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Thread: nursing strike

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    12

    Default nursing strike

    Hello all. I am new here and I currently attend LLL meetings where I live. I am desperate....I am so needing encouragement, stories and advice.

    My sweet little man is 10 mon. today. For a 6 days he as refused my breast. As of Saturday morning around 5am he did try a few suckles. That's it. I am so heartbroken I have tried pretty much everything.
    Whenever I try to offer him the breast he just turns away and tries to get down. I'm not sure if I should even try anymore. And I have absolutely NO idea what has caused this.

    I do skin to skin often and he does pinch my nipple and such but shows no interest in nursing. Its just hard for me to accept its over. He takes a bottle just fine however I had tried also to get rid of all bottles in hopes he will come back. I didn't realize how hard this would be for me. Thank you for any hope or advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,430

    Default Re: nursing strike

    There is probably nothing more frustrating than a nursing strike.

    Please know that nursing strikes CAN last quite a long time, and baby will still go back to nursing. Have you been able to pump or hand exoress to help keep milk production normal?
    it would be very unusual for a baby as young as 10 months to spontaneously wean. Especially if this refusal to nurse was rather sudden, I would assume it is a strike, NOT true weaning.

    I have to get the kids to bed now and won't be back online for the night, but I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Nursing strikes happen to many moms & babies! If you search nursing strikes on this website you will find many mother's stories. For tips on gently getting baby back to breast, see those and also this excellent article: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    does anyone have a suggestion or words of encouragement for hranee?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: nursing strike

    Thank you for your response! Yes, I do have a double electric pump that I use. Its so hard to pump while having a baby climb all over you and not understanding WHY he won't just nurse and each passing day seems to diminish hope. I am also a working mom so of course I am having a hard time going to work during this trial.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,962

    Default Re: nursing strike

    I'm so sorry, mama. Nursing strikes are rotten. Do follow those tips from the Kellymom article- you never know what's going to work.

    I just want to add that while a lot of people will say that babies never, ever self-wean at less than a year, I know 2 kids who did, one at 9 months and the other at 10 months. Their moms tried everything and the babies still just wouldn't go back to the breast. So the moms finished out the year with the pump. Not ideal, not what they wanted... But if this nursing strike ends up being permanent, you have company in this situation.
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,627

    Default Re: nursing strike

    My daughter striked from 2.5 mos old to 7.5 mos. Then she nursed till 39 months old. I pumped 10x/day during that time and tried to latch her on in her sleep 4x/day. I have no idea why she decided to nurse again but I really tried when she screamed at me to just be really casual about it even though it was so emotionally painful. I hated going to bf-ing group and hearing women complain about how much their babies wanted to nurse or anything.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    548

    Default Re: nursing strike

    My LO had a few very short strikes, so I don't have much advice regarding ending them, but I do have great sympathy. For those 24-48 hours, I was a nervous wreck. But I did notice the times it was worse seemed to coincide with teething or some other pain she might be having. Have you tried ibuprofen or something similar before bed, and then maybe try nursing during a wakeup? That was how she'd give in and go back to nursing -- either too sleepy to protest (and no longer hurting) or in the morning when she woke up and forgot she had been hurting.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    42

    Default Re: nursing strike

    Hi DD had one nursing strike and this is what worked for us,
    try having a bath with your baby or lying in the tub with her, she may spontaneously want to nurse.Another trick is to just spend some time playing on the bed with her, let her have easy access to you for feeding she may try to latch on playfully, change of positions like sidelying besides her.you could also try the instant reward technique like gently squirting some milk in her mouth playfully.The thing is that it should not look like an attempt to feed her, rather some fun thing u r doing with her.Also try feeding her in new places other than those u are feeding in.In a new place initially let her settle down soak up the new atmosphere see the new sights then try casually offering her to nurse.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    12

    Default Re: nursing strike

    Thank you all for your encouragement and advice. I so wish there was a quick fix! But I will just continue on and try to power through. Even if that means pumping for a couple more months.

    I do have somthing that I want to mention. I am caught up with wether or not to use bottles? I hate the coldness of feeding him in his high chair with a cup. And correct me if i'm wrong but a cup is a faster flow than any bottle. So I guess I do not completely understand the get rid of all bottles suggestions on kelllymom and other articles. Could someone enlighten me on this. My gut instict tells me to bottle feed in a nursing position so that it may lead to taking the breast again.

    Also, I had mentioned the option of co-sleeping, however I just can't bring myself to disrupt the one thing that is going fairly well with this situation. He has become a great sleeper after 9 months of sleepless nights. And just a few days ago he was fussing in the middle of the night so I quickly popped in to offer the breast and I was unable to soothe him like I used to be able to. SO you see the dilemma, I don't want to disrupt the whole familys sleep just to try and sneek the boob in. Also he is not used to co-sleeping so it may cause more harm than good? Hope this makes sense. Any thoughts or opinions on this would be appreciated!
    Last edited by @llli*hranee; November 20th, 2013 at 08:01 AM. Reason: added more

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,962

    Default Re: nursing strike

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hranee View Post
    I do have somthing that I want to mention. I am caught up with wether or not to use bottles? I hate the coldness of feeding him in his high chair with a cup. And correct me if i'm wrong but a cup is a faster flow than any bottle. So I guess I do not completely understand the get rid of all bottles suggestions on kelllymom and other articles. Could someone enlighten me on this. My gut instict tells me to bottle feed in a nursing position so that it may lead to taking the breast again.
    The reason kellymom suggests getting rid of the bottle is that a lot of kids who are striking are choosing bottles over the breast. Bottles have advantages for an older baby. They require less effort, and they are portable, which means that the baby can have his meal while playing and exploring, rather than "wasting" time cuddling with mom. What usually happens, when baby has a bottle preference, is that every time mom offers the breast and the baby refuses, the baby is getting a bottle instead. Result: increased reliance on bottles. Take away or limit the bottles, and hopefully the baby realizes that there is no alternative to the breast, and ends the strike.

    It sounds like you're not using bottles at all, though. Correct? If so, I think you should go with your gut instinct. If you feel that using a bottle rather than a cup would result in more cuddling and perhaps incentivize your baby to go back to the breasts, it is definitely worth a try. You could even make it into a game- when it's time to give baby a bottle, cuddle him close to your bare chest and see if maybe he'll go back and forth between bottle and breast. Even licking or latching on for a moment represents progress when a baby is striking.

    Also, I had mentioned the option of co-sleeping, however I just can't bring myself to disrupt the one thing that is going fairly well with this situation. He has become a great sleeper after 9 months of sleepless nights. And just a few days ago he was fussing in the middle of the night so I quickly popped in to offer the breast and I was unable to soothe him like I used to be able to. SO you see the dilemma, I don't want to disrupt the whole familys sleep just to try and sneek the boob in. Also he is not used to co-sleeping so it may cause more harm than good? Hope this makes sense. Any thoughts or opinions on this would be appreciated!
    Don't think of co-sleeping as a sure- fire solution to the nursing strike woes. Think of it as something you try. If it works, awesome! If not, you go back to your previous arrangement.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: nursing strike

    Ok that makes sense. I am currently not using bottles (but cuddling skin to skin is what I miss the most so maybe worth a try.) and I work full time so I have asked the daycare provider to use a cup in place of the bottle for a bit until we get this figured out. When he was using bottles he has never been allowed to roam around or have them at times other than feeding times. I also do not give juice or water hardly ever and definatly not freely.

    Oh and on a postive note a couple days ago he tolerated being around the breast more with his face pressed up against the breast. Also, i put on a fun necklace to distract him and he allowed part of the nipple to brush against his lips so can i count that as improvement?

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