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Thread: Please please please help - nursing strike

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    MI
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    326

    Default Please please please help - nursing strike

    I posted earlier about this issue, but it's not ending and I'm absolutely crumbling under it all.

    DS is 11 months (he'll be one this Wednesday!) and three days ago he nursed to sleep, but when he woke up at 1am, he wouldn't nurse back down. No biggie - that's happened before. He did, however, just cry cry cry on and off for HOURS. Clearly he wasn't feeling well.

    But the next day he refused to nurse as well, too. He cried, screamed, arched his back, and did everything he could to crawl away from me every time I offered.

    What is worse is he wouldn't drink ANYTHING at all. He started running a fever shortly after.

    A trip to the doctor came back with a big old "we don't know - teething?" and a larger syringe for me to try to feed him from.

    He is now taking milk from a syringe, but is still refusing me. It will be a full 36 hours tonight since he last latched on. I just want him back on the breast

    I'm so weighed down with the whole thing: I want that nursing relationship back, my hand pump doesn't work that well, he isn't taking much milk through the syringe, what if he forgets how to latch, what if he likes the syringe better (crazy, but who knows)

    I'm trying to do lots of cuddling and skin to skin, but he rarely wants to sit with me. I've gotten him to poke my nipple a few times and I give him a big "yea! yeah! good boy!" He touched his mouth to my nipple once or twice and cheered for that as well, but he does nothing but SCREAM and pull away. Being sleepy doesn't make it any easier, although he is more likely to let me hold and rock him.

    I don't know how often to offer because he can't seem to stand it, but I know I have to offer a lot.

    Has anyone survived a nursing strike this long? How? How? The last time he did this it was teething related, but it only lasted 10 hours. Every day that goes by I start to lose hope.

    I want someone to come and POOF! make it all better. I know that can't happen, but I need inspiration. Three days seems awfully long. TIA
    I'm Melissa, DD (01/12/2009) weaned at a little over 2 1/2 years & DS (08/19/14) still going!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    Strikes can last weeks, even months, and still baby comes back to the breast. Not that it is at all likely this will last that long, I am just saying, as hard as it is to experience, this is not yet a lengthy strike.

    It sounds like you know where the strike is originating- your baby is ill, ill enough to run a fever. I think this is good news, in the sense that presumably, baby will start to nurse again once baby feels better.

    I would suggest, borrow, rent or purchase an electric pump. Even an inexpensive one sided electric will probably be better than a hand pump. Hand pumping gets really old, really fast.

    Also, if baby appears to be upset when you offer to nurse, maybe offer to nurse without offering. Meaning, keep baby cuddled close to you, snuggled beside or on top of you, either skin to skin or simply with very easy access.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    MI
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    Thank you, Maddieb, for the response. I'm going to keep what you said in mind.

    So far today it's been nothing but rejection. I've spent a lot of the day nursing stuffed animals in an attempt to show him what to do. It really feels like he has forgotten.

    I brought out our nursing cover and he made an excited sound and crawled on my lap, but when I offered, he pulled away and cried. There is a strong aversion going on right now.

    He is feeling better. Perhaps his molars are still bugging him, but the fever is gone and he's crabby any longer.

    I'm trying to keep him close, but he likes to explore and is easily distracted. So what I have been doing is making sure we cuddle it up every hour, we do something "friendly" with my nipples like nursing stuff animals or even just poking them, then I offer. He refuses (so far). Repeat.

    At his former intervals (every 3 hours) I pump. I'm pumping 3 oz, sometimes 4. If he rejects me, I give him milk through the syringe. He is SO excited to see the syringe and drinks happily, but only about 2 oz at a time. Then he cries and stops and refuses. I'm afraid he isn't getting enough to drink. He wet diaper count has been LOW. Sometimes only 1-2 a day. I have been giving him a straw cup with water in it throughout the day. He's not too good with cups of any sorts (hence the syringe for feeding) but he will sip sometimes. He's one tomorrow. I'd rather not introduce cow's milk - but will the little breastmilk and water keep him hydrated?

    My next step is to call a lactation consultant. I think I might give my above plan some time to see if there are any breakthroughs.

    Like it or not, I'll post daily updates. I need to get it out and talk about it. DH wants me to feel better, but he thinks that our son has weaned himself and it's time to move on. I disagree, but don't want to hear that anymore - so I'll talk about it here. Feel free to ignore, mamas! However, any input or personal experience would be so appreciated. This is such a trying thing to go through.
    I'm Melissa, DD (01/12/2009) weaned at a little over 2 1/2 years & DS (08/19/14) still going!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    This is the exact reason I joined and need help! My guy is 10 months and we took a 5 day trip away from him and he is all of a sudden finished! He was EBF and wouldn't take anything but breast and now I fear it is over! I have tried bath time together, co sleep with breast available, cuddles with breast available, tried a nipple shield, I will try the nursing stuff animals but need more ideas and encouragement. We are going on day 4 and I also just want my baby back to nursing! I'm not ready to give up. Good luck to you as I am following also!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    MI
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    We did the bath yesterday! Still nothing. This is day 4 for us as well. He lets me cuddle him, but if he even hears me unclasp the nursing bra he starts to cry.

    I'm still sticking it out. I'm determined tosee him hooked back up! I hope it doesn't take a month... I'm actually fearing that he does not remember whatthe boob does.

    Tomorrowis another day. One hour at a time. sigh

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    Day 5 - still nothing but aversion. His new thing is to grab the bottle I'm pumping into to try to sip in the middle of the session. So frustrating because the tap is RIGHT THERE! Come on! Latch latch latch.

    I wonder if he will hop back on once his molars come through? If it was/is teething pain that started the strike. He seems to be doing fine during the day. No fever, only as cranky as usual

    I'm remaining calm when I'm with him, but I still fear he has forgotten
    I'm Melissa, DD (01/12/2009) weaned at a little over 2 1/2 years & DS (08/19/14) still going!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    Just in case either of you have not seen these or need a refresher:

    Help, My Baby Won't Nurse: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    LLL Resource page on Strikes- several articles : http://www.llli.org/nb/nbstrikes.html

    I know this is so hard...please keep us updated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    MI
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    Well I typed a novel and then pressed the wrong button. Oops. That was good to get all that out however. I'll recap a little:

    I have used those resources. I keep hoping for something new and miraculous from the Kelly Mom site, but every time I look it's the same I can't stand the LLL one because all the linked articles are stories from moms whose babies went on a strike and never came back. I sobbed my way through them.

    Still nothing today. He cries cries cries if I hold him close to my boob. I wonder if I'm offering TOO often. Maybe fewer times would help because it upsets him so much? The offers are QUICK. Like 2-3 seconds because he freaks out when I offer/try to nurse. I don't want to force him, but I couldn't even try the way he screams and pushes away and throws his whole body in avoidance.

    He'd rather take expressed milk from a plastic 10cc syringe. He used to pant in excitement if I was little slow unclipping my bra and getting it out. Now he makes that sound if he sees a Medela bottle or plastic syringe. Just now he took 3 freshly pumped ounces sitting on the kitchen floor from a plastic syringe instead of being held by me. It's heartbreaking

    We started watching breastfeeding videos on YouTube today. I just lay back with my boob out to see what happens. When I do this, instead of offering while holding him, he doesn't cry. But he doesn't come near me either. Maybe a poke and that's it. I feel like this offer often and stay calm thing isn't working at all.

    One benefit of the strike: he started sleeping through the night. He was up every 1-4 hours, with a typically night being up every 3. I nursed him down every time he woke. I'm assuming since he is no longer nursing... he isn't waking for it. I'd rather have him wake up all night long and nurse than sleep through but not nurse. I'm more tired now than I was before. This whole situation is exhausting - physically, emotionally, and time-wise. I'm lucky I work from home, but I'm losing so much time to pumping, feeding, cleaning, and worrying. I stopped bursting into tears throughout the day, but still have a good cry after bedtime or in the shower. This is TOUGH. I've survived a 12 hour strike, thrush, plugged ducts, mastitis, a milk blister (THAT IS HORRIBLE!) but nothing compares to this strike.

    It will be a full week tomorrow.
    I'm Melissa, DD (01/12/2009) weaned at a little over 2 1/2 years & DS (08/19/14) still going!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    Hoping your baby is back on the boob soon! Keep trying and talking about it in hopes it will happen and this will make you both stronger. We are going on day 7 tomorrow, he has put my nipple in his moth but yet to latch. I have found the best success when I talk to him about drinking milk from momma like he use to and him just setting on my lap with breast offered and not in the feeding position. I also gave him a 2 ounce bottle tonight and had breast available and that was the closest I have come to having him latch bc it didn't fill him up. I am going to make an appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow and hope she can help! Wishing you luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Please please please help - nursing strike

    I can't stand the LLL one because all the linked articles are stories from moms whose babies went on a strike and never came back. I sobbed my way through them.
    I am sorry you are feeling so defeated, this is probably the hardest thing about strikes, keeping up hope things will improve. But, please forgive me but I need to correct something. These stories are not all about a baby who never came back to the breast. The articles linked on that resource page include mother's stories as well as informational articles. Some of the mother's stories are about striking babies who came back to the breast, and some are about babies who did not, because the reality with strikes is that not all of them end with baby nursing again. And some of those resources are not mother's stories at all but articles explaining various aspects of breast aversion/refusal and various ideas for approaching the situation. I am sorry the resources were not helpful to you, but I need to point this out because these resources may be helpful to someone else, as they have been helpful to many moms for many years, and I do not want them to be misrepresented.

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