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Thread: Long term nursing strike?!

  1. #1

    Exclamation Long term nursing strike?!

    Sorry for the long post but I'm so frustrated and upset!

    My 8 month old has stopped nursing. This is day 7. He flat out refuses unless it's the middle of the night feeding and he's half asleep (although at 5am this morning he even resisted and only gave a handful of sucks). It's been slowly deteriorating over the last month from fussiness during the occasional feed to flat out refusing for 7 days now. He won't even take my nipple in his mouth and tries to tear away from me! I've even tried feeding him in his darkened room to avoid distraction, pumping first so he doesn't have to work for the letdown, Ive tried going topless, skin to skin, you name it i've done it. I haven't changed lotions, deodorant or soaps!

    Last month we went through a renovation which was disruptive to his routines, he cut his first two teeth (bottom) and now he's congested and getting over a cold. I've heard of a nursing strike but this is more than just a few days.

    On top of having to pump 4-5 times a day so he can bottle feed breast milk which is a pain, it's emotionally hard on me. Went to the doctors and he has no sinus, throat or chest infection. She said he just has a viral cold. I'm hoping his stuffy nose is a culprit but we're on day 7 of this nursing strike. I'm an emotional wreck but not ready to give up! Going to see the Lactation Consultant Tuesday so we'll see... I can't really cut down on solids b/c he has reflux and he's on a high fat 3 meals a day diet given by the doctor. He has a history of low weight gain b/c of the reflux.

    has anyone else experienced a long term nursing strike and come back from it? Im not ready to be finished with nursing my sweet boy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,831

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    I'm so sorry about the strike, mama! They often hit around this age, and can be long-lasting. Some babies come back from them, some don't.

    Have you tried nursing him in the bath? Instant reward techniques, like having some milk on the nipple for him to taste if he latches on? Making nursing into a game where you squirt milk into his mouth (assuming you're good at hand expressing)? I mean, you probably have tried all or some of those things, but if not... Well, try them, I guess.
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,626

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    Yes, I dealt with a nursing strike that lasted 5 mos and then went on to nurse my daughter until she was 3 yrs, 3 mos. It was very hard but I stuck with it. I got her to nurse during naps when she was basically asleep and also at night since we co-slept. If she was fully awake or had her eyes open she would scream and refuse. I can't really explain why she started nursing again. It was on her own terms and she initiated it and it was a gradual return to breast over about 4-6 weeks and then after that she rarely refused. I tried to be very casual and non-emotional when she'd refuse and try not to let myself believe she was rejecting me or that she hated me although that is how it felt. We had a ton of problems nursing, many many obstacles but I'm glad we toughed it out. It was great nursing a toddler and I'm really glad we had that time together.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    Ahhh! Going through it right now! You're not alone. Here is my post : http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...g-and-striking
    I hope to have the same luck as Krystine, but I'm trying to protect myself but taking steps to remove emotion from the equation... not easy, but necessary for me. I wish you the best of luck.
    Last edited by @llli*laochsmama; March 3rd, 2014 at 12:33 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    let us know what LC says tomorrow.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    My LC told me about another mom who experienced a similar length of strike, 6 months I think she said. Gives me hope.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,626

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    It's rare to strike that longbut you can pull through. I think nursing baby while sleeping is key to keep baby semi-oriented to breast. And yes take care of yourself and don't let yourself lie to yourself about your baby not loving you. Your baby loves you. You are very special and a great mommy. Tell yourself that..
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    That's a long strike! I agree with other mamas. It gets frustrating but you have to try to be less emotional. It's good your LC was able to lessen your worries. I hope you are starting to feel okay.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    Update!

    So we're on day 11 and I've had a few glimmers of hope. But still nothing significant in terms of a turn around. Last night while mostly asleep DS nursed very well on both sides. Then this afternoon I was able to slip him on after changing his diaper by leaning over his change table and then holding him while standing. As soon as I sat down though he lost it and fussed away.

    I also met with the LC today and she basically told me what I already knew and what you lovely ladies suggested. She said that there really isn't an explanation why this has happened and that it's not a rejection of me. She basically said DS is the boss and he decides when and why or how! She explained that I need to remove emotion from this because DS can pick up on it. So hard but I'll try. She also suggested baths with my son, playing topless etc... I'm going to try some meditation and positive suggestions if / when he does latch on in hopes of having my milk let down quicker (although I've been pumping to get a letdown before I offer the breast so there's instant gratification for DS).

    So nothing new. I guess I'll just keep trying and try not to think about how sad I feel. Thank you all whole hartedly for your support. You are a group of amazing women!

    I shal keep posted if there's any change!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,626

    Default Re: Long term nursing strike?!

    You are doing great! I agree on trying to remove emotion. I was very very casual when DD would scream at me. I think it helped.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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