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Thread: Breastfeeding strike?

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding strike?

    Hey everyone!

    My LO is 10 weeks old and for the last few days we have been having issues with afternoon and evening feedings. She will eat fine at night and in the morning, but come afternoon, she won't eat barely at all. She'll latch for a few seconds, pull off, cry, latch again, pull off, cry, rinse and repeat. She acts like she is starving the whole time she does this.

    I've been wondering if it's due to slow letdown but I've attempted feeding while compressing my breast and she still fusses as described above.

    Lately she's been chewing on her hands and drooling a lot, so I'm wondering if she's starting to teethe. She's also been congested lately with green snot, instead of white like it was previously. She went to the pediatrician on Monday and checked out fine, but this has really been happening only the last few days.

    I know 10 weeks is early for teething, but my sister and I both started teething at two months, as did my niece.

    I was finally able to get her to eat tonight with expressed milk in a bottle, but I didn't want to really start bottle feeding her until I go back to work in four weeks. I'm really at a loss of what to do. Should I continue breast feeding her in the morning, and give her bottles at night when she's really fussy? Should I continue trying to get her to take the breast at night?

    I appreciate any help you might have.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Breastfeeding strike?

    Many babies have a block of several hours each day during which they are extremely and may refuse to nurse. As long as the baby isn't sick and is nursing normally at all other times of the day, then this behavior is normal infant fussiness, and not a nursing strike per se. Though fussy evenings can be intense, it is also temporary, and most babies outgrow them by around 3 months, though. Some have fussy periods out to 6 months or so.

    Some things to try when evening fussiness strikes:
    - Nurse as much as possible
    - Reduce stimulation by turning the lights, TV, and stereo down, or preferably off
    - White noise- vacuum cleaner sounds, radio static, dryer noises, etc.
    - Motion- rock in a rocker, bounce gently on an exercise ball, swing baby in a swing, wear baby in a sling and go for a walk, stroller ride, etc.
    - Warm bath
    - Trip outside into the fresh air

    It's all about changing the baby's sensory input, and distracting him/her from fussiness for a short while. None of these techniques works for very long, so you have to keep changing it up!

    All that being said, I think now probably is a very good time to start offering one bottle per day. AFAIK, you don't want your baby's first experience with a bottle to be the day you return to work. Some babies wil refuse the bottle, and a little practice with it can make the transition easier for everyone.
    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: Breastfeeding strike?

    It would be very unusual for A 10 week old to go on a classic nursing strike. (refusing to nurse for several days or even weeks.) Usually a baby this age truly refusing to nurse like that would be due to bottles or pacifier (over)use, but it sounds as if you are avoiding artificial nipples, so I agree with mommal this is likely an issue of temporary fussiness, possibly brought on by the cold or allergies or whatever is causing the mucous, possiblly teething, possibly colic, some combo, etc.

    As long as baby is gaining weight appropriately and nursing at least 8 times a day over all, you are likely just fine.

    I am going to differ a little from mommal about bottle introduction. I suggest, if baby is getting enough milk overall and you are finding you are resorting to bottle use because baby won’t nurse at a particular time of day, do not do that. Yes, typically it would be fine to introduce a bottle now, but since your baby took the offered bottle fine, it appears baby is not going to have major issues taking a bottle. So probably no need to do a daily bottle now, and I would suggest NOT doing bottles at all while you are having this baby refusing to nurse scenario going on, or bad enough to concern you.

    The potential problem with giving baby a bottle when baby is (temporarily) refusing to nurse is this could possibly act to ‘train’ baby away from nursing. If your baby is fussy part of the day due to a slow flow, baby needs to learn to just deal with it because it is normal for milk flow to be slower and there to be less milk available part of the day. And yes this may cause a baby to pop on pop off and act frustrated. But it is not on its own a reason to give a supplemental feeding with a bottle.

    If your baby is NOT nursing enough and you really feel baby needs a feeding, you could try offering a small amount in the bottle to calm baby down and then nursing.

    But I agree with mommal and suspect it has nothing to do with your milk flow and it is just that your baby is fussy for whatever reason. Nursing takes effort and a fussy baby may not want to make that effort at the moment. On the other hand, a healthy baby who is truly hungry is going to figure it out and nurse eventually.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastfeeding strike?

    here is a helpful article on encouraging a baby to take the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    and one on bottle feeding the breastfed baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breastfeeding strike?

    Thanks for the replies. It gives me a few things to try. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Breastfeeding strike?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    It would be very unusual for A 10 week old to go on a classic nursing strike. (refusing to nurse for several days or even weeks.) Usually a baby this age truly refusing to nurse like that would be due to bottles or pacifier (over)use, but it sounds as if you are avoiding artificial nipples, so I agree with mommal this is likely an issue of temporary fussiness, possibly brought on by the cold or allergies or whatever is causing the mucous, possiblly teething, possibly colic, some combo, etc.

    As long as baby is gaining weight appropriately and nursing at least 8 times a day over all, you are likely just fine.

    I am going to differ a little from mommal about bottle introduction. I suggest, if baby is getting enough milk overall and you are finding you are resorting to bottle use because baby won’t nurse at a particular time of day, do not do that. Yes, typically it would be fine to introduce a bottle now, but since your baby took the offered bottle fine, it appears baby is not going to have major issues taking a bottle. So probably no need to do a daily bottle now, and I would suggest NOT doing bottles at all while you are having this baby refusing to nurse scenario going on, or bad enough to concern you.

    The potential problem with giving baby a bottle when baby is (temporarily) refusing to nurse is this could possibly act to ‘train’ baby away from nursing. If your baby is fussy part of the day due to a slow flow, baby needs to learn to just deal with it because it is normal for milk flow to be slower and there to be less milk available part of the day. And yes this may cause a baby to pop on pop off and act frustrated. But it is not on its own a reason to give a supplemental feeding with a bottle.

    If your baby is NOT nursing enough and you really feel baby needs a feeding, you could try offering a small amount in the bottle to calm baby down and then nursing.

    But I agree with mommal and suspect it has nothing to do with your milk flow and it is just that your baby is fussy for whatever reason. Nursing takes effort and a fussy baby may not want to make that effort at the moment. On the other hand, a healthy baby who is truly hungry is going to figure it out and nurse eventually.
    We have been using a pacifier for the last four weeks or so. Could that be contributing to this issue?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,895

    Default Re: Breastfeeding strike?

    Yes. Babies have several needs that get met at the breast, sometimes simultaneously, including the need for food, the need to suck, and the need for comfort. If the baby gets the idea that comfort and sucking needs can be met by a pacifier, it can lead the baby to be a lot more fussy at the breast.

    Taking the paci away for now might not be a bad idea. But think of it as something to try, not a guarantee of curing the fussiness.
    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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