Is there any hope for this nursing strike? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 03-30-2009, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 14 months, and we have had a very difficult nursing relationship due to his tongue tie (clipped but not fully), bubble palate, and low muscle tone. However, he was still nursing about 3X/day till recently when he was sick with pneumonia, during which time he was refusing food and the breast both. Now that he's better, he still will not nurse. I have tried at all times of day in all kinds of situations and moods, and he absolutely will not go near the nipple. It's been about a week now since he nursed at all; I am keeping up some supply by pumping, but certainly my supply has dropped.

Is there any hope for us?? Has anyone reestablished BF with an older baby like this who didn't nurse much in the first place? He still will take a bottle (but please don't suggest that we take them away, as he was used to getting one before bed (only) and won't sleep without it).

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#2 of 18 Old 03-30-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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Another mom on this board had a baby who went on a nursing strike around 12 months or so of age. The baby almost came back to the breast a few times. I think the mom worked on the strike for about 2 months and then gave up. Several months later, the mom posted an update that her LO had come back to the breast and the mom was still making milk even though she hadn't pumped or nursed for months. I remember that the original nursing strike started around a year ago and there were several other threads about long nursing strikes going on at the same time. I'll see if I can find them.
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#3 of 18 Old 03-30-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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#4 of 18 Old 03-30-2009, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, that is amazing about the 8 month strike--I can't imagine I could still have milk after that long as I dried up very fast with DD1.

Anyone else have any encouraging stories? I am so much in denial that this may be the end. I am not having anymore babies. Oh, damn it, now I'm crying.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#5 of 18 Old 03-30-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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My daughter went on a 2 week strike after her cleft palate repair at 6 1/2 months. I was pumping and feeding her via a Habermann feeder, which is designed for babies with very little suction. With the new palate, Miriam was getting all her milk in a couple of minutes flat and was still desperate to suck on something - she would suck on my arm, my chin, anything but my breast (and she used to comfort nurse prior to surgery).

I continued using the Habermann bottle because it didn't satisfy all her sucking needs (what if you continued to use the bottle just at bed time?) and tried everything that was mentioned in the LLL publications I had on hand - extra skin contact, bathing together, trying to rock her to sleep against my breast and slip the nipple in as she was nodding off - nothing worked.

In desperation, I tried something that I had read in an Australian Breastfeeding Association booklet (about breastfeeding a baby with a cleft lip and palate) - I wore a supplementary feeder under a silicone nipple shield - I felt like a human bottle, but it worked. Because everything had to be taped on and the tape would quickly come off, I weaned her off the shield very quickly - within about a day and a half. The shield would just come off while she was nursing, so I would latch her on without it.

I don't know exactly what set her off on the strike, probably the pain of the operation.

Good luck, and PM me if you would like more help,

Alice
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#6 of 18 Old 03-30-2009, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We actually used to use a shield (for my comfort as his nursing was painful for me) but he eventually refused to latch with it around 9-10 months or so. I have like 10 of them so I could certainly try.

I don't know if the supplementer would help as I can't get him to suck even once.

I tried in the bath today, naked lying in bed, in the Ergo, when half asleep--nothing. He absolutely will not latch.

I am sitting here bawling. : Anyone, anyone, please offer me hope.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#7 of 18 Old 03-31-2009, 04:35 AM
 
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The shield worked for us because it resembled the bottle, which she was using, and the supplementer meant that she got instant milk - she would clamp down just once before pulling back so I figured that she needed to get milk in that one instant if there was any chance for her to keep sucking.

This worked for us, because it was based on what I observed my daughter doing. Look for something that your child does and go from there. A baby on a nursing strike is generally discontent. At this age it could also be child led weaning. His cold may have prompted him to give up something he was ready to give up (quite abruptly, which is not easy for you).

You are the one in the best position to figure out what is going on - we can only help if you let us know what your instinct is telling you, and what your baby's reaction to what you are trying is.

(The warm baths didn't work for us either - my daughter thought it was great and spent the whole time splashing around with her back to me!)

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#8 of 18 Old 03-31-2009, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I don't know that he is discontent. Actually I don't think he is. It doesn't seem like he wants to nurse but is conflicted--he just turns his head away. But I was under the impression that self-weaning before 18 months was pretty rare?

He does use a pacifier when tired or whiney. Yesterday I tried withholding the paci and offering the nipple a number of times, but he still would have none of it. I've considered ditching the pacis but it feels a little mean.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#9 of 18 Old 03-31-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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just wanted to express my support!!!!! my baby is almost over a 2 week nursing strike, he didnt stop nursing completely, but there was a LOT of screaming and scratching involved... lots and lots of skin contact and taking baths together is what helped us, but it wasnt nearly as bad as some of the above. be proud of yourself for not giving up!!!
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#10 of 18 Old 03-31-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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My babe went on a 6 week strike at 14 months! He was nursing like 7-8 times /24 hours. I conceded defeat after a few days and was down to pumping 2x/day (6 weeks later) when he decided he wanted to nurse again. It took a couple of weeks to get my supply back up to his usual schedule!

There is hope!
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#11 of 18 Old 04-01-2009, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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jaxxy, were you still offering or did he ask to nurse?

Still nothing here. He looked a little interested when I pumped in front of him, lay his head on the breast and thought about it, but didn't latch.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#12 of 18 Old 04-02-2009, 09:18 AM
 
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Just checking in on you, mama. I hope that you are doing okay.
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#13 of 18 Old 04-02-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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have you tried all letting it hangout all day - wearing him with no shirt on, etc... IDK mama - ((hugs))

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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#14 of 18 Old 04-02-2009, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi--still nothing. Yesterday he put the nipple in his mouth for a second and almost latched--I was so excited, but he did not suck and would not do it again.

I just wish he could nurse even one more time so I could say goodbye to BFing.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#15 of 18 Old 04-02-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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When DS1 had a nursing strike, I was successful in stopping it by repeatedly offering during the night when he was almost fully asleep. Eventually, he unconsciously latched on. Once that happened, the strike was over.

I had to try multiple times per night for several nights, though. G/L

aran .......... Mr. aran .......... DS1 .......... DS2
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#16 of 18 Old 04-02-2009, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I sort of wish I could try that, but we haven't coslept since about 8 months and I don't think it would work.

ETa that I got him to latch for a second (didn't suck) but then he bit, hard. Latched again, bit again. This is how DD1 ended up weaning, at 15 months--she would latch but suck 2 or 3 times and then bite.

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#17 of 18 Old 04-02-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
jaxxy, were you still offering or did he ask to nurse?

I probably offered too frequently because I was engorged and panicking. He tried a couple times after he hurt his mouth but it was too sore. I think he got annoyed with me trying to get him to latch and after a few days there was absolutely no interest from him so I pumped and gave it to him in a cup, never in a bottle. I would offer the breast every once in a while and he'd do what you described: latch for a second, bite. So I quit offering.

At about 6 weeks he wanted milk at the normal wake up time on a sunday morning after a late night and I just didn't want to get up (he was already in my bed) so I squirted a little milk on his lips, he licked them and waited for more so I tried to squirt a little more in his mouth and then he just went for it! : He went right back to nursing around the clock like he'd never stopped.

The one bonus from his strike is that he never went back to sucking his thumb!

Keep pumping if you want to keep your supply up!
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#18 of 18 Old 04-03-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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It sounds like he's making progress. I remember a chart from the LLL's breastfeeding answer book which described the various steps that babies sometimes go through before they return to the breast. Resting his head on the breast, putting the nipple in his mouth - these are all good signs.

Alice
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