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Thread: Nursing Strike v. Weaning at 10 months?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Strike v. Weaning at 10 months?

    I think you treat nursing slowdowns and nursing strikes the same way: you continue to offer, patiently, calmly, consistently- and you do your darndest not to feel hurt when your child turns you down. Believe me, I understand that the last part is tough!!! So many moms just feel utterly rejected and dejected when their baby expresses no interest, or even resistance, to nursing.

    Why your baby would slow down... It's really hard to say. Some kids slow down or strike when sick or teething- in fact, if you haven't had her in to the doc, and had someone look in her ears, now is a good time to do so. Some kids just lose interest in nursing long before the average baby. And some kids go on strikes because of adverse events- for example, a friend of mine screamed when her baby bit her while nursing, and the baby went on a strike and never went back to the breast. Totally not my friend's fault, of course, because who wouldn't scream at an unexpected chomp in such a sensitive place!

    I wish the were some sort of guidance we could offer in terms of how often it makes sense to offer, how much you need to pump in order to maintain supply... But these are such individual questions that I think all we can give you is rough suggestions. Offer before meals, offer after meals, offer in the tub, offer when she's relaxed and sleepy, offer when she's sad... You never know what moment is going to strike that's going to remind her that nursing is good for food and comfort. When it comes to pumping, I think that you want to maintain supply, but how many times you need to pump in order to do that is very individual. I personally would aim to pump at the 3-4 hour mark, if baby hasn't nursed. But maybe that's not the right strategy for you, since your baby prefers a fuller breast, and of you pumped right before she nursed you'd be pretty drained. So how about pumping right after she nurses, and maybe again at the 1-2 hour mark?

    If your LO starts nursing again, then yes, your supply will rebound. That's ability is what has kept the human species going! If milk supply were easy to lose, I doubt we'd have made it out of the Pleistocene.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Nursing Strike v. Weaning at 10 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*gigi2961 View Post
    karrieperry - Do you pump during the day if your baby is refusing to nurse? How do you protect your supply when she's just nursing at night (I'm sorry that is happening; you must be so tired!)

    mommal - Is nursing slowdown something that is ok to let happen? i.e. are you saying that would be a natural part of her getting older whereas a nursing strike is something I need to work on? Why would she slow down if she's not getting liquids from other sources?

    lllmeg - She had a major surgery for a spinal cord anomaly at 4 months old. I pumped 30 oz./day bedside in the PICU and "dangled" over her bed to comfort nurse her. Once we got home, she went back to nursing. I stopped pumping so much without the pressure of the surgery and my supply seemed to regulate such that I stopped getting so many plugged ducts. She seemed to have no problem extracting milk even with a less full breast because her weight gain was steady. But then around 8 months everything changed. I think she's still gaining (based on her 9 month check-up), more slowly now but I know that's normal. She wets about 4 diapers a day. Not soaking. She has energy, seems content enough. In fact, she seems content even when she hasn't nursed for 6 hours! I think that's why this causes so much anxiety. I actually have nightmares about her suddenly wasting away and I didn't realize it was it happening.

    What's most confusing to me is how many times I should try, how long I should let it go on, before resorting to pumping and trying to feed her via cup. Yesterday, for example, she nursed at 4:30am, a little at 8:30am and then refused at noon. She had part of a peach for breakfast so it wasn't like she was full of solids. I tried again and again until about 1:30pm when I started worrying that I should pump. So I pumped about 4 oz. and gave it to her. Then at 5pm I tried again, and she was not interested. I tried a few times until 6:30pm when I pumped again and got about 3.5oz, which I gave to her. Should I not pump and just hold out a little longer if it happens again today? Will my supply come back up if she starts nursing again?

    This has been so hard on my relationship with her and my relationship with others. No one understands why I can't just throw her in the car and go on a family outing for the day. She's 10 months old and I have never left the house for more than a few hours. I was really hoping things would get easier as she got older, and if they do, I'm happy to nurse her forever, but I need to figure this out soon.

    Thanks again for the advice. I don't have anyone else to turn to right now.
    I understand about the outings!!! I feel the exact same way. Sometimes I go out anyway, sometimes it works out, sometimes she ends up crying. But to me, it's really not my fault if she ends up being too hungry. She knows how to nurse, and although I try to be as accommodating as possible and I love her more than life, I know that her future self would not want me to NEVER go out if there was a chance she may not nurse if hungry. I try to be fair and stay behind if I feel it's absolutely necessary. I did nursing in bed only for like 6 months. I think that's enough! lol

    Like mommal said, just offer consistently and patiently. It just took me an hour to get mine down for a nap because she wants to move, crawl, etc. I've become a pro with patience!

    You know what, I would just try your best to ignore those people who don't understand. I do, but at one point it really started to get to me. I would also compromise with baby, if you want to go out, plan a nice outing not too far from home. If baby gets hungry and won't eat, just head for home a little early. If baby cries a little, it's probably worth you not feeling couped up and desperate to leave your house.

    My baby does nurse during the day, and if I get overfull I express a little. Some days she nurses like 14 times. Other days, it's 10, mostly at night. She really wants to walk, and I have a feeling a big nursing strike is coming. She's been almost impossible to get down for naps.

    Anyway, I think the only way you can get through this with some sanity left is just do your best. You made it through so much already! That is awesome. Nursing was nothing like I expected but I'm glad I'm still going, even though there are moments when I feel like I don't want to continue.
    and Mama to two little girls

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nursing Strike v. Weaning at 10 months?

    I am afraid I cannot advise how long you should try prior to pumping. It's just such an individual thing! However I would say that if a baby this age is not nursing at all, a good amount to try to aim for pumping wise is 6 times a day. (That is at this age 10 months.-younger babies it would be more.) A 10 month old may certainly be nursing more often than that, but it is so much harder to pump you typically would want to try for a reasonable, doable amount.

    I believe it is fine to offer as much as you like as long as you can do so without feeling or communicating pressure to nurse.

    What I am curious about is what happened at 8 months to change everything. That IS a prime age for nursing strike, but even so, and even if it is never discovered, there usually is a reason for a nursing strike.

    Certainly neck pain and misalignment from birth 'injury' or cramping in the womb is suspected of causing nursing issues in infants, so I would wonder if it is possible that something from the surgery or it’s aftermath, or the initial back issue itself, is causing sucking issues, maybe something so subtle it would not affect anything else but causes active nursing to be uncomfortable or difficult for baby? This is way out of my knowledge base, this would be something to discuss with a very experienced IBCLC I suspect.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Nursing Strike v. Weaning at 10 months?

    I am not aware of any issues from the surgery and as these issues started at 8 months it was already 4 months post-op with no complications.
    The ONLY thing that "happened" at 8 months was the return of my cycle. Could that be enough to turn her off?

    I think I will take measures to increase supply first and see if I can achieve a "fuller" breast to entice her.
    I assume if I have questions about increasing supply there are lots of postings here already or I can start a new one rather than continue here.
    (New to the forum so just want to make sure I'm using it correctly.)

    katieperry said it best: "Nursing was nothing like I expected but I'm glad I'm still going, even though there are moments when I feel like I don't want to continue."

  5. #15

    Default Re: Nursing Strike v. Weaning at 10 months?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*gigi2961 View Post
    The ONLY thing that "happened" at 8 months was the return of my cycle. Could that be enough to turn her off?
    I've heard of it happening, but I can't actually find any information about it.

    IIRC, some people speculate that changes in hormone levels can affect milk supply or the taste of the milk. Do you notice any variations in her behavior over the course of your cycle? Does she nurse better at some times than others?

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