rejecting the breast for that reason.
Keep trying to offer the breast. I know it's disheartening when your LO is constantly rejecting you.
I see that you posted a couple of weeks ago. I hope things have gotten better for you. If you need a response next time and no one has replied, bump your post so that people will be more likely to read it and reply.