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Thread: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

  1. #1

    Default Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    I seek advice out of sadness, my nine month old refused to nurse. Since I had returned to work when she was four months, she has been both nursing and bottle feeding (tommee tippee) and we had no issues. She has still always nursed for even comfort when my supply was low. My AF returned last month and my supply has drastically declined. I have been working on getting it back, although it is nearly almost completely gone, and even still she had been getting what she could and nursing for comfort, until this weekend. She wanted nothing to do with me this weekend. She only wanted her bottle and would turn away from my breast when I would attempt to introduce it. This is something very sudden and I am very sad. I was hoping to at least make it until a year. Is it too late or should I not give up? What can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
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    938

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    I expect other more experienced ladies here to come and provide you with some links to helpful information like on the Kellymom site.
    I'll just say that is it probably NOT TOO LATE. The Book Making More Milk could be very helpful to you for getting your supply back up. Had your daughter been getting expressed breast milk in the bottle while apart from you or has it been formula? (no judgement just wondering how drastic the supply drop has actually been.) My understanding is that the return of fertility often brings a temporary drop in supply and possibly an objection to a variation in milk flavor occasionally but it is also possible that the reverse is the case where a decrease in nursing can bring on fertility, for instance if baby is not nursing at night and pumping is not done in it's place at night or during daycare then the body could think weaning is happening and fertility comes back which can further exasperate the problem. Now with the return of fertility there is also the chance of pregnancy which can cause a loss of milk supply in many women or if you are using any hormonal birth control, that can also affect milk supply.

    Good Luck, keep trying as this might just be a temporary nursing strike. Sometimes catching baby when still asleep or not fully awake can get her to nurse and help re-establish the relationship before it's too far gone.

    In the mean time, I understand that 9 months is a common time to have a "pump slump" so if you are pumping, time to check your pump out and make sure all parts are in good shape, perhaps replace all the replaceable parts since a leaky valve or tube etc can definitely cause a decrease in the amount you can pump and if your supply is low, more frequent and effective removal of milk is the best way to bring that supply back up.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    Thank you for the response, @llli*tclynx ...She has been having both expressed milk and formula since my supply has decreased. I have still been pumping, but not getting very much at all. I replaced all parts on my pump last week and the suction is great again. There has been a huge drop in my supply though. I will do what I can to get it to return. I just hope my daughters desire to nurse will return also. She had been nursing during the night and for comfort like normal, until just this past week. She has never turned her head away from me until these past few days. I will try skin to skin and when she is sleeping. I hope it works out. I never expected such a sudden halt in our nursing journey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    938

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    I can totally understand/feel for your distress, my lo is only 4 months old and we have been having all sorts of issues from the beginning but I would still grieve if we lost our breastfeeding relationship early.

    make sure you are staying well hydrated, eating well and getting enough rest. And try nursing before giving solids or bottles. Make sure there isn't a new skin cream or soap or something like that she could be objecting to. Perhaps get a check up to make sure there isn't anything medically going on with you (thyroid levels since they can commonly affect milk supply.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,420

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    Sudden disinterest in nursing is called a nursing strike. ~9 months is a very common age for this to occur.
    Strikes have many possible causes and many solutions to try. They can happen even when threre is plenty of milk. They are very frustrating and disheartening for mom, but this is not a rejection of you or your milk. It's a strike! They can happen to anyone. Here is more: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    If you were relying on your pump every day, and your pump was malfunctioning for a while, (a pump can be not working right and it not be obvious at all) that would certainly harm milk production. There was a pump recall a couple years ago due to precisely this issue- the pump seemed to work, but it was not working right, and many mothers saw their output and milk production harmed. I also wonder how you knew you were losing milk production-was that based on pump output? Anyway, There are many methods to consider for increasing milk production. Here is more: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp...es/low-supply/

  6. #6

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    I'm not sure I can help but I just wanted to tell you I know exactly how you feel. I posted about this too. I am on day 17 of a nursing strike with my nearly nine month old. In the first week I felt as though I was grieving, as dramatic as that sounds. Now I think I am a little more reconciled... My boy went from screaming if I even took him into the room I usually feed in, to now when he will 'dream feed' but only if I swap from bottle to breast when he is basically asleep. He had never taken a bottle until last week but I decided in the end that the bottle to breast swap was the last thing left to try. I hired a mega pump and do three lengthy pumps each day (up to an hour) and my supply has increased after an initial dip. I keep pumping for more than 35 minutes as apparently it is usual to get a second letdown then and for quite a time after the milk stops flowing. The other thing that seemed to have potential was using nipple shields. My boy latched on and sucked for a couple of minutes (he will not go near me usually - screams and twists away) but he ended up crying because he didn't get the instant gratification that he was getting used to on the bottle. So we continue bathing together every day. I give a bottle of expressed to get him to sleep for a nap and at bedtime. (He was used to feeding to sleep) I have now stopped normal bottles and am using a ha merman suckle feeder which is much more similar to the boob as it doesn't continually drop milk into their mouths. And I swap from the feeder to boob when he is basically asleep. I continue to drop milk down onto my boob into his mouth, from the feeder and this cause him to suck which means I get a letdown and he then dream feeds. Aside from that, I can't suggest anything but wanted to say I feel your pain. I have felt incredibly sad, alone and unsupported as friends and family just think I should accept breastfeeding is over. But my little boy is so sad too and not ready to stop. Sending lots of positivity your way.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - 9 month old wont nurse

    Just wanted to add that should say haberman suckle feeder. May be worth a try. I hadn't heard of them until
    Now and we have had more success with this than anything else...

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