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Thread: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

  1. #1
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Hi everyone,

    Well my recent posts have been about having the occasional bad eating day - usually every couple of days my DS doesn't seem very hungry. We are going on over a week now where he just has absolutely no interest in eating - other than in the middle of the night. I have been able to get him to eat every day when he is really really tired or just waking up, but still, he only eats for a few minutes each time (he normally only eat for 5 minutes total). Anyways, its getting harder and harder to tell myself that he is not rejecting me, but I dont know what to do. I have tried EVERYTHING... different positions, different times, different chairs etc. He is getting probably the minimal amount of food required to keep him from dehydrating, but I am starting to freak out right now - I am in tears. I don't know what to do... He used to eat every two hours religiously during the day - sometimes more, and now I think he'd be happy with only eating in the middle of the night and once or twice during the day. I am having to force him to take a sip here and there, and I think thats ticking him off even more. If he is wide awake, he wants no part of my breast. No new medicine, no new food nothing... Could he just be distracted? He feeds just fine at 3 o'clock in the morning ...
    He seems perfectly happy and content and healthy, just doesnt want to eat. If I push it out to like 4 hours, he will eat a bit more.

    I am so upset - i think he hates my boobs, for real!! (but he wont take a bottle either!!) All he wants to do is eat his hands. He is almost 5 months old, and didn't even learn to latch till almost 7 weeks, so I feel like I haven't even had a very long nursing experience yet. Is he weaning himself this early????????




    Lisa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    56

    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Lisa, At this point, I would contact the doctor. That, and it might not be a bad idea to use a bottle. This is happening to me, Kaitlyn was only eating for 3-7 minutes here and there, I start with giving her my breast for as long as I can get her to eat and then do the bottle. Yesterday, she only ate on my breast about 6 minutes but when my husband gave her the bottle she ate 6 1/2 ozs. This may not be your problem, since I have been working to get my supply back up do to her lack of intrest in my breast. We will beging to faze our the bottle as she begins to eat more from me. I am pumping like crazy and it helps. However, we were almost ready to contact her ped because of this. I think it would help, could be wrong, but that would be my advice!Maryanne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    15

    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    My dd refused to eat for awhile too. Have you tried pumping just enough to get your milk down and then feed her. I have to do that every time I feed her. Now she eats really well, despite a little bit of a low supply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Well, luckily (probably b/c of my insistance that he eat) I don't seem to have a supply problem, I still get a letdown almost instantly when he starts to eat. I've had trouble in the past whenever I pump, I end up battling OALD for like a week afterwards... I am sure the milk is there, he just doesn't seem interested. Now that I have calmed down a bit, I can see maybe I overreacted just slightly. He usually eats about 8-10 times a day, max 5 minutes each nursing session. I am still getting him to eat about 7 times a day right now (i just actually sat down and counted - it seems like WAY less), but the sessions are much shorter during the day and a HUGE struggle. The good thing is that he is a huge gulper, so even if he takes a few good sucks, he is getting something. Its a miracle to me though that he has any wet diapers. I have tried the bottle but I swear he eats less from that than from me - and he is normally good with the bottle too the rare time that me and my husband go out. Again, if he is sleepy he eats okay, and in the middle of the night, he eats like a champ.
    How many times a day on average should a 5month old (exclusive breast feed) eat? Maybe he's just finally figured out he doesn't need to eat every two hours anymore? I think that if I didn't try in between, he'd probably eat okay every 3-4 hours during the day, usually only eats about twice in the middle of the night, so that's only 5-6 times a day if I just feed him on demand (probably less actually if I waited for him to be hungry!). I swear he is anorexic

    Oh and his diapers are not too bad - not as heavy as usual which is not surprising, but I have still changed his diaper like 6 or 7 times today (his diapers have never been soaking wet except first thing in the morning and I usually change his diaper as soon as he pees).

    I still hate this, I feel like i am starving him but he seems so freaking happy!! I just hate that he seems to be totally rejecting me... ahhhh the wonderful world of breastfeeding...

    Lisa

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    I think nursing on demand and being so in tune with our babies makes it harder when they make a change because we feel it (literally sometimes when they go a long time between feedings.) DS has always nursed a lot during the day and at least once if not more during the night. When he occassionally goes longer between feedings my sister (experiencer nursing momma that she is) always points out that some babies go all night without eating which is much more than the 4 hours that seems like forever to me. You mentioned that he is "eating his hands", so he could be teething. That really changed nursing patterens for us for a while around 6 months. DS just didn't want to eat. During the day, instead of nursing him down for naps, I had to get him to sleep reading and rocking, then nurse him. But, it didn't last forever and he's been nursing A LOT this week. (He's 8 mo now.)

    It would be really, really unusual for him to wean this early. Things will probably change again before too long. Until then, keep an eye on the diapers and good luck.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Wow, I can remember how frustrated I got when my son was at his most distractible ... this is intense! The fact that your baby is still nursing well during the night and when he is barely awake suggests that this is not weaning or even a strike, but just some really intense distractibility. It's good that you are keeping an eye on his diaper output and your own milk supply, but if they are both okay, then there really isn't anything to WORRY about. Just to be frustrated about -- and that's okay, too!

    I've heard that a baby who is on a nursing strike is clearly unhappy about it. And it simply isn't possible for a 5mo to wean himself. A frustrated mother might wean her baby to a bottle without fully intending to do so, however, so if you want to protect your breastfeeding relationship, you are wise to avoid bottles for now.

    Try to think of distractibility as a kind of baby ADD, in that he isn't choosing to be this way, it's just part of his wiring right now. The difference is that this is a perfectly normal developmental stage; he isn't going to starve himself, and things will get better in time.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Its amazing how much better I feel just reading a few of these responses.
    No matter what though, I still worry.. I guess that's just being a Mum.
    I just worked SO HARD to get him to nurse in the first place that it breaks my heart to think that he doesn't want to. As far as bottles go, we've only tried a few times (we've been trying to give him just one bottle a few nights awake so that my husband can bond a bit more with him, and I can get a break for a few hours), so I am definitely not pushing the bottles at him - however, I am not going to lie and say I haven't thought about it - for his sake more than mine though... People have been suggesting to try him on some rice cereal too... I haven't yet though. I really hope its distraction, its just so weird that this is lasting so long now. By 7 o'clock each night, I am seriously crying a little bit b/c I felt like he rejected me all day long and I feel like a mean Mommy for trying to force him to eat more. I try him at the breast very frequently - if he turns his head away immediately we stop then and there b/c otherwise he gets angry. Sometimes he'll take just one or two sips and thats it. When he does eat, he just eats - no messing around. So strange. SO FRUSTRATING... all I care about is him being healthy, which is why this worries me so much.

    thanks ladies.. Lisa

  8. #8
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Lisa, everything you just posted described the last 3 weeks here at home. Shiloh could care less about eating. I was so worried, he was going 4 or more hours between eating and he wasn't waking up in the middle of the night to eat. He's not on solids, and he showed no interest in nursing. i was beginning to get worried and try to make him eat longer.

    Its really hard to do, but I've finally just gone with the flow. then saturday, he just started nursing again....10 minutes on each side...he's NEVER nursed that well. Then I felt in his mouth, and he had another tooth. I really believe that the teeth were hurting him and once they came through the skin he began to eat again. Before, he was just getting enough to make it.

    Now, if he'd just stop using those pearly whites to bite mama, we'd be all set
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    **Leslie**

    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  9. #9
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    Thanks Leslie.. I feel so bad for you!! but kudos for being able to relax about it and go with the flow... I am trying really hard to do that... My DH is praying for the day when I relax

    Nursing today has been slightly better woohoo..although I am not going to get my hopes up. It seems to work okay if I just nurse him before and after his naps. He is still only nursing for a few minutes at a time, but as I have mentioned before, he's only ever nursed for about 5 minute total (the very rare time maybe 6 or 7 minutes) Luckily he takes at least 3 or 4 catnaps during the day so he's getting food. Diapers have been good today. It also helps that it has been pouring rain here all day and so my house is really dark and dreary (he always nurses better in the dark). Still no teeth here though.... I am hoping that is the problem but at the same time I am scared to death this little guy is going to be a biter BTW, how old is Shiloh?

    Lisa

  10. #10
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Help!! nursing strike, weaning, what??????

    My DD is a disractable eater. She did that alot when she was 4-6 months. Then at 7-8 months began to bite me when she got teeth. She stopped after a few days and then we had two months of complete bliss. It was great. She nursed for a least 10 minutes. Sometimes on both sides. Now at 10 months she is biting again and it has been going on for over two weeks. I tried everything and she won't stop doing it. So I began to pump. It hurt too bad. I didn't want to stop nursing either. I did try those breast shields too. She ate fine the first time but now turns away from it. She won't just bite once either. When I unlatch her as soon as I try to feed her again within a few seconds she bites again. So until she stops biting it will be bottles for now.
    Last edited by mama6587; October 17th, 2006 at 05:21 PM.

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