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Help please - 8mo with sickness + biting = nursing strike

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

My 8mo son won't nurse.  I've tried everything I can think of, have read everywhere I can, and I'm out of ideas.  Can you help?

 

Background: He has been having a really rough time of teething for about a month now and a week and a half ago he came down with a cold that has had him stuffed up, feverish, dehydrated and generally miserable.

 

In the middle of all of that, he went to latch on and bit me (HARD). I jumped and yelped (did I mention he bit HARD??).  He pulled back and started crying, I cuddled him up and all was fine but he didn't nurse again until later that day.  We had several successful nursing sessions and then the next day same thing happened.  Except after that incident he started refusing the breast. 

 

By then he was completely miserable from the cold and no longer producing wet diapers, so I started pumping and bottle feeding him (he didn't have much appetite, but b/c he was getting dehydrated we wanted to get some liquids in him, and the bottle worked to do that).

 

Unbeknownst to me he had developed a double ear infection.  In retrospect I now realize that he was preferring the bottle b/c he could get milk w/o sucking (he was doing this weird bite down on the nipple thing that released milk w/o him having to suck - guess I understand now why he bit me).

 

Now he's been on the meds long enough that the ears don't appear to be hurting (better mood and back to normal sucking on he bottle), but I can't get him to take the breast at all.  It's been 3 days and my supply is rapidly declining (I am pumping, but often can't get a let down and when I do I get increasingly smaller volumes).

 

I am a total wreck about this.  I am not ready to be done nursing, I hate pumping (but will continue as long as I can get any milk), I feel like some sort of failure, I can' figure out what to do next, mommy guilt, mommy guilt, mommy guilt...

 

Anyone have any ideas?

post #2 of 2

we just worked through the same thing but tonsillitis instead of ear infection.

 

What I did:

pump or hand express and cup feed - this is important, as he had no sucking 'replacement' that way. it was hard - I was hand expressing an ounce every hour and cup feeding him.

 

cuddle skin to skin a lot. I slept without a top and he would try to nurse at night (the strike lasted about 3 days) and finally he nursed for real again at night on the 4th day.

 

lots of pain medication. I felt that it was so important for him to get milk and to nurse that i was giving him both ibuprofen and acetaminophen pretty well around the clock. That helped him to nurse sooner I feel.

 

Good luck!

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