I suppose this is my last ditch effort to salvage my nursing relationship with my 14 month old. This is my third child, with my other two children I nursed until about 26 months. My first gradually weaned herself, with my second I actively nudged him towards weaning. With my third, I have had zero problems nursing from birth on. Until 7 months he had nothing but breast milk, he never had any problems latching. I went back to work at 5 months and he had no problems with bottles, or with nursing after using bottles during the day. Up until 13 months, I would guess he got about 85-90% of his nutrition from nursing still, he ate some sold foods but much preferred to nurse.
I am an attorney and the case I was working on went to trial. I was out of town for 2.5 weeks and did not see my kids for that entire time. I pumped while at trial, to maintain my supply. When I returned home, my baby refused to nurse. I offered as soon as I saw him, and he mouthed my nipple, but never really latched. Now whenever I offer, he shakes his head no and sometimes pulls my shirt back down. I have read about nursing strikes, and noted it is best to be persistant. It has been 5 days now since I have returned home. I have offered often, and have tried to nurse when he is sleepy/sleeping in the hopes that if he is striking because he is still upset I left that would help. I have also tried to give hi plenty of time in the sling, and skin on skin time but I have had no luck. At worst he seems distressed when I offer, at best he has halfheartedly tried to latch briefly and then physically turns away. We co-sleep at night, and I have had no luck at night either.
If he is truly done nursing then I don't want to force him to nurse only because I am not ready to quit. However, if he is just striking because he is upset that I left him, which is understandable given the circumstances, then I want to give him and me the chance to start nursing again. Considering he was so very dependent on it before I left, it seems so abrupt now that he is refusing. I have not pumped since coming back, I feel my supply might wane if I don't do something about it now but I am feeling really discouraged. Does anyone have any thoughts?