Sorry if this sounds scattered, I'm running on no sleep:) I'm really hoping someone has some advice or a solution for me. I'll try to include all the info I think might be relevant.
My DS2 is 8.5 months old. He has absolutely refused to nurse since last Friday AM, so for the past 7 days. I'll offer and he'll just turn away or push off of me and will get fussy if I persist. If I offer a bottle of expressed milk he will down it as if he's starving. He was on an exclusive breastmilk (breastfed and pumped bottles while I'm at work) diet until we introduced solids right before he turned 8 months.
I breastfed DS1 until he was 15 months and my milk dried up due to pregnancy so I am familiar with how babies become more distractable as they become mobile, teeth, start solids etc. But I think the longest strike DS1 ever went on was 2 days and usually I could still get him to nurse during the night or if he was sleeping. DS2 WILL NOT NURSE. Its been a week since he's latched on whatsoever. I've tried different positions, different places, different times, the bathtub, skin to skin, making sure he's hungry, starting with a bottle, in the dark, in the middle of the night, you name it. When he wakes in the night (he was previously nursing every 1-4 hours during the night) he gets more and more agitated if I try to feed him but will take a bottle of pumped milk or even water just fine!
We use primarily Avent bottles with a #1 nipple so I don't think the problem is he prefers the faster flow of a bottle.
I'm not sure if its related but he also has hives (for about the same amount of time as he's been on strike) which is making him very uncomfortable especially at night. He wakes up trying to scratch the back of his neck and cries and I can tell he's in pain. His ped. thinks its probably food related even though we havent really given him any reactionary foods. I've been giving him homeopathic remedies, benedryl when he's in exceptional pain (usually in the middle of the night), washing his skin, coconut oil, and I'm picking up some Caladryl lotion today. She hasn't actually seen him (he has an appointment on Monday) but I sent her pictures and we had a phone consult and she gave me some suggestions to get us through the weekend. They mostly appear and bother him during the night so he is mostly happy and oblivious to them during the day.
One of the biggest reasons this is stressing me out is my supply is starting to drop and we're running out of milk. With DS1 I had an over supply and had a 1000 ounce freezer stash by this point. With DS2 I've never has as good of a supply, probably because I'm busier (him and DS1 are only 18 mo apart) and I just don't have the extra time to pump. I currently have around 10 bags of 4-5 ounces frozen and the past three days I've had to pull 1-2 bags from the freezer to keep up with his demand. I work full time and have never had a problem with not responding to the pump so I don't think that's the problem. I bought new flanges for my PIS (is that what the little yellow/white parts on the Medela are called?) just in case, and have also tried my Hygeia EnJoye. No improvement. Whereas before I'd always get at least 4-6 ounces per session, its more like 2-4 now and 4 is a rarity. Except for the first morning pump where I get 5-6.
We started BLW 3 weeks ago and he eats what seems to me a LOT of solids. DS1 liked to taste everything (started BLW at 8 mo), but didn't really eat a lot till around 10 or 11 months. I always nurse/bottlefeed DS2 before offering solids, then he will eat everything I put on his tray and cry for more. He can eat what seems 1 cup worth of chicken/turkey/broccoli/sweet potato/bananas/apple whatever I offer at a time. I made a few purees thinking maybe he wouldn't eat as much and he will happily eat the equivilant of 2 jars at a time.
He's not really ready to go the whole night without eating, but I'm having a really hard time getting up to pump! Its killing me and the last 2 days I've skipped it, and just pumped right before bed at 10 or 11 (giving him that bottle then water if he finishes it when he wakes up during the night), then again when I get up at about 5:30 or 6am. If I'm at work I pump again around 10 and 2, then in the evening at 5:30, and 7:30 then before bed. So about 6 times per day. The past few days I've added in one more session at work around noon but I dont get more than an ounce. If I'm not at work I try to just pump every 3 hours. The first 4 days of the strike I was at home.
I've been taking fenugreek (about ten 610gm pills/day) and Motherlove more milk two (left over from when I was pregnant) as well as trying to drink lots of water, get enough calories etc. I've never used formula but I'm thinking maybe it would be better to start supplementing now until waiting until I completely run out of frozen milk (which will happen in the next 5-7 days if things continue as they have been).
Currently he's drinking about 5-6 four ounce bottles a day and I know he'd drink more if it was available.
Sorry for the novel. I'd like some advice/feedback/hope on:
What is the longest you've ever had a babe completely refuse the breast?
Do you think I should start supplementing with a bottle of formula/day?
Should I try to decrease his solids, maybe replacing some of them with formula? He's currently eating 3 meals a day and probably 1-2 snacks.
Do you think the strike could be related to the hives?
Edit: Maybe I should try a nipple shield? I don't have one but could buy one. He'll let me feed him a bottle while snuggled against my chest so maybe he'd go for the shield? Just brainstorming. Especially with the hives going on I REALLY need breastfeeding to work so that I can comfort him back to sleep.
Edited by stephbrownthinks - 9/12/12 at 12:23pm