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Thread: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

  1. #1

    Default Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    Hi,

    my 10 month old went on a nursing strike 4 weeks ago. This happened after she bit me twice in succession (hard too.. had two lines of bruises on my breast from it...), and I made an inadvertent yelp of pain and flinched, followed by her shocked cry. She nursed a couple of times after those incidences but overnight she went cold-turkey and haven't gotten back since. She was nursing 4-5x/day up until the strike started.

    I've been trying everything suggested on various sites to break the nursing strike to no avail. In the beginning, she would start screaming if I even held her in remotely cradle position, it was heartbreaking... There were instances where she would be sleepy and open her mouth to latch, until the nipple touched the lips and she would jerk to alertness and start crying. I managed to get her to accept being held by abandoning any attempt to nurse her for 2 days. Now she will let me hold and rock her, but as soon as she sees a breast coming, it's a scream-fest. I even tried to put my nipple in her mouth while she's asleep, hoping that she'll start nursing when she's starting to wake up, but it was also met with violent rejection as soon as she came to. At the time of the nursing strike she was refusing a bottle.. so it was not due to bottle preference. after 2 weeks of near-dehydration during a very bad heat wave, and trying cups, straws, spoons, etc., she now takes a bottle... but no breast.

    She seems to have some sort of nipple aversion... as soon as my nipple touches her lips, she turns away, arches her back, and starts screaming in protest. She has a self-soothing technique of sucking on her sleeves, and after the screaming, she goes back to her sleeve-sucking/licking. Every time she does this, I feel an incredible sense of loss and rejection

    She is somewhat immune compromised, so I really need to keep her on the breast (or at least on breast milk) through the upcoming cold/flu season. I'm pumping, but nursing a baby via a bottle is becoming a strain on me as i also have another toddler to care for (whom I nursed until 2yrs).

    I'm still trying to coax her back onto the breast, but with passing days, my hope is waning. I'm now at the point of whether I should just give up hope and stop trying, or keep going even if it means a very vocal rejection at every attempt. All the web searches state most strikes end within a week or two. I have not read anything about baby coming back after 4+weeks of striking (with no known pain issues associated, that is).

    Very sad, getting depressed...
    Last edited by @llli*lindam; September 13th, 2008 at 11:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. It must be difficult. Hang in there, keep trying, and I'm hoping you will get some good advice on here.

    have you read this yet? http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...st.html#strike

    Kathryn,
    Mama to my sweet blueberry eyed boy Joshua
    born on 11/2/2006

    and my blueberry eyed baby Jonah Henry...my water birth baby!
    born on 6/15/09



    MOBY WRAPS ROCK

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    Hi Kathryn,

    thanks for your thoughts.. yes.. I scoured through kellymom.com and LLL and any hits I can find on google on nursing strikes... only indication of baby going back on breast after 40days was a baby with tooth injury. I suppose teething could be considered pain/injury, but at this particular moment, it doesn't seem to be pain that is causing nipple aversion-nursing strike... seems more psychological...

    sigh...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    9,280

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Have you contacted your local LLL leader for support and in-person guidance? Sometimes just having someone to call when you are pumping that bottle yet again can make the difference in your mood.

    I wish I had more suggestions for you.
    Lyn
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes


    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    Hi danlynclark,

    I did call the local LLL leader few weeks back, and left a message.. but never heard back... I suppose I can call again, or try a different LLL group's leader that is also in the area...

    Pumping yet again sounds about right. my baby was a preemie, so during the first 2 months I had to exclusively pump (baby in NICU), and pumped another month while we made the transition to full-time nursing... I hoped that was the last time i had to take out my Lactina, but I guess not...

    Part of me is saying just give up the nursing bit, and just bottle feed breast milk, and the other part is still unwilling to give up (I suppose I'm not ready to wean!). Just unsure whether to start considering this situation as baby self-weaned, or still hold out hope it's still a "strike"...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    My son was on a mini strike just last week. It broke during his morning feeding when I was giving him a bottle. It was much less than he would normally drink and as soon as it was drained and he started getting anxious for more, I put him to breast and he took right to it. Granted, this was only a couple day strike but it's worth a try.
    He did the same same crying every time I held him to my breast. Great big tears running down his face. Poor baby. It really breaks your heart to see it.
    Hope you find a solution that works for you both.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    I'd try the leader again. You never know if maybe someone else listened to and deleted the message, she couldn't understand your phone number, etc.
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,393

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jcdandfamily View Post
    I'd try the leader again. You never know if maybe someone else listened to and deleted the message, she couldn't understand your phone number, etc.
    or vacation. Keep trying...

    Kathryn,
    Mama to my sweet blueberry eyed boy Joshua
    born on 11/2/2006

    and my blueberry eyed baby Jonah Henry...my water birth baby!
    born on 6/15/09



    MOBY WRAPS ROCK

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    Ok. will try calling the local LLL leader again...

    Not sure if it's an improvement, but over the past week, now my baby won't protest (too loudly) if her cheek rests on my bare breast! but still if I try to nurse her, she's push me away protesting loudly...

    Still trying...


    As you can tell I'm entertained by all the smilies available...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    meh....wherever
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    7,065

    Default Re: Nursing strike, 4th week. hopeless?

    I totally know how you feel mama. We are going on almost 2 months of no nursing. He doesn't even pitch a fit anymore, he just pushes me away.

    Keep trying though! Maybe one day soon we can start a thread about how to get through a monumental nursing strike!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

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