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Thread: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

  1. #1

    Default 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    My 11 week old started a nursing strike almost two weeks ago. She will nurse decently in her sleep and when she's falling asleep but you can forget it when she's alert and awake. Went to the doc and they say she's got a sore throat but other than that she looks great.

    Five days later, she's still striking, she's lost 2 oz., and her throat is still sore. Her output is down but not terrible. She's pooping once a day and having like 4 little wet diapers. They're not all as heavy as my test diaper that I poured 3 tbsp of water in.

    My local LLL is at a loss I feel. I nursed my 1st baby to 19 months.

    I told the pediatrican on Friday about the strike and the 2 oz. weight loss and she didn't seem worried. She casually mentioned we could try some zantac but that it was prolly just a virus. She hasn't had ANY other symptoms of a virus. Just the sore throat.

    It's Sunday today and I just feel at a loss. I've been trying to syringe feed her when she won't nurse at all. But the most she'll take that way is 1 oz. And pumping for 15 minutes after every feeding. I'll admit I wasn't good about pumping when she 1st started striking. I had OALD on one side and too much milk. So at the suggestion of a leader, I considered a down regulated supply to help make the nursing experience more pleasurable. I think I overdid that. And didn't pump seriously until a few days ago. Now, my let down takes several minutes. Let me emphasize that I'm not trying to blame anyone. Just giving the backstory.

    Now I'm afraid I'm dealing with low supply AND the nursing strike and slow letdown. When I can get her to latch in her sleep, she will fall asleep the rest of the way before my letdown. I am trying to pump to get the letdown and then latch her, but it's very tricky to pump, wake her up just enough to latch but not too much that she's awake enough to fight all at the same time my milk finally letsdown.

    I've got a msg into my WIC office, a lactation nurse at the hospital I gave birth at, and I'm calling the pedi tomorrow. I feel like they didn't take me seriously since she hadn't lost much. And I THINK I have a reputation there for being a hyper mom.

    I don't know where to begin. Should I just give in and let my husband give her a bottle of expressed milk? So I can at least know she's getting fed? She acts so happy and content. She doesn't act like a hungry baby. Tomorrow I'm on my own with a toddler and this baby.

    And what will the pedi say? If they tell me to begin supplementing, how will they know how much?

    I need ANY advice, encouragement you've got! I've looked all over here and I couldn't find where anyone's baby striked this long and what worked.

    Has anyone given in and given a bottle and eventually got baby back to breast??

    Also she began sucking her thumb at the same time. Sheesh!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    First off, I am not sure I would call this really a nursing 'strike.' Your baby is way to young for that. An 11 week old should still have a strong compulsion to nurse, so I am thinking that maybe she cannot nurse, or somehow is bothered by nursing when awake, there is some pain or something going on. It may be important to find out the cause, particularly if it is physical and the issue is it is painful for baby to nurse. It can be something weird, one time I read about a nursing strike caused by a bit a tissue paper caught in the roof of babies mouth. Also, can you nurse when she is awake if you nurse in the same position you do when she is asleep? I see you say that she is nursing when asleep or sleepy-what happens the rest of the time? Is she just distracted? Trying to nurse but frustrated? just acting uninterested? Crying, what?

    Were bottles or pacifiers ever used prior to this situation? Was this possibly brought on by the forceful letdown?

    Also I would not worry overmuch about your supply. What you are able to pump is not a good indicator of supply. If your supply was well established in the first place, you nurse now as much as you can, and you pump now with a good and well working pump, you should be reasonably OK until this resolves. Make very sure your pump is a good one and is in proper working order, however, and if she is not nursing try to pump pretty frequently. More frequent pumping, even if not for too long, is more helpful for supply than long but infrequent pumping.

    This is the best article for getting baby back to the breast I know of: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html

    There are many alternatives to bottles. What about a lactation aid. or cup feeding? See videos of both here: http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...id=6&Itemid=13

    If you do do bottles, I suggest this approach: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 12th, 2012 at 06:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    My daughter started a nursing strike around that age, and it lasted for 5 months. We got through it by pumping every 3 hrs and trying to get her to latch on when she was really sleepy. The kelly mom article in the post above me is the one I'd recommend, too. And when I say I was pumping that much, it was for more reasons than the strike, it was also low supply and poor milk removal, and I'm sorry if my advice isn't the best but it's sometimes hard for me to separate every difficulty I had nursing my daughter since we just had many factors. We did persevere and she's 30 mos old now and nursing great. She got through about all of her problems by 10-12 mos.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    with LLLMeg. I would be concerned that ther is something that is hurting baby- did the doc test for strep throat? How about an ear infection?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    with LLLMeg. I would be concerned that ther is something that is hurting baby- did the doc test for strep throat? How about an ear infection?
    Yes, tested her for strep and it was neg and her ears were waxy and that was all.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    No, I cannot nurse her in the same position I do when she is asleep. When I can get her to latch, she sucks a few times and pulls off crying, even her arms shake like she's really mad or in pain. She stiffens up as soon as I just get her into position.

    She sorta took a few bottles around 5 weeks, but not well. She won't take a pacifier. And yes, possibly brought on by the forceful letdown, but would her throat be red from that?

    I rented a hospital grade pump. It's a Medela Lactina. I am pumping for 15 minutes every 2 hours. Is 15 minutes too long?

    I've been to kellymom and I'm trying all those things.

    Are those other suggested feeding methods better than a syringe? An SNS MIGHT be helpful at night when I can latch her. My friend is trying to get hers back from another mother.

    Bottles are a LAST resort. I know that's the last thing to do when a baby is refusing the breast. I just don't want to be starving her. She's 11 weeks old. She knows when she's hungry, right??

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    15 minutes is fine.

    I wonder if an SNS, so she doesn't have to suck hard to get milk, would help her overcome finding nursing perhaps a stressful thing. Start it dripping, then latch her on.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8

    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    Okay, I will bug my WIC office for one if I can't find one to borrow.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    It sounds like you are doing all you can, great job getting a good pump, but make sure the breast flanges fit you correctly and that no parts need replacing. Medela *should* be able to help you troubleshoot that(?)

    To avoid nipple/flow confusion, usually the best way to supplement is with a lactation aid such as the sns (if it works for you-some moms don't like them & some babies object) but if it works, that would get baby nursing & getting supplementary feedings at the breast, which is best. But otherwise I would not say any particular bottle alternative is better at avoiding nipple/flow confusion than anything else. I thought you were having difficulty getting baby to take enough with a syringe so I suggested cup feeding or, as a last resort, paced bottle feeding due to that.

    You may want to watch output/weight gain closely for now. Don't assume baby will cue you enough or eat enough, especially if she is ill.

    If your baby has/had a red and inflamed throat, I would think it is/was sore & painful. It does not have to be strep to be a sore throat. Recently my 5 year old had not only a very sore throat but a high fever and still tested negative for strep.

    I seriously doubt her throat would be red from forceful letdown, rather, I asked about that because some babies find it so difficult to handle the fast flow they start to refuse to nurse.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 13th, 2012 at 06:44 PM. Reason: took out confusing 'not' before 'red' in last line. to clarify, I do NOT think fflld would cause a sore throat.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 10 day nursing strike: what now?

    I'm so glad you responded again. I am beginning to feel alone like no one I know can watch this slip away so they're just avoiding me. My mother in law and my own mother both suggested bottles. Even after knowing I nursed my 1st LO til the 7th month of my pregnancy when she was 19 mos.

    My WIC lactation nurse said she needs at least 6 wet diapers and not to be too concerned about poopy ones. She's almost 3 months old. Does everyone here agree with that?

    This is so weird. Baby doesn't seem ill. She didn't ever run a fever and is/was smiley and cooing and kicking and playing. This still makes me wonder about reflux and whether or not a little zantac would make ALL the difference... thoughts??

    My husband has been so great through all this.

    Hopefully, on Wednesday, I can use an SNS at the WIC office and see how she does. If it seems like it will help, then I think they will send it home with me.

    I did figure out that if she's sucking her thumb I can slip the syringe in there to feed her and she swallows all of it. But something with tubing like the SNS would be SO much easier and I think you can slow and speed up the drip on it, can't you?

    If any of you are praying mamas, I really covet prayers right now too. My little one is named Laurel.

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