Devastated! My 16 mo quit nursing! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 85 Old 08-01-2006, 04:56 PM
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This is in response to the original poster. I am new to this forum and came looking for some information on nursing strikes, because me and my daugther (15 months old) are going through one. Your situation sounds very similar to mine, except that my dd was nursing 4-5 times during the day and suddenly stopped while she was sick. It's been a week and she hasn't resumed nursing, and I'm trying to keep the hope that she'll go back, because this was so sudden and I don't think she was ready (neither am I). The hardest part is everybody assuming this is weaning, so I feel reassured reading the responses to your post, as most of them agree that weaning is almost never this abrupt. I was going to ask if anyone had sucess stories on nursing strikes, because I would really benefit from some encouragement. I also wanted to tell you I totally empathize with the way you are feeling, because I feel the same way. I'm really sad and hearbroken about this situation, I feel that emptiness you mentioned, and the feeling of being somehow "disconnected" from my child. You described my own feelings very well! I think it's normal to feel this way. I agree, it's really hard to suddenly not have something so important in your relationship with your baby. I'm still holding on to hope, and keep pumping milk to keep my supply. I wish you the best of luck!! keep us posted...
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#32 of 85 Old 08-01-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sebarnes
Weaning influenced by pregnancy, heavy supplementation (whether formula, bottles, pacies or food), problems in the BF relationship or extended absence of baby from mom is not CLW. Period. These things can cause a child to lose interest in the breast, but they are factors outside of the natural mom/child relationship, and therefore not truly child led.

To the OP - I understand your saddness and mourning about your relationship. It does sound like a strike, and I hope that you are able to keep int from turning into a weaning. You sound like you are trying to do a lot of good things to encourage your dc back to the breast, and you have received a lot of good suggestions from PP. Good luck, and keep us posted!
Thanks for clearing up the meaning of CLW for me.

JET
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#33 of 85 Old 08-01-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eminer
No, it's mom hoping for B, just like it would have been at 3 weeks or 6 months. The existence of formula/cow's milk/soy milk is nice, but it doesn't make the normal course of human lactation "extended". You are conflating nursing problems that end in early weaning with a normal process. Sure, if problems arise, mom should not be guilted or told that she must keep trying at all costs. But they are still problems, and therefore the appropriate response (both from the mom and from her supporters) is quite different from what the normal process would provoke. The reason why children from 6 months to under 2 years are commonly described as self-weaning is that we have a cultural expectation that these are normal ages for weaning. Meanwhile, you who are nursing a 2yo are comfortable with the adjective "extended", and nursing to 4+yo is considered by most people to border on abuse. That's why we have a CLW forum: it's supposed to be a little supportive bubble where we don't have to hear that we are "forcing" our kids to nurse along a biologically normal timeline.
My point was simply that the mom shouldn't be "guilted or told that she must keep trying at all costs." If it picks up again, that's fabulous! But if it's tapered off and interest does not resume no matter what she tries, she shouldn't feel bad about that and no one should make her feel that way.

I wasn't saying that anyone was forcing her child to nurse (my words force & battle were not a personal reflection on anyone, just a thought regarding if a mom is really getting frustrated pushing and the child just is fighting it and doesn't stop fighting it). Just that if a child really is refusing to nurse, and the mom has tried her best, it seems like it would only be even more stressful for both mom & babe to continue to "try at all costs." Sigh. I wish I could say what I'm thinking without it coming out all jumbled and easily misinterpreted.

JET
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#34 of 85 Old 08-01-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn
Sigh. I wish I could say what I'm thinking without it coming out all jumbled and easily misinterpreted.

JET
It is very hard to get meaning across when you are posting online, isn't it?

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#35 of 85 Old 08-01-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn
[COLOR="SeaGreen"Just that if a child really is refusing to nurse, and the mom has tried her best, it seems like it would only be even more stressful for both mom & babe to continue to "try at all costs."
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If the child is near 18 months or older, I could agree with you, however if we are talking about a child a year or younger I strongly disagree.

-Angela
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#36 of 85 Old 08-01-2006, 09:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna
If the child is near 18 months or older, I could agree with you, however if we are talking about a child a year or younger I strongly disagree.

-Angela
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#37 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna
If the child is near 18 months or older, I could agree with you, however if we are talking about a child a year or younger I strongly disagree.

-Angela
And see this is where I get confused all over again. I've been told on here that practically anything under 2 years old isn't child led weaning, and that something else is to blame.

AAAACKKK!

Ready to give up on understanding and go back to my blissful, happy world of nursing my toddler and going with what feels right for us.

JET
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#38 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn
And see this is where I get confused all over again. I've been told on here that practically anything under 2 years old isn't child led weaning, and that something else is to blame.
In general I agree, but everything is a matter of degrees. IMO if the child was over 18 months then I would evaluate the situation to decide what's going on. If the child was a year there would be no question.

Edited to elaborate- In GENERAL I say that babies should absolutely not have solids under 6 months (plus a list of readiness signs) BUT an occaisional baby may show all the other signs and be ready at 5 1/2 months. BUT a 3 month old, even if showing all the other signs, isn't ready IMO. Does that help? Or confuse things further?

-Angela
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#39 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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I disagree...children can wean at whatever age...cause all kids are DIFFERENT!!!

Maybe you are pregnant? Or you are eating an offending food? DD pulled this one on me when I was pregnant...though I didn't know it at the time. LOL. Smarty pants. But I digress.

You can always offer the boob, if you are interested in that. Or you can just be sure to give baby the opportunity if an interest resumes. Probably shouldn't push the issue too much...if you are in to CHILD LED.

Again, investigate the pregnant thing. It happens...


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#40 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 07:00 PM
 
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I agree every child is different my dd stopped nursing at 9 months I though she was way to young to stop I offer her while she was falling asleep but even though that didn't work so she doesn't nurse anymore and now I'm pregnant I hope she starts again when the baby is born she will be 18 months so I have hopes..
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#41 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jul511riv
I disagree...children can wean at whatever age...cause all kids are DIFFERENT!!!
A baby who stops nursing at 6 months is not self weaning. Sorry.

-Angela
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#42 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brazilianmommy
I agree every child is different my dd stopped nursing at 9 months I though she was way to young to stop I offer her while she was falling asleep but even though that didn't work so she doesn't nurse anymore and now I'm pregnant I hope she starts again when the baby is born she will be 18 months so I have hopes..
She was way too young to stop. That was a nursing strike.

-Angela
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#43 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jet1295mamajenn
And see this is where I get confused all over again. I've been told on here that practically anything under 2 years old isn't child led weaning, and that something else is to blame.

AAAACKKK!

Ready to give up on understanding and go back to my blissful, happy world of nursing my toddler and going with what feels right for us.

JET
Good idea. I nursed my first child until she was done at around 3.5 with occasional sips at 4 and 5. I'm currently nursing a 34 month old. I don't consider myself a CLWer, more of a natural weaner or child-directed weaner. But my feelings play into it, and my feelings undoubtedly influence her reactions, and I will put limits on it if I feel like I must.

I'm not emotionally invested in the CLW concept, so if someone tells me I'm not a CLWer, I'm fine with that. Others can define it and tell me I don't fit the criteria, but they can't tell me I'm a failure. So, yeah, I would say do what feels right for you.

Anyway, to the OP, I really hope you can get your little one nursing again, because this may not necessarily be the right time for either of you.
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#44 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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Weaning influenced by pregnancy [...] is not CLW. Period. These things can cause a child to lose interest in the breast, but they are factors outside of the natural mom/child relationship, and therefore not truly child led.
Wait, hold up. How is a subsequent pregnancy "outside the natural mom/child relationship?"

Not till the advent of good reliable (artificial) contraception could women space their kids out as far as seems to be typical for a lot of MDC moms.

I mean, I'm all in favor of BC-- I'm no maidservent to the cult of the "natural"-- but I know that "allowing nature to take its course" did result in me getting knocked up again when my son was all of 10 months old.

Soooo... maybe it's not really CLW, and I'm cool with that (like Viola said, I don't have anything invested in the concept or the label,) but certainly there's nothing inherently unnatural about a weaning influenced by a subsequent pg.

Anyway, that's all neither here nor there for the OP.

I'd say that my nursing relationship with my toddler has been through some ups and some downs. I thought he was weaning after two days of no interest, but then he walked up to me laying on the futon yesterday, stuck one hand in my shirt, and used the other hand to sign "MILKY!" Sooo, I reckon we're back on.
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#45 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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Eightyferrettoes (did I even spell that right ?)

It's not unnatural, per se, to get pregnant, however, the question I would ask would be - If the pregnancy hadn't happened, would the child still be nursing? Do you really consider a 6 month old weaning because milk has disappeared CLW? The milk drying up is a result of the pregnancy, not of a gradual decline in nursing by the child. And it has nothing to do with using BC to space children further apart. Throughout history and outside industrialized countries today, if a child is given free, unlimited access to the breast, children ARE spaced aproximately 36 or so months apart naturally. Of course there are a few exceptions. But not as many as there seems to be today in Industrialized countries. There could be several reasons for that. 1) In less industrialized countries, children often suck for 5 or so minutes every 30-60 minutes round the clock - how often does that happen elsewhere? 2) Our bodies have become totally invaded by a host of environmental toxins, as well as SAD in general. All of these things can and have caused changes in fertility patterns 3) the growing use of binkys as a substitute for sucking at the breast. This is all running a little of topic, but my point is that while pregnancy is natural, it does cause a deviation from the initial mother/child nursing relationship. And the somewhat earlier return to fertility that we often see today is not due to natural forces, but external forces. (I am not blaming any woman for having an early return to fertility when she has done her best to practice ecological breastfeeding - as I pointed out earlier, environmental factors are often beyond our control

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#46 of 85 Old 08-02-2006, 11:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jul511riv
I disagree...children can wean at whatever age...cause all kids are DIFFERENT!!!

Maybe you are pregnant? Or you are eating an offending food? DD pulled this one on me when I was pregnant...though I didn't know it at the time. LOL. Smarty pants. But I digress.

You can always offer the boob, if you are interested in that. Or you can just be sure to give baby the opportunity if an interest resumes. Probably shouldn't push the issue too much...if you are in to CHILD LED.

Again, investigate the pregnant thing. It happens...

Sorry, but you are wrong. Before the advent of formula, if a child younger than 6months - 1 year would have weaned, it would have been an almost sure death sentance. So saying that a child could wean at any age just makes no sense biologically or evolutionary. Just because we have formula available now doesn't change the facts of life.

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#47 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 01:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sebarnes
Eightyferrettoes (did I even spell that right ?)

It's not unnatural, per se, to get pregnant, however, the question I would ask would be - If the pregnancy hadn't happened, would the child still be nursing? Do you really consider a 6 month old weaning because milk has disappeared CLW? The milk drying up is a result of the pregnancy, not of a gradual decline in nursing by the child. And it has nothing to do with using BC to space children further apart. Throughout history and outside industrialized countries today, if a child is given free, unlimited access to the breast, children ARE spaced aproximately 36 or so months apart naturally. Of course there are a few exceptions. But not as many as there seems to be today in Industrialized countries. There could be several reasons for that. 1) In less industrialized countries, children often suck for 5 or so minutes every 30-60 minutes round the clock - how often does that happen elsewhere? 2) Our bodies have become totally invaded by a host of environmental toxins, as well as SAD in general. All of these things can and have caused changes in fertility patterns 3) the growing use of binkys as a substitute for sucking at the breast. This is all running a little of topic, but my point is that while pregnancy is natural, it does cause a deviation from the initial mother/child nursing relationship. And the somewhat earlier return to fertility that we often see today is not due to natural forces, but external forces. (I am not blaming any woman for having an early return to fertility when she has done her best to practice ecological breastfeeding - as I pointed out earlier, environmental factors are often beyond our control
Yeah, I dunno about some of that. DS had pretty completely unfettered boob access at 7-12 months (why do you think I'm nakkin' at MDC so often? ) no pacifiers, no bottles, coslept, and only ate whatever he could snag off my plate at mealtimes. It's not like I propped him up in his chair and spoonfed him sweet potatoes.

And yet AF still returned at 7 months pp. I was a little dismayed, but them's the breaks.

I know I'm just one woman, but I also know that there are a lot of American EBF women out there who do have a return to fertility before a year, and I'm not sure that this is entirely a product of their self-centered Western ways.

One factor I DO think is an issue is the amount of food we eat. Easy access to calorie-dense foods has got to have a positive effect on a woman's ability to regain fertility. Though I'm not sure I want to go on a Cambodian farmer's wife's diet to regulate fertility or ensure that my kid nurses till he's at least 3, lol.

That being said, I'm not against being told I'm not a CLWer. I just wonder how much of it is really a "natural" concept, and how much of it is a bit of a modern concept.

Seems like, in a lot of folks' view, a nursing dyad is only "really" doing CLW if: the mom is a SAHM who doesn't ever leave for longer than a few hours, doesn't have any problems with the nursing relationship at all, and doesn't get pregnant at any point before the kid is 4. Seems a bit... exclusionary, IYKWIM.
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#48 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sebarnes
Sorry, but you are wrong. Before the advent of formula, if a child younger than 6months - 1 year would have weaned, it would have been an almost sure death sentance. So saying that a child could wean at any age just makes no sense biologically or evolutionary. Just because we have formula available now doesn't change the facts of life.
Actually, in Puritan New England the weaning age was 6 months (I found this from a site giving the history of artificial feeding of infants, linked from Kellymom). It probably led to a much higher rate of infant/child mortality, but it was definitely not unheard of before formula to wean a child younger than 12 months of age. (That doesn't mean that they *should* have been weaned that young, just to be clear! - it probably compromised many children's health to be weaned at 6 months with no adequate milk replacement. But it did happen, and was not an "almost sure death sentence".)
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#49 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 02:26 AM
 
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Eightyferrettoes - That's why I listed several causes - because many things come into play. I never said that every woman who had an early return to fertility used pacifiers (which you implied meant they were self centered); I simply said it was one cause.

Nora'sMama - Have you read Milk, Money and Madness? It's a facinating read with tons of mortality statistics about different cultures uses of artificial breastmilk substitutes. I include these ABS in my statement I still stand by my statement that it is against biological and evolutionary sense for an infant to self wean before he or she can reasonably/healthily survive without an ABS.

ETA: In the interest of full disclosure: I am not a purist CLW. I think it is reasonable to set limits, even big ones, after 18 or so months and still CLW. In fact, I prefer the term natural weaning for many reasons. I simply do not think that a child weaning before 18 -24 months is natural or child led.

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#50 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
Actually, in Puritan England the weaning age was 6 months (I found this from a site giving the history of artificial feeding of infants, linked from Kellymom). It probably led to a much higher rate of infant/child mortality, but it was definitely not unheard of before formula to wean a child younger than 12 months of age. (That doesn't mean that they *should* have been weaned that young, just to be clear! - it probably compromised many children's health to be weaned at 6 months with no adequate milk replacement. But it did happen, and was not an "almost sure death sentence".)
I expect that they had cow or goat's milk.

-Angela
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#51 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 03:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna
I expect that they had cow or goat's milk.

-Angela
They surely did. When I said "adequate milk replacement", I meant an adequate replacement for HUMAN milk. Cow or goat's milk wouldn't be considered "adequate" by today's standards.
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#52 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 03:13 AM
 
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Eightyferrettoes - That's why I listed several causes - because many things come into play. I never said that every woman who had an early return to fertility used pacifiers (which you implied meant they were self centered); I simply said it was one cause.
Yeah, no, I didn't mean to imply that that's what you were implying. : Sorry. Had more to do with my snarky attitude about CLW and pregnancy than it did with your actual post.

It's just that I know quite a few women who seem to have a much earlier return to fertility than one would expect from cosleeping, no-paci, feeding-on-demand type lifestyles. I really, really thought I'd be one of those women struggling to get my fertility back when my kid was two, not one of the ones who saw AF at seven months pp.

It was a major factor in deciding to "let nature take her course;" I honestly never envisioned having kids 18 months apart.

So I often wonder whether it's not so much an issue of "unnatural" lifestyles and more a matter of unfettered access to decent food. Which makes me wonder whether marginal nutrition for women is as responsible for the much-discussed 36-month average spacing as EBF.
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#53 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 03:18 AM
 
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They surely did. When I said "adequate milk replacement", I meant an adequate replacement for HUMAN milk. Cow or goat's milk wouldn't be considered "adequate" by today's standards.
Absolutely. However cave-babies would have died if they weaned at 6 months.

-Angela
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#54 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 03:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes

So I often wonder whether it's not so much an issue of "unnatural" lifestyles and more a matter of unfettered access to decent food. Which makes me wonder whether marginal nutrition for women is as responsible for the much-discussed 36-month average spacing as EBF.
It is an interesting question. Although I question whether our food in most cases can really be considered "decent.

I will say that we studed the !Kung tribe extensively in one of my anthro classes in college, and when their diet was analyzed it was actually far more nutritious than the SAD. They died younger because their lives were filled with more unpredictability and hardship than ours, but their over health and quality of life was better (i.e. - they weren't nearly as sick as we are!). They were more likely to die from infected wounds or dehydration than inadequate nutrition. Of course, I can't extrapolate that data to every "primitive" society.

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#55 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 03:42 AM
 
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Absolutely. However cave-babies would have died if they weaned at 6 months.

-Angela
And doesn't Dr Sears actually promote homemade goats milk formula as a more suitable BM substitute than commerical formula?

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#56 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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And doesn't Dr Sears actually promote homemade goats milk formula as a more suitable BM substitute than commerical formula?
I don't know if he claims it's better, but I've heard he has one. BUT that's of course a formula, not straight goat's milk.

-Angela
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#57 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 02:18 PM
 
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I don't know if he claims it's better, but I've heard he has one. BUT that's of course a formula, not straight goat's milk.

-Angela
True.

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#58 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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Also, while this is pretty obvious, the babies in puritian England didn't choose to wean, nor are we even talking about a strike here, they were cut off from breastmilk by the choice of the parent.
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#59 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 05:52 PM
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You requested stories of hope before, so I just wanted to let you know that my little one started nursing last night, after 11 days of nursing strike. I found the hardest part was to keep hope, but I'm so thankful I did. Please do not hesitate to post again if you want me to elaborate or have any questions. Hope you are well!
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#60 of 85 Old 08-03-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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Did you ever nurse in a carseat? I have been through many nursing strikes with my son who is also 16 mo. The two ways I could always get him back were have my dh drive and me nurse or in a steamy bathroom, shower or tub. I hope you can get him back on the boob soon.
For a inspiring story (not as much as the 40 day strike posted about here) I know a women from my LLL whose dc went on a strike for over a week that she lasted through and ended when her dc pooped out a small, small chunk of metal. It's just to say we sometimes don't know the reasons for an abrupt strike and think it is weaning but really the babe has their reasons and perservering can pay off!

Leah
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