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!!!