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Thread: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    14

    Default Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    I wrote in here several months ago when my eight month old went on a thirteen day nursing strike. It turned out he had strep, and after three days on an antiobiotic started nursing and everything went back to normal. He loved nursing again, and I was so relieved. Well, exactly three months later he went on another strike. This was last Monday. I got him on an antiobiotic that same day, but, he has decided to strike for good this time. He wasn't sick, he just decided to make a complete 180 switch from loving it on Sunday, to hating it on Monday. I am now feeding him from a dropper 5 times a day (he doesn't take a bottle), 1-2 ounces each time. He is peeing only about 3-4 times a day. He is not dehydrated, but he is still taking in a bare minimum of liquids, at least compared to what he did when he nursed. Oh, how I miss those really wet diapers! Now each diaper is light as a feather. He only takes miniscule sips out of a sippy/straw/cup, so I had to do the dropper. He is doing great with "people food," it is the lack of liquids that is the problem. I have no idea what the requirement of liquid ounces is for this age. He freaks when I try to nurse him. I only try a few times a day now. I am pumping, but rent the pump, so I will have to stop pumping when the pump is due back on Dec. 23.
    To be honest, this post is more about me. I can't move past this. I am crying several times a day. I nursed my second 18 months, and my third for 30 months. This one is 11 months old, and you would think this is the end of the world, I am so depressed. Is there anyone who understands what I am feeling? I am actually mourning like someone has passed away. I can't stop thinking about this loss in our relationship. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. He is not a cuddler, so that was the only time I had with him to cuddle. I am so sad and discouraged that this part of our relationship is over. I will keep trying to nurse him over the next few weeks, but the rejection I feel every time is so painful. I have tried every strategy, but he is stiff-arming me perfectly, even in the deepest parts of his sleep cycles. Thanks for reading this overly long post.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    939

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    I understand how you feel.

    I was unable to breastfeed my first which was devastating enough.

    Then DS was born and finally I was able to breastfeed a baby. Unfortunately, he started sucking his thumb at 3 months and from then on, seemed to prefer the thumb to the breast. He was never cuddly. Always just wanted the milk and away he went.

    I survived 2 nursing strikes with him. One when he was 10 months. I had been really sick with the flu and I guess my supply got low. It took 3 days to get him back. The 2nd happened when he was almost 2 years and he bit me and I got mad at him.

    Both times, I felt like somebody had died. It was just devestating for me to think I may never nurse him again. He didn't start getting cuddly until after 2 years, this is when I really started to enjoy nursing him.

    You're doing the right thing by pumping to keep up your supply. You've got another month with your pump, I'm sure he will come back to you before you have to return the pump. Try latching him on just as he dozes off to sleep.

    For fluids, have you tried spoon-feeding fluids? They can be liquid or breastmilk slushies. Have you tried popsicles-you can buy the juice and make your own. Or how about those little apple-juices with the straw. I found DS really liked these as they were just the right size for him to hold in his hands. To start, I squeezed the juice-box, then the apple juice went up the straw, then he caught on quick.

    I know it's hard, but you can do it.

    11 months is prime time for nursing strikes. Once you get through this one, you can probably keep nursing for many months to come.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    14

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    When yours were striking, how often did you try? He hasn't nursed at all since last Tuesday, where I tricked him into it while sleeping. Now, no matter when I try, mine won't do it. It is amazing that in such a sleepy state he pushes me away. I am giving him mainly breastmilk right now (through the dropper). Whole milk was not received well, though once my milk is gone he will have to deal with it. I just bought some of those little juiceboxes you were talking about. It sounds like none of your strikes were as long as this one. Only about three days? It seems he has already forgotten the comfort he felt from it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,360

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    Mama, a big to you. I can completely understand where you're coming from. After the wonderful 3-year nursing relationship I had with my first, I'd be devastated if my 7 month-old were to wean early. To the point where I'm reluctant to feed her solids more than 1x per day, even though she wants them. I'm scared that she'll nurse less or go on strike... Even though she remains a dedicated breastfeeder I still worry.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    I am devastated. That is the best way to put what I feel right now into words.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    I'm so sorry. Your post brought me to tears. I would have been devastated too... how long has he been on strike this time? A week? I have no experience with nursing strikes but have read stories about women who have made it through month or more long strikes. Hopefully one of them will come along.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*runcmt View Post
    To be honest, this post is more about me. I can't move past this. I am crying several times a day. I nursed my second 18 months, and my third for 30 months. This one is 11 months old, and you would think this is the end of the world, I am so depressed. Is there anyone who understands what I am feeling?
    Absolutely! My oldest weaned during a nursing strike at 14 months and I went through the whole grief process. For YEARS I would cry whenever I thought about the last time I nursed her to sleep, taking it for granted that I would be doing it every night for who knew how much longer.

    I wish I could give you some great advice on how to make it through the strike, but like I said, my DD weaned. I think I pushed too hard trying to get her to nurse again, and it became clear pretty fast that she really didn't need it. She was well established on solids and just as happy not nursing; it was me that weaning was traumatic for!

    Since your baby is still under a year I would guess you have a better chance of resuming nursing. My main suggestion would be to try to keep it casual, no pressure, and snuggle with him a lot when you're not trying to nurse. That's all a lot easier said than done though, I know.
    Karen
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    558

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    Mama, I would be devastated, too. I have no experience with (long) nursing strikes and so can't say I fully understand what you're going through. But when DD was 2MO she completely refused my breasts for a good 24hrs (yes I was counting the hours) because of low supply (due to her faulty suckling) and she also nursed very minimally when she was cutting her first 2 teeth. When I have plugged ducts (which is way TOO often ) and she can't get much milk if any out of the affected breast she kind of refuses it, too. Every single time I have felt TERRIBLE. Because of all we've gone through and also her personality I've never felt 100% confident in our nursing relationship. My goal is to nurse her AT LEAST 2 years and I'd be happy to nurse her much longer that that if she wished, but she's only 13.5MO now and sometimes I feel okay, others I feel she could end it any time now (even though I've made every effort to reduce the likelihood of that happening, but still... I know there're things out of my control)...

    Anyway... to you mama, I was tearing up reading your post. I hope some other mamas with experience dealing with nursing strikes will come along with good ideas for you... I think I saw a mama whose siggy said she dealth with a 4-month nursing strike... Krystine?? Maybe you could try PM her? I'm sure you've checked out popular resources on nursing strikes such as LLL or kellymom... again and I HOPE your LO will SOON come back to loving mommy's milk and the comfort time at mommy's breasts brings...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    I'm really sorry, our big strike lasted over 5 months and it was really really emotionally tough and included lots of pumping. I would keep offering and pumping so you can keep your supply up if he's not nursing. I would encourage you to re-rent the pump Dec 23rd if he's not nursing then. It's worth it. I'm really sorry, yes it is devastating and so so tough. I hope he turns around for you very soon but if not I would say hang in there. My dd broke her strike in January nursed 4 times maybe that month and then more in Feb, and then by march rarely refused. Now she is 16 months and thinks her mommy milk is the best thing in the world.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    939

    Default Re: Second Nursing Strike - Need to Move On...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*runcmt View Post
    When yours were striking, how often did you try? He hasn't nursed at all since last Tuesday, where I tricked him into it while sleeping. Now, no matter when I try, mine won't do it. It is amazing that in such a sleepy state he pushes me away. I am giving him mainly breastmilk right now (through the dropper). Whole milk was not received well, though once my milk is gone he will have to deal with it. I just bought some of those little juiceboxes you were talking about. It sounds like none of your strikes were as long as this one. Only about three days? It seems he has already forgotten the comfort he felt from it.
    Yes, our strikes were short, fortunately. It felt like forever, though. I can only imagine what you're feeling.

    What goes us out of the 10 month-strike actually was me was to stop offering the breast. What I did was lots of cuddling and extra attention and letting him come back to me. I would cuddle him with my shirt on and bra done up and waited for him to ask to nurse. This is how I finally got him back on again. It was really really tough.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

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