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Nursing strike--help needed - Page 2

post #21 of 54
Gosh, I am so sorry this is not coming together for you yet. That's good that he's letting you cuddle him near your breast now.

If he is not having enough wet diapers, you are doing the right thing by spooning some moist food into him, IMO. He's gotta stay hydrated in order to get back on the breast.

Kellymom has some good tips to increase pumping output.
I'm not pumping enough milk.

How much expressed milk does my baby need?
post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 
A hospital grade pump and an SNS should be arriving in the morning.

Today I did get DS to kind of slurp a little milk off of my nipple in the middle of a bottle feed when I dripped milk on my breast. That's what made me decide to try a SNS.
post #23 of 54
I'm pretty new here too, but just wanted to send you some support and encouragement. I just went through a nursing strike with my daughter about a month ago, so I know how hard it is and the strong emotions you can feel! I think the key is to remain persistent and with a positive attitude, which is also the hardest part, I know! I was always looking for sucess stories of nursing strikes, so I wanted to tell you about mine. My daughters strike lasted 11 days and it seemed like an eternity. She was 15 months at the time. Ultimately, I don't know what solved the problem, but she did go through similar stages to the ones you mentioned (rejecting the brest altogether, then accepting to get closer to it, then cuddle next to it, sometimes kiss or lick, and finally sucking again). I spent topless time with her everyday, sometimes didn't even offer the breast, just played with her and made her stuffed animals nursed, etc. The day before the strike ended I went to an LLL meeting in the hope that she would get inspired by other babies. She didn't do anything there, but she started nursing the night after that, so maybe it did have an effect, although a bit delayed? anyway, since I'm not sure what made my daughter come around, I don't have a specific technique to suggest, but wanted you to know that babies do come around even when the strikes are longer than average, so don't get discouraged, keep pumping, and keep trying! Best of luck to you!
post #24 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks Iot.

I think the lack of info about longer strikes out there does make it harder. I really appreciate hearing another story, especially one with a positive ending.

DS did start to latch in the middle of the night, but then he pulled away again. He's getting closer though.
post #25 of 54
My dd also staged a strike at around 21 months. She was not under a year (but still under my 2 year goal) so I didn't have the same problem with worrying about her nourishment. She, too, would not even look at my bare breast or allow me to hold her in a cradle position. Its interesting to see that that is a common 'symptom' of strike. I searched the internet for 'successful' nursing strike stories and for tips to help it end and was also very disappointed in the lack of information. I even e-mail Jack Newman to ask his advice!

After 2 weeks I assumed she had weaned and grieved and then moved on. DD shocked me about 4 months later when she asked to nurse and she did! That was in June and she's been nursing since .

I know that doesn't really help solve your problem but I wanted to share my story with you. I've considered writing up the extended version and submitting it to LLL's magazine so more women in this situation can read it.
post #26 of 54
Thread Starter 
Great story! Please do write it up!

I've been thinking about possibly writing this up, if it ends successfully at least.

The lack of information has made this so much harder.

And it's really interesting to hear about your DD refusing the cradle hold and refusing to look at the bare breast. I felt like it was just DS, and it made me feel really rejected. I know that's a bit silly, but it felt like he was rejecting me as well as the breast when he wouldn't let me cuddle him for lullabies the way I always have.
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by brisco
And it's really interesting to hear about your DD refusing the cradle hold and refusing to look at the bare breast. I felt like it was just DS, and it made me feel really rejected. I know that's a bit silly, but it felt like he was rejecting me as well as the breast when he wouldn't let me cuddle him for lullabies the way I always have.
I told my close friend that I felt like 'my boyfriend dumped me and said we could stay friends'.

Are you keeping up your milk supply? I remember crying everytime I had to express to relieve engorgement.
post #28 of 54
Thread Starter 
I'm pumping as much as possible. I've never had big issues with engorgement, even at the start. I had a huge supply back then, but rarely felt engorged. Now I'm wishing I could have that supply back. I'm getting about 10-12 oz/day, and so far switching to a double pump hasn't helped. I'm going to have to start looking into things to help me increase my supply I think.
post #29 of 54
[QUOTE=3daughters]I told my close friend that I felt like 'my boyfriend dumped me and said we could stay friends'.

Sorry to intrude but when I was going through the nursing strike with my dd I felt exactly the same way! (and even told so to my husband and mom). I think it's impossible not to feel rejected, and I found it really heartbreaking. Hard for other people to understand it too, you have to go through it to know what it feels like (awful!).

And Brisco, I understand your being worried about your milk supply ( I was too), but 10 oz per day sound great to me. When I was pumping I was lucky if I was able to get 4 oz per day, but I was told that 2 oz per pumping are average (both breasts combined) and that the stimulation is what's important so keep the pumping going even if you don't see much milk. I didn't see much change with the hospital pump in terms of supply, but it was much faster to pump! also, I think oatmeal is supposed to increase your milk supply.

Of course, now that I'm writing about this, my dd has a stuffy nose and has not been able to nurse very well (though she nurses fine when her nose clears). I'm so terrified about her going through a strike again, but I'm hoping the nose will get better soon will clear periodically to allow her to nurse. Wish me luck!!
post #30 of 54
Any update? I'm holding my breathe with you. I know how you feel...
post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 
Well, no real news.

My rented hospital grade pump does nothing for me, so I bought a second single electric pump like the one I have (Avent Isis Uno) and that seems to work OK. I broke the 12 oz barrier yesterday.

An attempt to use a SNS failed miserably. I think I need to wait a few days before trying that again.

Still no trying to latch or anything. I think we've got another tooth almost here too, which isn't helping anything.

He does seem to believe the nipple is there for biting now. I have no idea how to deal with that without pushing him further away from the breast.

I'm beginning to accept that it might be over. I'm going to try to pump enough to get him through the next few months, but I'd love to get him back to the breast.
post #32 of 54
Thread Starter 
It was very quick and an accident, but he was on the boob for a second there!!!

I was giving him a bottle while the tv was on. He turned to look, leaving the bottle, for a moment. I dripped a bit of milk onto the breast and when he truned back he took my nipple for just a second. He even sucked a little before spitting it out with the look on his face. I didn't make a huge deal and just gave him the bottle back.

It's a start though, right?
post #33 of 54
You bet, Mama...don't give up hope yet! I am crying with you on this. I hope he comes back to the breast soon.
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by brisco
He even sucked a little before spitting it out with the look on his face.
These babies are SO smart!
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by brisco
It was very quick and an accident, but he was on the boob for a second there!!!

I was giving him a bottle while the tv was on. He turned to look, leaving the bottle, for a moment. I dripped a bit of milk onto the breast and when he truned back he took my nipple for just a second. He even sucked a little before spitting it out with the look on his face. I didn't make a huge deal and just gave him the bottle back.

It's a start though, right?
It sounds like progress to me! hang in there, I know it's really hard to remain positive all the time, and for me it was a lot of ups and downs emotionally, but it sounds like your little one is getting closer to getting back to the breast. Best wishes to you!
post #36 of 54
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling really down about this.

I can't seem to get my supply up. 11 oz a day seems to be about it. I know that's not terrible, but given that he's not nursing, it isn't enough. He's still definitely not nursing, nowhere close, despite that one latch. I've tried fenugreek, and now milk maid tea (what I could find here inthe UK), eating oatmeal 2 meals a day now, increasing my water intake and I'm double pumping as often as I can.

We're co-sleeping part of the night again (he goes down at 7 in his own bed, then we ove him when we go to bed or he wakes up on his own). He's desparate for some milk in the night, but the 5 1/2 oz max I can get through the evening isn't enough, so we get screaming for ages every night. We finally gave him his breakfast at 5 am yesterday. He normally has it at 7:30. He won't take the breast even in his sleep.

We're spending a lot of time together topless, bathing together most evenings, and everything else I can think of.

I feel like my breasts are very full often now, but the output isn't increasing. I just want him nursing again and I'm beginning to think it really won't happen.

To add to the fun, I finally got a health visitor to agree that there is something wrong with the fact he can't stick his tongue out. She claims it's not tongue tie b/c he can move it back and to the sides a bit, but it isn't normal. I'm thinking this is what caused latch problems repeatedly and made BFing harder for him, making him even less likely to come back to it. I'm angry, b/c I brought it up twice before and my concerns were dismissed. And I'm angry at myself for not pushing it more when he was younger. Maybe I wouldn't even be facing this then.

Off to pump, since he's napping.
post #37 of 54
Brisco, I am really sorry things are not working out. My DD started refusing the breast at 4 months old and I could never get her back. I am still heartbroken over it. I hope things turn out differently for you.

As for pumping, it sounds like your breasts aren't emptying. If they aren't emptying, your supply will not increase and could continue to decrease. Have you tried anything like warm compresses and breast compression/massaging while pumping? Also, if your supply is down, a hospital grade pump should be your best bet. You mentioned that it didn't work. What pump did you rent? Women respond differently to different pumps. Maybe you should try a different hospital pump. The Symphony and the Lactina are two good ones.
post #38 of 54
Thread Starter 
I'm pumping for about 3 minutes after the last of the milk comes out. Acutally, with double pumping, that's 3 minutes after righty and even longer after lefty. I'm using massage and compression too.

I've spent most of today feeling full, but only the feeling in the breast. I don't feel that full to touch the outside of the breast and I'm not getting much out. Less than yesterday even. I'm not sure if I explained that feeling full well, but I'm not sure how else to explain it.

I tried the symphony. I think the problem with it is that I had kinda gotten used to the Avent manual pump and then the Avent IQ, both of which allow you to control the timing and not just the suction. The timing on the Symphony just doesn't seem to suit me. My sister loves it though, so I know it's a good pump.

I'm going to go hunt down some smaller nursing shields. After lots of hunting for info, I think maybe I need a smaller size than the ones I have. If I can make them work, maybe I can trick him into latching on with the shields sometime.

I think maybe my supply is up, I just can't get it out. I have regained the ability to squirt a distance. I tried squirting into DS's mouth, but he cried and turned away.
post #39 of 54
Brisco, I'm sorry that things haven't resolved yet. It can be so frustrating!

I got some suggestions from my LLL leader when my dd was on a strike, and although I didn't really tried them (the strike resolved on its own the night when I got the suggestions), I thought I would share them with you as they were unusual, I thought, so here you go:

heard about "spinning" somewhere, and suggested it to the mom of a post-one-year-old whose child was on strike. Here's what she did:

She stood up, holding her child in a nursing position with breast bared, and spun - as fast as she could - in one direction. Then she spun as fast as she could in the opposite direction. The baby latched and never looked back.

I learned later that that's not how spinning is generally done. The mom is seated in an office chair, and someone turns it gently for her until she is mildly dizzy (and presumably so is the baby). Oh well. It worked. A friend said later they use a version of spinning with their child who has some neurological problems. As I understand it, the disorientation takes the child back down to baseline - to unknowing sucking, or whatever. The thinking part concentrates on the disorientation, and instincts and reflexes have a chance to assert themselves.


And here a story and technique, also from an LLL leader:

When my son, Scott, was 13 months old, he developed a cold that thoroughly plugged his nose. Nursing was difficult for him, and on the second day, he quit “cold turkey.â€Â I was by no means ready to have our happy nursing relationship stop so soon, but Scott continued to refuse my breast, even after his nose had cleared. He would play with the nipple, would even laugh and point when I asked, “Where’s the milk?â€, but would cry and turn away if I brought my nipple close to his mouth. I imagine he was remembering the suffocating feeling of being unable to breathe and nurse properly.

As the week wore on, I did my best to express milk several times a day, but never succeeded in getting my milk to let down, and I could tell that my supply was dwindling daily. At my La Leche League Leader’s suggestion, I tried to get him to nurse in his sleep. No luck.

Finally, in desperation after 6 days without his showing any desire to nurse, I let him fall asleep in my arms, tilted his head back a bit, and squirted milk into his open mouth. He would either swallow, I decided, or drown! Scott swallowed, opened his eyes briefly, turned toward me, and began nursing as if he had never stopped. I had to use the same “skullduggery†one more time, then our nursing relationship picked right up where it had left off.

Scott is 17 months old now, nursing often and contentedly. If I had any guilt feelings about “making†my son continue to nurse, they vanished the first time he came to me crying over some frustration or hurt, and left my lap a happier little boy.

There was one side benefit to our week’s hiatus. While he was refusing to nurse, Scott would let me rock him to sleep, something he had never done before, and was more cuddly than usual. I was surprised at the amount of closeness we had, even without the nursing. Now I know for sure that there is life after nursing! When Scott no longer wants to nurse, I know I’ll still share warm, loving moments with him.


I hope this helps Brisco, and I send you good vibes, and best wishes, hang in there!
post #40 of 54
Thread Starter 
Well, I tried spinning, standing up as our office chair now lives at the dump. It was funny for him, but didn't work. I might try again in a chair or something when he's feeling better. He's been feverish off and on.

I can't get him to sleep in my arms. We're gonna try properly co-sleeping again now that he's not waking screaming for hours every night (I think he got dehydrated and headachey). We're going to put our mattress on the floor so we're not so freaked out about him crawling off the edge. Maybe then I can try feeding him while he's asleep.

I gave in and bought some formula Saturday. We honestly hadnt realised how little he was drinking each day and how much he had incfreased his solids. It obviously wasnt working for him. He hd been waking screaming often in the night and was starving by 4 am. Now with the formula he's sleeping better (not through the night, but he never did), much less fussy during the day and even with a fever he's happier. My poor baby.
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