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Thread: Nursing strike?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Unhappy Nursing strike?

    DD won't nurse today. She just won't. Not from the second I got up, until now. She'll play with it and laugh at it. Sometimes she refuses, even cries at me when I attempt to let her have some boobie.

    I am so hurt and confused. I feel rejected. I know I shouldn't take it personally, and it probably has to do with a million things that AREN'T me, but I can't really handle it. Especially today. I just woke up feeling depressed, and all I really wanted was to snuggle my little girl... and she won't even let me hold her.

    She's so confusing. She cries when I put her down, cries when I pick her up. She cries when I give her a boobie, cries when I put it away. I just don't know what to do. She's getting over a cold, and she's SO much better than she has been the last couple of days (when she nursed just fine) but I've given her some Tylenol and even that doesn't seem to be helping her. She's just.. I don't know. I'm at a loss.

    I've heard of nursing strikes before, I've just never experienced one and it's breaking my heart. I'm reading all these stories online about how babies just stopped nursing out of nowhere and never started again. I would be devestated if that happened to us.

    Anybody have any advice? What can I do? I don't want to force it on her, or make her cry.. I don't know what to do. She's always been such an eager, happy nurser.

    Le sigh.
    I'm a wreck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Nursing strike?

    I know other mamas will reply with more info, but I just wanted to offer some advice right away. I don't have any personal experience with nursing strikes, but I've read a lot about them. How old is your LO by the way? Have you ever checked out www.kellymom.com? It has great advice. On that site there is a great nursing strike page and if you just go to www.kellymom.com you should be able to find it pretty easily. Most nursing strikes are temporary, and most babies who wean themselves do so gradually and not suddenly. It is very uncommon for a baby under a year old to wean on their own anyways.

    I bet this has something to do with your LO's recent illness, even though she seems to be getting over it. Any change in their routine for any reason can bring on a change in nursing behavior.

    If she's getting over a cold, she could have developed an ear infection. This may explain not only the refusal to nurse (could be uncomfortable for her to lay a certain way) but also the fussy behavior that you've described.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Nursing strike?

    I think pp is probably right that it might have to do with the recent illness. I know from experience how frustrating it is, how hard it is to want to feed your baby and not be able to. In my case, my LO would only nurse if she was sleepy (nursed lots at night) or if I ran the hairdryer to soothe her. This went on for a week, and I thought I was going to go crazy. Then I eventually discovered that I had accidentally washed my nursing pads in a different detergent, and she apparently didn't like the taste or smell on my skin. As soon as I fixed that, we were back to normal. My point in telling you this is to say that (a) it could be anything, as simple as a new deodorant or recovering from a cold, and (b) there is hope that she'll go back to normal just as quickly as she stopped.

    Have you tried nursing in different positions? Had her checked for an ear infection? Tried doing things to help her relax, like turning on a hair dryer? Tried nursing her when she's very sleepy?

    Good luck, mama, and hang in there. Babies are confusing, and you're doing a good job.
    I love my kids. I care for them accordingly. What more can I say?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Nursing strike?

    I know some babies do strike and not come back to the breast, but sometimes that's because mom decides she's okay with weaning. And, the vast majority of the time, strikes are temporary, so try not to get too stressed about it. (I know, much easier said than done.) She has one of the classic signs of a strike (not weaning) b/c she is unhappy. Something is wrong even if you can't pin point what it is. The pps have giving good suggestions--you'll find something that works!
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I live Bellville, Cape Town South Africa

    Default Re: Nursing strike?

    I'm SO glad I read this post, my lo is 7 months old and since saturday he's been fighting nursing, no routine, making me feel TERRIBLE, he's also had a cold, so it's probably that then or teething ... thank goodness, i've been feeling so rejected and i've been stressing that my milk's going to vanish ... he's feeding max 4 times a day and that's with a mission every time, except in the middle of the night ...

    how will i know if it's an ear infection?

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