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Thread: Separation Induced Nursing Strike

  1. #1

    Default Separation Induced Nursing Strike

    Writing this because I found very little info on this type of nursing strike, and hoped it might help someone else. Also, my nursing confidence at 1 year is now shaky - anyone have additional experiences?

    In the week prior to my daughter's first birthday, my husband and I took our first vacation away from her since she was born. We were gone 7 days, and during this time she stayed with her grandmother and was bottle & sippy cup fed the same amount of breast milk she was getting daily from me. When we left she was still nursing 5-7x a day on demand. When we returned, she would not get close to my breast and would back arch and start crying and turning her head away when cradled. She would still take the bottle, which I gave her twice before I educated myself on nursing strikes, and then removed it entirely. She would not attempt to latch, sleep feed, bath feed or nap feed - zero nursing, zero cuddling.

    Ultimately, it took 10 days. I followed all the suggestions in the nursing strike literature, and it did not seem to be getting better or that her interest was increasing. On morning of day 9, I warmed milk and fed her with a sippy but held her in a nursing position and connected with her (eye contact and snuggling). She responded seemingly well to this by not taking her eyes off me while drinking from the sippy. I had not tried this earlier, not wanting to give her an artificial nursing experience. That night, I put her to bed in the same way, with the warm milk sippy. That night, while sleepy, she would swap to my breast from the sippy and latch for only a second and then swap back to sippy. On day 10 night, I'd decided to try a low flow bottle nipple and see if she was preferring the larger flow from the sippies. I pumped just to get my milk to let down prior to taking her to her room for bed. She took one look at the bottle and turned over and latched for a full feeding. Today is day 11 and she fed 5x today, back to the usual on-demand routine.

    The factors I think were the most important to my daughter in re-establishing nursing: 1) re-establishing her trust - not trying to force, 2) positively connecting with her while feeding - milk temperature, cradling, eye contact, 3) pumping before her expected attempt so that she got a quick return.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Separation Induced Nursing Strike

    Thank you for posting a thoughtful and insightful solution to your challenge. It sounds like you addressed what can be a very real sense of abandonment among nurslings with sensitivity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Separation Induced Nursing Strike

    Thank you! I have never seen quite that approach before to a nursing strike and it really makes sense!

    I also think it is admirable that you recognized this as a strike and did not assume your baby was 'done."

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