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Thread: 10 month old - nursing strike

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default 10 month old - nursing strike

    Hiya ladies

    I am new to the site and looking for some advice please.

    My dd is 10 months old and breastfed, started solids around 5+ months old and once establised on 3 meals a day, has generally breastfed x 3 daily (early am, mid morning and before bed)

    For a while now, the mid morning feed has been hit and miss and although I offer it to her every day, she does refuse it at times and this has become more and more frequent. I wasnt worried as eats plenty of solids, dairy products etc. For the last week, she has been refusing to have the evening feed too and been going to bed without a breastfeed and today she has refused the early morning one too and despite trying on and off all day at different times, she has not had a drop of b/milk all day. So now I am worried.

    I dont express as I stopped getting much off and found it far too tedious plus I have never needed to do it. About 3 months ago she weaned herself off my right breast and totally refused to feed from it, pulling away and crying and would only feed on left side so I gave in and since then has only fed from left side.

    The one thing that occured prior to the strike was that she bit me - hard! and without thinking I shouted 'ouch' which made her cry and didnt finish feed so maybe that is what has caused it.

    I have tried skin to skin tonight and she wanted to go to sleep and when I put her near breast, she made a fuss and cried and arched back so finally I gave in and put her in bed.

    My concerns are:

    What can I do to help get her to feed again?
    At what point do you get concerned enough to offer an alternative? I really dont want to give formula and I think its still too early for cows milk.
    Is just having solid food enough at this stage? I know they need around a pint of milk a day, so what do I do?

    I would be very grateful of any advice or suggestions. (I have read the recent posts on this issue also so considering getting her up in the night to try a feed while sleepy)

    Thank you

    Nicki
    xxx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: 10 month old - nursing strike

    I just dealt with a nursing strike with my 8 mos. old dd - if you look back a few days, you will find the thread. She is back to the breast, though, thank goodness!
    My dd is a little different though - she's still an every 2 hour baby - sound like your dc's bfing has been slowing down for awhile. Perhaps it's an interest in the solids that she is getting? I think that maybe if you cut back on the solids (like one mom suggested to me) that might help encourage her to bf.
    For me, I had to sneak the breast in while my dd was already dozing when she was on a strike - if she was awake she did the same arching, dozing, that you describe. Also, I would make a point to get her in the nursing position without trying to nurse and make sure she was really calm before I even tried - I am still having to do that in order to get her to feed.
    I have heard of some rare cases of babies self weaning close to a year - but, I don't know that meany details about it - perhaps an LLL leader on the boards can give you her perspective.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: 10 month old - nursing strike

    Nicki -- I'm glad you've seen some of the recent threads on this subject -- it will at least reassure you that nursing strikes are a common thing at that age, and I hope encourage you to gently persist in trying to nurse.

    You say that she bit you prior to the strike -- was that just before she stopped nursing in the evening, or was that just before she refused the early morning feed?

    I understand that she eats solid foods well, but the books at least say that for the first 12 months, either breastmilk or formula should be the primary component of a baby's diet. I think she is too young to safely go without either bm or formula for more than a few days. Dehydration is a more immediate concern than malnutrition, so watch her diaper output and make sure she's getting enough to drink somehow.

    Could you pump your left breast three times a day, to maintain your milk production? If you do get any EBM, you can let her drink that, but don't worry if you don't get much. What kind of pump do you have?

    You might try taking warm baths together. There's no need to offer the breast in the bath, but just be relaxed together. She may surprise you and start nursing, or it may simply help her build up again her positive association with your breasts.

    --Rebecca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    2

    Default Re: 10 month old - nursing strike

    Hi Lexi's mama & Rebecca

    Thank you so much for your replies. Well done for getting over your nursing strike, sounds like you are doing a fantastic job with feeding - yikes, every 2 hours!!!!!

    I tried to b/feed again last night, did the skin to skin for ages, didnt work, I then put her in her cot then a few hours later I tried to feed her when she was asleep and she was just too asleep to feed, tried again this am, laid her down without offering breast and she was fine but as soon as I got my breast out, she just turned away and really started to get paniky.

    I have expressed this morning, (I have an avent hand pump Rebecca) and only got about 1 oz off and she took this no problem from her feeder cup. She was crying for more so tried her at the breast - no chance!

    Rebecca, when she bit me was just before she started to refuse the evening feed as it happened at an evening feed, she still took the am feed for a few days but then stopped that too yesterday. I feel so guilty that its my fault and I have caused her to be distressed.

    My plan today is to have a bath with her like you suggested and then continue to express as much as possible and give her that. She does have water to drink, but if I dont get much EBM, what do I give her in the meantime?

    Should I cut down on solids? I really dont know what to do I didnt give her her breakfast for ages and just gave the EBM but she was distressed as obviously hungry.

    Thanks again, sorry to ask so many questions.

    Love Nicki
    xxx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: 10 month old - nursing strike

    Nicki -

    If you look back on the threads, you will see that my 8 mos old DS is striking. As he continues to strike 2 1/2 weeks later, I don't have any new advice to offer other than what the others have told you or what you've read, but I can offer support. Just keep trying. Go with your instincts and do what you think is right for your DD. You can't force her back, but continuing to offer the breast on a regular basis will make it available for her when she is ready to come back. Also, use your support system (this site and LLLL meetings included) to keep you going through this difficult and emotional time. Good for you for trying to work through the strike. I wish you the best... Keep us updated.
    Sarah

    oh - and, while I know that with a hand pump it must be VERY difficult, I would suggest pumping as often as possible to keep your supply up!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: 10 month old - nursing strike

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicki_1
    Rebecca, when she bit me was just before she started to refuse the evening feed as it happened at an evening feed, she still took the am feed for a few days but then stopped that too yesterday. I feel so guilty that its my fault and I have caused her to be distressed.
    Oh, hon -- it is NOT your fault. My son used to bite frequently, and I don't think I ever once managed NOT to react strongly with a gasp or an "Ouch!" Biting really HURTS, and it's sudden. Her strike is just one of those things -- not your fault, not her fault -- it is just is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nicki_1
    She does have water to drink, but if I dont get much EBM, what do I give her in the meantime? ... Should I cut down on solids?
    This is where I run out of specific advice -- I'm not a nutritionist, and I don't know how long a baby that age can safely go drinking water and eating solids. By all means continue giving whatever EBM you can express -- it may not be a lot in terms of nutrients, but the antibodies and other good stuff can make a big protective difference even in small quantities. I think you should talk with a LLL Leader or an IBCLC about when to start giving formula, and how much, if the strike continues past today.

    If your gut is telling you that this strike may be a long-term thing, and if you are serious about wanting to continue to provide her with EBM, then you should consider renting a hospital-grade double-electric pump and starting to pump both breasts frequently to bring up your supply. Your right breast can probably be stimulated to re-lactate even if it's been several months since she nursed on it. The Avent Isis is fine for occasional pumping (I used that one myself when my son was a baby), but it's not going to maintain a milk supply single-handedly, much less increase it. Do you know how to find an IBCLC or local LLL Leader?

    --Rebecca

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