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Thread: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

  1. #1

    Unhappy Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    My 9 and a half month old has been refusing to breastfeed. It’s now exactly a week since her last feed. I think it may be because I gave her a fright yelping when she bit me hard.

    Before this she was usually feeding 5 times a day and seemed to love her feeds. We’ve never been able to persuade her to drink much water.

    I have been offering her feeds many times a day since then. I’ve tried catching her when she’s sleepy and when she’s actually asleep (if she’s half awake she starts sucking her fingers and cries if I try to swap my nipple in, and when she seems properly asleep she turns her head away my nipple touches her!) lots of skin to skin time, carrying her in a sling, dancing with her, baths together, trying to feed her while distracting her with bubbles, expressing milk on her fingers while she’s sucking them, even took up someone’s suggestion to put yoghurt (which she loves) on my nipple. She managed to scrape most of it off with her teeth while touching my nipple as little as possible.

    I have been giving her expressed breastmilk from a sippy cup (tried a normal cup but she spilled so much). I was able to express quite a bit the first day but since then have been struggling, I have got less than 200mls total a couple of days. She drinks all the expressed milk so it’s obviously not a taste issue. She doesn’t drink a lot of water so her total fluids some days add up to only about 250mls.

    Today we tried only offering her water as some people suggested that she might be more likely to take the breast if she wasn’t getting milk any other way. Still no interest in breastfeeding and she only drank 130mls of water.

    I’m really tired, stressed and upset by this, and worried about her getting dehydrated. I don't think she is trying to wean because she seems unhappy about the situation. She cries her "feed me" cry and occasionally she'll even open her mouth like she is about to start feeding but then at the last second she turns away and cries.
    Last edited by @llli*koromiko; May 12th, 2013 at 03:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,114

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    Oh, mama, I am so sorry about the nursing strike! I have an IRL friend who had the same experience- a bad bite at 9 months, a yelp, and then baby refused to nurse.

    This link has good tips on overcoming a strike: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    If you can't break the strike- and my friend was sadly unable to do so- you may want to finish out the year with the pump. Exclusive pumping can be difficult and you don't want to do it if you don't have to- but if you have to, then it is possible! What sort of pump do you have, and how often are you pumping at this point?
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    My LO is going through the same thing and she's 8.5 months. It's day 7 now and she still has no interest in nursing. She would arch her back, turn away from the breast and close her lips tight every time I would pull her to the breast in an attempt to get her to nurse. She has bit me before (she's got her two bottom teeth) but I don't think I scared her with my reaction though she definitely noticed. I do think she's teething though, as I think I feel tiny rough edges that seemingly are about to break through the gums. Could be just my imagination, trying to find a reason on why she would suddenly stop nursing.

    Right now we feed her expressed milk in bottles and she takes those (after some coaxing and distractions).

    Sorry, not much help, but more of a "me too". Hang in there.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    How is it going for you now SeptMommy? Hope your LO is feeding again. Day 11 here.

    Mommal I'm using an avent electric pump. I'm only getting 250mls most days which I don't think is enough for her.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,593

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    250 mils-I am converting that to about 8.5 ounces-is that right? That is pretty low, even if baby is eating solids.
    Can you get a hold of a "hospital grade" rental pump?
    Can you troubleshoot your pump-is it old? Have you changed the membranes (little white thingys-these wear out quickly.) Are the breast shields the correct size for you? If you are using the same ones you used when baby was a newborn they may well be too big now, assuming your breast size has changed as would be typical.

    Have you looked at other possibilities for the strike? A change in soap, deodorant or lotion is one that many moms do not think about...
    Have you tried 'instant reward' at the breast?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    Yes, that's about 8.5 ounces. It's not an old pump. I don't think it has membranes, it has valves but they seem ok. The breast shields are smaller than what I used when she was newborn. I have not changed soap or deodorant or anything like that.

    By instant reward do you mean stimulating a bit first to make sure milk comes quickly? I have tried that. Or do you mean something else? I tried putting yoghurt on my nipple too after someone suggested that (she loves yoghurt) but even that didn't work!

    It has been 2 weeks now so I think I'm going to have to let go of the idea of her coming back but I would like to still express some milk for her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    So sorry to hear that she hasn't gone back to nursing, mama. If you have the heart for it, I would continue to offer now and then- when she's sleepy, when she's crying, in the bath. You never know when you might catch her in the right mood.

    That being said, I have 2 friends whose babies self-weaned at less than a year, and while they were bummed about it they finished out the first year with the pump. What sort of pump are you using, and how often are you able to pump? If nursing isn't in the cards for you, let's work on making pumping more effective and less work!
    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!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    Hey koromiko. Day 13 here and my LO still has not come back to the breast. Every time she sees it coming she turns her head the other way. She does not even open her mouth to let the nipple in-- not even when I try to "dreamfeed" her. I am still trying to offer, but I am slowing coming to terms with it now as well and just pumping to keep my supply. I'm hoping to at least finish out her first year with my milk. My LO enjoys solids very much so maybe she is really self-weaning.

    How many times are you pumping a day? I've heard that you should pump at least 6? times to keep your supply but not sure. My LO doesn't even drink milk 6 times a day though (more like 4), so that doesn't follow the supply/demand logic.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    Hi Septmommy, sorry to hear your little one hasn't returned to the breast. That's great that you are planning to give her your milk for the rest of her first year.

    Mommal, making pumping more effective and less hard work sounds great! I am using a Philips Avent Twin Electric (http://www.philips.co.nz/c/avent-bab...drp2?t=support)

    I would love to just give her just breastmilk but don't have the time/energy to pump all day. At the beginning of her strike I think I was spending more than four hours a day pumping and I still wasn't getting much. I could only spend that time because my partner and mother were able to help out but that was just in the short term. My little one so active and gets upset if she sees me pumping or crawls over and tries to grab things so I just don't know when to do it. So I am pumping twice a day and trying to get enough to give her one feed of breastmilk in the evening. It's often not quite enough though. I am giving her formula for her other feeds now. I offer my breast every now and then but she still turns away and grizzles at the sight of it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,114

    Default Re: Nursing strike at 9.5 months

    The Avent Twin Electric is probably not the pump you want at this point. It's a good machine for a working mom whose baby is nursing well when she's home, probably not enough for a mom who is relying on it full-time! I'd call your local LCs and medical equipment suppliers and see if you can find a hospital-grade pump for rent. A better pump would get you more milk in less time, and maybe you'd be able to cram in some additional pump sessions during the day. More pump sessions = more milk.

    It's great that you're able to produce enough for a bottle per day! It might not seem like much, but everyone here knows how much work goes into obtaining that bottle and how committed you have to be to keep going!
    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!"

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