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Thread: I wish it was a strike!

  1. #1
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    Aug 2017
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    Default I wish it was a strike!

    Hi. I am a Japanese FTM living in Japan. My daughter, 20months, has not nursed for 4 days now.
    It started this thursday, a slightly funny, distracted day where dd did not really concentrate during any session during the day. Given that (plus the fact that on wednesday night she had a sudden fever and whenever she does she nurses like crazy if in the daytime and have looooong-co sleep -sessions all night at night) by evening my boobs were pretty hard( I am a very sloppy hand pumper and never have plugs due to wide ducts thus I rarely try to pump out of that) and I really wanted/needed her to suck it out, and she finally did! I was releived, happy, wonderfully tender-breasted, and at that point not realising at ALL that was going to be the last real session.
    That night, she did not latch on(I usually nurse her to sleep). She was upset and screamed throught the night. She kept shouting " Hold me!" "Nurse me!" and "Lie me to down!" ( in her own words) repeatedly, I attempted those three things over and over but she never latched on. Or go to sleep except like for a couple of minutes due to pure fatigue...
    Friday morning I had to BUY a pump - for the first time in my BF life at 20 MONTHS! my breasts were so hard I could not possibly hand pump. Plus dd requested endless " hold me"s so it was bad combination agony with my breast condition.That and she continued to strike( or what ever it is) that whole day.
    Saturday and Sunday, and today basically the same.
    I am shocked, sad, devastated.I started anticipating friday night, it was like the postpartum deppresion I had 20 months ago coming again. 2nd day 3rd day and 4th day I am crying or trying not to.I have lost weight.
    She does not latch on, she frowns and goes "no no" obviously refusing to even sit on my lap-nurse position when I offer. Her routine of nursing to sleep both nap and nighttime has completely gone away, replaced by holding and rocking her. I can't beleive this also since nursing was the one way ever to put her to sleep! She has been grumpy, very easily upset and requests a lot of holding, the ergo and "lets go outside" "put my shoes on".The shoe thing, maybe I'm guessing because she never nursed with a shoe or sock on(she had to take them off that was her thing), she's trying to hold back wanting to nurse...? I don't know.She feels like a different baby.
    I love her and do not want to pressure anything on her may it be weaning or nursing. I know and am willing to joy her growing up by all means but at the same time so so loooved nursing.We did 5 to 10 sessions a day and 2 or 3 more during the night till Thursday. (so many sessions a day I half trusted we will nurse to age 3 or even more, at least 2. And right now every say furniture in my house reminds me of the good ol' sessions cuz we'd nurse everywhere) It wasn't a hassle for me at all! I thought WE loved it but maybe it was just me?
    I have tried and had success on kind of latching for a few times, when she's asleep. I tried our former after bath routine on saturday- singing and offering- she smiiiiiled and ran up to me and sat in my lap latch position, but did not fully latch.Sometimes she gets upset just seeing my boobs- so heartbreaking.
    Any hope this is some kind of strike or am I being selfish/childish? If so, how do I cope? How did you cope?(get through) In jpn few if any moms nurse this long and ppl including doctors will be like, what? of course shes weaning! why were you still nursing her anyways?? And her appetite has enlarged big time after the strike so family is supportive but basicly all happy.
    Any help, advice, even just consolation is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    Hi agnesd.

    Here is how strikes are defined as opposed to weaning. Stikes are sudden and weaning is gradual. Yes sometimes a strike is so severe baby does not nurse again. It happens, but that would still be a strike that led into weaning, rather than the typical gradual weaning process.

    So what you are describing sounds like a strike, absolutely. More evidence is that it started when baby was ill and then you became engorged. These are the kind of things that can "trigger' strikes even when they never did before.

    So I would suggest, think of this as a strike, and the most common outcome of a strike is that baby nurses again as long as they are gently encouraged to do so (and it can take time) and mom protects her milk production. Since you want to nurse your child again it makes sense to pump as you are doing and continue to offer to nurse as much as you like. It sounds to me that your child would also very much like to nurse again but something happened (and you may never know what) that has caused baby to not want to nurse or even feel unable to nurse, most likely entirely temporarily. Gently encouraging a child to nurse is not "pressure" or being selfish, I promise. Many times nursing comes again when baby is asleep, falling asleep or just awaking. There are many other tips to try. Try several things and then try them again. This excellent article explains many good ideas. http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/ and here is more info on strikes: http://www.llli.org/nb/nbstrikes.html

    Of course your child is eating more solids since baby is not getting your life sustaining milk! This is not a sign her appetite has "increased." Solids of course can meet her needs at this age, and thank goodness, that is a load off your mind as you will not need to worry about her going hungry while she is striking. But remember there is no doubt that breastmilk is the most nutritious and complete single food any of us ever eat, so why not nurse as long as you both like? Trust me no matter where you live you get pushback about nursing past 1 or 2 but this is based on most people's complete non-understanding about breastfeeding and breastmilk.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    Try nursing her when she is actually a sleep.Most of the time striking babies will eat when actually sleeping.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    thank you all!

    I tried asleep nursing!
    Unfortunately, no luck.If she's asleep she does not open, if she's somewhat concious, she refuses...

    The suggestions I've so far read on kellymom seems like they're for under 12 month babies.(like kangaroo cuddling) but your post is really encouraging me! YES she was ill, ill has always made nursing go weird and maybe this time it just went the other way! I wanted that, but it felt like a fantasy.

    I miss the happy nights when she loved going to bed. Now she sobs at the word "bed", begs for ergo or shoes, then starts crying. I have a hard time putting screaming child to sleep (she screams at morning too! I miss the morning feed) I can't help thinking, why won't she just feed!

    It gets more and more disheartning. She doesn't even latch(last few more like just "put in mouth") anymore day or night.
    But I will keep trying.
    Any other ideas?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    I think there are many ideas in the kellymom post that would work for older kids if you adjust them a little. You may have to try several things many times, that is the nature of strikes. For this age I guess I would also suggest play with baby as much as you can while topless. Also if you are not sleeping beside your child currently, try doing that, again either with easy access or topless. If she likes to be in a carrier, can you still manage a front hold or is she just too big?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    maddieb, thank you really!

    I was about to update.
    Today I was offering her, she said no, and then after I pulled down my shirt she

    sucked on my arm...

    and then my elbo
    (elbo has happened once (maybe 2-3months ago?) during midnight when I was sleepy and skipped a feed)
    It feels like the first positive(or at least neutral) reaction since strike.Could it mean something that's anything?

    Also I found a reddish maybe black? dot on her inner cheek. Really tiny so maybe nothing. She's eating fine though.
    I've tried topless (so far she hates me naked except at bath. topless co sleep was a total mess) and I'll try again!
    She likes to cuddle in my chest WITH shirt on,and even kind of mumbles to sleep at the breast.it almost looks like she's nursing.
    Front hold in carrier definitely ok. She and I both petite! Should I feed in carrier??
    Her obsession for carrier and shoes started after the strike I don't know why. But it seemes she's asking for it when she would ask for milk before strike.(like she's whining,sleepy, upset...)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    Anything that feels like progress is progress- strikes are tough and can take time to get over.
    Pain in mouth for example from a small wound could cause a strike. Nursing actively engages every part of the child's mouth (palate, cheeks, tongue) and jaw so ANY pain even a headache or irritation like food caught somewhere can cause a nursing problem sometimes.
    If baby is saying no to skin to skin, maybe best to avoid it for now and go for something "suggestive" or at least with easy access. Can you wear a tank or something else with easy access?
    Of course if you can manage to nurse in a carrier go for it.

    What do carrier and shoes mean to your daughter? Going outside or somewhere special? Sometimes kids just say words that we cannot make sense of, but other times there is a meaning we can figure out.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Anything that feels like progress is progress- strikes are tough and can take time to get over.
    Pain in mouth for example from a small wound could cause a strike. Nursing actively engages every part of the child's mouth (palate, cheeks, tongue) and jaw so ANY pain even a headache or irritation like food caught somewhere can cause a nursing problem sometimes.
    If baby is saying no to skin to skin, maybe best to avoid it for now and go for something "suggestive" or at least with easy access. Can you wear a tank or something else with easy access?
    Of course if you can manage to nurse in a carrier go for it.

    What do carrier and shoes mean to your daughter? Going outside or somewhere special? Sometimes kids just say words that we cannot make sense of, but other times there is a meaning we can figure out.
    Thanks so much for your replies.
    BTW I have given DD expressed milk in a cup but she doesn't like it. She asks for cow's milk or water instead.Does this still sound like a strike?
    Is there an almost certain behavior that you would say "sorry I think she's weaning" to?
    I do not mean to be offensive! DD sucked on my finger today. She likes embracing my breasts over my T-shirt. I want to believe "strike" so much! And I'm hanging in there. OTOH I have kind of set a limit to struggle until the end of this month, then move on. I might take it back as I am not very strong willed, but maybe not strong enough to continue this "all day offer and reject and no nurse" thing either(a 20 month toddler is pretty vocal! ) Honestly I am not sure of anything these days the strike hit me so out of the blue.

    I figured out the shoe/carrier thing though! They were the two things aside from nursing that put her to sleep!
    (Shoes meaning carseat. We put shoes on before we get in the car)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    BTW I have given DD expressed milk in a cup but she doesn't like it. She asks for cow's milk or water instead.Does this still sound like a strike
    I am not sure how this matters? There are several reasons your milk might not taste good in a cup. Weaning means a child no longer needs to nurse, not that they come to dislike human milk and prefer cow milk.

    Is there an almost certain behavior that you would say "sorry I think she's weaning" to?
    No. Weaning is a process, but when a baby weans gradually, that means baby gradually comes to no longer want or need to nurse. If your baby does not nurse again, then your baby will have weaned. This is certainly possible. Even if that happens, it sounds like what has happened initially in this case is and will always be a strike, even if it leads to weaning.
    I figured out the shoe/carrier thing though! They were the two things aside from nursing that put her to sleep!
    (Shoes meaning carseat. We put shoes on before we get in the car)
    Very interesting! Kids are so smart.

    So maybe in that case...hmmm. Sometimes kids resist nursing because they do not want to fall asleep, they want to stay up and hang with mom and dad, and know that if they nurse it is lights out.

    Maybe your child is still feeling like they cannot nurse for some reason but still need help getting to sleep?

    If setting a goal date for no longer "trying" works for you, great. if you end up moving that date up or back, that is of course fine as well. This is not a science, it is an art. It is about what works for you and your family, not following some set of rules.

    Also if offering frequently is causing a vocal and firm no, maybe try not obviously offering and instead using a little reverse psychology.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I wish it was a strike!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    it sounds like what has happened initially in this case is and will always be a strike, even if it leads to weaning.
    That ironically makes things...sad(again, not to be rude)
    If she's weaned, so be it but if this is a strike, and leads to a wean,it means we couldn't fix things. I thought I wanted it to be a strike, but actually the point was: I wanted to nurse again.Of course.
    I know it's I the mom's(and baby's of course)call on what works best but this is such an emotional tornado.
    I pump thinking:what is the point of this? Drop your pump and go hug your kid! I lie down in bed next to her thinking: this maybe your last chance! You can never EVER try again after your supply diesor she totally forgets latching(tick tock tick tock! pump! offer!) It's exhausting. I want to quit but I don't. I want a goal but the thought scares me. How do mums get over this?
    I am whining over the inevitable, but have no other choice.

    I pulled out my old nursing cover yesterday but she hated seeing that too!So we just played bull fighting. Is it normal for a just-weaned(maybe) child to not just forget but so loathe everything about nursing !?that and I'm giving her a lot of liquids but she has pretty bad constipation and her diapers are way lighter than before.

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