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Thread: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    27

    Angry Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    My DD is nearly 9 mos. She has had breastmilk exclusively. I returned to work when she was 2 mos. She has had EBM in a bottle from her sitter since that age. Last week she bit me and I screamed and frightened her. Since then she refuses to nurse unless it is during the middle of the night. I have tried to refuse her bottles at home, but I inevitably break down and feed her that way. When I try to get her to nurse, she starts nibbling on my nipple! I try not to scare her, but I do jerk it away from her. I've talked to some mothers who have breastfed and they felt that it was due to teething...she has 2 bottom and is getting her second top tooth...but I am beginning to think, after reading some of these threads, that she may be tired of working for her food and is spoiled to the bottles! I am so heartbroken...I so miss nursing her! I thought we were doing so well...I pump at work so that she has milk for the next day...I had been nursing her at home and during the night with no problems. This is so important to me...I want to make it through to summer when I will be home and can nurse without so much pumping. Everyday, I go home determined that we will get back on track, but she just turns away when I offer her the breast. HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    I don't know why no one has responded to your post. I just posted my own question about my baby rejecting my breast and got a very insightful answer. But because of the different circumstances, it probably won't be much help to you. Good luck with your problem, my heart goes out to you, as I am also suffering a similar heart ache.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    11

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    My girlfriend told me that it takes some time to get a scared baby back to the breast after something like that. My son was weaned before his teeth came in, so I'm now waiting for my daughter to bite me--her first bottom teeth came in last week.
    I would keep offering and stay calm and relaxed. Babies can sense stress, so, maybe she knows you're waiting for her to bite again? Also, instead of jerking away, calmly remove her from your breast with a calm "no biting" and then try to get her to latch again. If she's nursing at night, she hasn't forgotten about breastfeeding.
    I'm sure someone else will chime in with something better, but my gut instinct says she's sensing your anxiety about being bitten...

    hope that helps?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    27

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    Cindy...thank you so much for responding. I was beginning to think that I was chopped liver! I kept watching all of the others get replies and I've been waiting for several days. Just knowing that you are suffering similar circumstances is comforting! Since I entered this on Tuesday, things have gotten a little better. I'm beginning to think that some of her problem is "nipple preference"...I think she wants a bottle! I didn't give in to her last night and she nursed a few seconds at bed time (at least she latched...she had been refusing to do that unless she was asleep!) and then once during the night and once early this morning. I feel much better knowing that this is pretty common...Also, when she does bite, it's not very hard anymore! Thank goodness! I'm going to read what you posted so I'll know what's going on with you! Again, thank you so much for the reply!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    27

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    Andi...thank you so much for responding! Did your girlfriend say how long it usually takes? I guess it's probably different for everyone. I am much calmer than I was, but you're right...at first I was clinching the arm of the chair waiting for the chomp. I've nicknamed her "Pirannah"! I am determined to keep bottles from her this weekend so that she will have to nurse...of course I won't let her starve or anything, but I am going to do everything I can to recover our relationship over the weekend! I really appreciate your response, and I'll try to relax!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    Treba -- I'm sorry, I'm not sure how your post got missed. This board does move very quickly, and I guess a post can get fall through the cracks. You should always feel free to repost if something goes unanswered.

    I can really sympathize with the biting issue, as my son and I weathered many months of occasional biting. I'm lucky that he never had a nursing strike, because I don't think I ever managed a calm response to being bitten. It hurts!!

    I think her nursing when she's sleepy is a good sign; hopefully she'll soon be back on the breast full-time.

    Here is a link to several BTDT stories about nursing strikes:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBstrikes.html

    Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    27

    Smile Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    Rebecca
    Thank you so much for the encouraging reply. I feel better about the biting issue, but do you think she might be showing a little nipple preference? Last night, while I was trying to get her to nurse, she caught sight of one of the bottles in the bag from the sitter. She definitely wanted it! I didn't give her one...she nursed for a second and then gave up and went to sleep. Later, she got up and nursed. I'm mad at myself for taking our nursing for granted! Everything was great; she loved to nurse...and then BOOM...it fell apart! Anyway, I have a good feeling about the weekend...maybe things well get straightened out. It is very exciting to talk to people about this because it is the most important part of my life (as are my two first graders) at present! Again, thank you for the response!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    Yes, I think you are on target with your suspicions about preferring the bottle. But, if she was switching easily between breast and bottle before the strike, perhaps once she is back on track with nursing, she will be okay with both again?

    If not, you might have the sitter try a sippy cup with the valve removed.

    You must be very busy with (twin?) first-graders and a nursling, but I hope you will come back to these boards as your schedule allows. There is LOTS of enthusiastic and supportive discussion about breastfeeding and parenting going on here!

    Hope your weekend goes well -- let us know how she's doing.

    --Rebecca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    63

    Default Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    have you considered putting a slower flow teat on the bottle so she has to work a bit harder to get the milk?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    27

    Smile Re: Bella's Strike-Please Help!

    Poppet...thanks for the suggestion! It did finally hit me that I should do that once I decided that was part of the problem. At first, I thought that I had scared her with my reaction to the biting. She finally started nursing again Friday afternoon. I had to wait until she was a little sleepy...she started sucking on my arm, so I offered her the breast and she nursed! I was thrilled! I didn't give her any bottles this weekend, and all was fine except for an occasional bite! I'm willing to accept that!

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