12m old dd has stopped breastfeeding.

(35 Posts)
BuffyFairy Mon 15-Oct-12 14:54:45

Possible nursing strike?

Dd woke up with a fever on Sat. She'd had a cough for over a week so we took her to ooh. We got told it was just a virus and sent home. Her temp continued to rise despite alternating with calpol and ibuprofen cue another trip to ooh. This time we were told she had a throat and ear infection and prescribed antibiotics.

Dd still had a fever on Sun. She didn't have much appetite and was struggling to nurse from left boob. 2pm was her last feed.

She wants to nurse but every time she tries to latch she starts crying and putting her fingers in her mouth. It was a very difficult night and she even struggled to take water in. She wouldn't drink milk from a bottle or cup despite normally being ok with that.

We took her to the GP today who said she wasn't dehydrated and it's just the inflammation making it sore.

I've managed to get 2oz of expressed milk into her using a dropper and she's had some water.

However, she's managed to eat some cheerios and toast so why can't she latch? Her
gum looks a bit inflamed but it is hard to
see and if it was teething wouldn't that affect her eating solids too?

Any ideas?

Sorry for the essay!

Dd hasn't been able to breastfeed since 2pm yesterday. She wants

BuffyFairy Mon 15-Oct-12 14:55:57

Oops, no idea why there's a repeat at the end blush

dikkertjedap Mon 15-Oct-12 21:19:47

If she has an ear infection, sucking will be painful. It should be easier for her to drink from a cup. Or try to time feeds as much as possible with painkillers (you have to judge how long the painkillers take to kick in). IME ibuprofen works much better than paracetamol with earache (however, you may decide to give both to control fever). Also, it can take between 30 mins and 60 mins for the painkiller to really start making a difference (i.e. the effect won't be instant).

I have found that with ear infections it is best to space the painkillers over the 24 hours and to give them regardless of whether there is a temperature (so I make a timetable and give the painkiller when it is due in accordance with the timetable, this way the level of painkiller in the blood is pretty constant and she doesn't get spikes of pain when the painkiller wears off as it will in that case longer for a painkiller to start working again - at least this is how our paediatrician advised us).

If it is bacterial, and she is on the right antibiotics then you would expect to see an improvement in 24-48 hours. If not, then I would go back to GP/OOH.

Main check to make sure she does not get dehydrated is the number of very heavy and wet nappies. Normally should be at least five a day, but if she has high fever then it could be slightly less. Still if fewer then five (very heavy) nappies I would seek medical advice.

Asmywhimsytakesme Mon 15-Oct-12 21:24:23

It does sound like a nursing strike and I hope she feels much better soon. I would express to keep your supply up and stop you getting sore or plugged ducts etc. you could give her the milk in a sippy cup if needed.

This article is very helpful on how you can try to get dd back on the breast with gentle persistence:

www.llli.org/nb/nbnovdec92p173.html

BuffyFairy Mon 15-Oct-12 22:06:05

dikkertjedap I'm alternating calpol and ibuprofen every 3 hrs unless she's asleep. Her fever has come down today but she's still in pain. I've found she'll drink some water about 30 mins after painkillers.

She's had wet nappies but not heavy ones. She's taken a little more milk from a dropper and an open cup once she realised I wasn't trying to give her more nasty medicine. She hates the antibiotics.

I think she might have hand, foot and mouth disease. Ulcers have appeared on her tongue and a rash is developing. We have an appointment with the GP in the morning.

There's been no attempt to latch on recently, I keep offering. She just cries. Even after she's been pawing at my boobs.

I have expressed to keep supply up.

Thanks for the link asmy.

dikkertjedap Mon 15-Oct-12 22:13:39

I believe there is a spray to numb mouth/throat when it is very painful. Not sure if it is suitable, given her age, but you may want to ask your GP.

I think that breastfeeding is simply to painful for her at the moment, although she seems to indicate that she wants it. So as long as you keep expressing to keep up supply and then give her the expressed milk and/or formula in a cup, she will be able to resume breastfeeding when the pain is gone. In the meantime I would keep offering but be prepared for refusals. If she can have the spray it may help although I am not sure if it influences sucking/swallowing reflexes - you would need to check that with GP as well.

Not sure how long Hand, foot and mouth disease lasts, but hopefully once she is over it she will be back to normal.

BuffyFairy Tue 16-Oct-12 00:17:50

I feel so helpless. Every other illness I've nursed her through. It's so hard listening to her cry for the breast and then see her pain and not be able to comfort her. Dd is normally such a milk monster.

I hope this passes soon.

Asmywhimsytakesme Tue 16-Oct-12 07:42:34

Buffy just sending some hugs to you - no wonder you're feeling upset sad

If you keep gently offering, especially when she's sleepy hopefully she'll be back feeding lots in no time.

BuffyFairy Tue 16-Oct-12 16:44:46

Thanks asmy.

Day 3 of her strike. She won't even try now. sad We co sleep but even when sleepy she's refused.

I'll try the bath tip later. I don't want this to be the end. Aside from all the benefits it's too useful a parenting tool. grin

On the plus side dd seems a bit better in herself today and has managed to eat something and drink more water.

Asmywhimsytakesme Tue 16-Oct-12 16:49:01

That sounds good that she is taking in a bit more.

Really sorry to hear that she is still not feeding, but some people have resolved strikes that lasted for several weeks, so this is still early days. Hopefully she will take in some milk tonight now she is feeling a bit better.

thanks to you

BuffyFairy Tue 16-Oct-12 17:01:23

That's good to know and makes me feel better about it.

I'll keep gently persevering. I'm still expressing but at least at a year in my supply is fairly robust.

Asmywhimsytakesme Tue 16-Oct-12 17:19:28

Do you live near an LLL group? There is a really good group near me and if you have access to one the Leader would be a good source of advice.

Mampig Tue 16-Oct-12 18:52:48

Hi, hugs to u. Just been through very similar but my lo is 16 months now. It lasted weeks and I was verging on thinking he was self weaning.
I kept gently offering, skin to skin as much as poss. Encouraged him to sleep on my boob. He would never feed in his sleep. He started eventually just taking a mouthful, and I would express a little milk to allow him to get the taste. Eventually he started to take a little feed.
I had trouble expressing any amount, so my supply dipped, but he seems to be getting it up againsmile.
It was such a hard time, I really do sympathise ( ours lasted nearly 4 weeks!). I went from denial, to sadness to being distraught. Then I got support here, and read about a 30 day strike. That's what kept me going...
And finally we have made it through. Wishing you all the best. Express as much as you can. I was shocked at how quickly my supply reduced tbh!! Good luck!!

dikkertjedap Tue 16-Oct-12 20:44:34

I expect that once the pain is gone she will probably start bf again as long as you can keep the supply up. You can always start freezing some of the expressed milk if you have too much for her at this moment.

Her mouth, her throat and her ears are probably hurting a lot, so even with painkillers she probably still feels very sore. Poor thing.

chillikat Tue 16-Oct-12 21:28:58

My DD went a few days without feeding in June at about 15 months. I think she was getting a new tooth which was rubbing on her tongue when feeding, making it sore. I too was distressed at not being able to offer the biggest comfort and seeing her go to feed then turn away and cry was horrible sad but as soon as I planned to go out one night instead of attempting to feed her to sleep she was back on it confused
I did get quite fascinated by hand expressing in those few days - I hadn't done any since she was newborn.

BuffyFairy Wed 17-Oct-12 02:59:22

asmy there is an LLL group near me. I have never been as it isn't a convenient time but if this strike doesn't resolve soon I will give the local leader a call.

mampig thanks for sharing your experience, poor you, that sounds so stressful. A month, wow. While I'm sorry you went through that it's good to know that longer strikes do end. So glad he's back feeding now and well done for persevering.

I definitely don't feel ready to stop. I've just got into the self-weaning mind frame and started explaining it to my breastfeeding past a year is weird family.

We had a bath together last night and she showed zero interest sad. I'm even missing her hitting my boobs when she wants milk. Although she had just learnt to sign for milk which is a big improvement on manners! grin

I now have 18oz stashed in the freezer. I've only been able to express 3 times a day. Luckily I'm used to expressing as I express milk for when she goes to the childminder.

Will 3 times a day be enough to keep my supply up?

BuffyFairy Wed 17-Oct-12 03:02:31

Oh chillikat it is awful isn't it. Glad it ended soonish for you.

Maybe I should try going to my work night out on thurs after all...

Disclaimer - I can't leave my baby when poorly, even with DH.

dikkertjedap Wed 17-Oct-12 15:34:28

Not sure whether three times a day will be enough. You will probably notice yourself - if supply is less than a few days ago it is starting to go down, otherwise you are fine. Once she starts bf again, supply will also respond.

Asmywhimsytakesme Wed 17-Oct-12 17:32:09

I would do 8 times per day - you can hand express using the Mamet technique and freeze left over milk.

BuffyFairy Wed 17-Oct-12 18:42:34

8 times [sobs]. 3 has been hard with a cling, ill baby and trying to get some work done. This is her 3rd illness in the 3 weeks I've been back to work so stressing a bit about that.

I know you're right. I have noticed by supply start to drop today. For some weird reason I find hand expressing gives me a headache. I use the ameda lactaline double electric pump which works pretty well for me. Much better than the manual Tommee tippee one I had before.

If she continues to refuse to nurse or drink expressed milk what should I be offering her? I feel pretty clueless as I've never had to think of alternatives or even how many ounces. Just fed boob on demand.

Asmywhimsytakesme Wed 17-Oct-12 19:13:55

Sorry sad someone more knowledgeable than me may say fewer than 8 is fine.

I think you don't have to give formula past a year. If she's eating normally I think you'd be ok giving her water to keep her hydrated.

Mampig Wed 17-Oct-12 19:38:17

She doesn't need cows milk or formula past 12 months. Water is fine, with yogurts etc for calcium. Some people use goats milk, as its closer to human milk than cows would be. But I wouldn't stress, express as often as you can, but def every 4 hours if possible. I also started fenugreek, which gets good reports for increasing supply. My prob was the expressing bit, but at least you've got that covered wink

BuffyFairy Wed 17-Oct-12 20:58:12

She nurses at least 5 times a day, more on days I'm at home so it would make sense to express as much as she nurses. I think I'll miss out the night feeds though. Her sleeping through until 6.30 last night did make a nice change. smile

It's a relief that I don't have to give her other milk. I use expressed milk on her cereal and she gets yoghurt and cheese.

If the strike lasts longer than a week I'll look into fenugreek.

It feels so odd not feeding her!

Mampig Thu 18-Oct-12 18:33:18

Yeah, that's a good idea. Fwiw, my ds doesn't take any other milk and didn't while on strike. The only thing tho- expressing at night will help keep up your supply, so it's definitely beneficial to do it ( unfortunately), maybe keep it in mind in case your supply does start to drop? I hated the rejection of ds not feeding! He was perfectly happy tho, which made it even harder!!
Good luck- is she showing any interest at all?

BuffyFairy Thu 18-Oct-12 22:45:26

My supply has definitely started to drop. I'm finding it really difficult to express more. Night expressing might have to be considered. Grrr. Dd was a fiend for night feeding!

I do feel very rejected. Dd fell over today and started crying. Normally she'd have some boob and been instantly comforted. Now she doesn't want to know. She's been signing milk to me but when I offer won't even attempt a feed. sad

She did manage some expressed milk from a feeding cup before her nap and before bed.

Asmywhimsytakesme Thu 18-Oct-12 22:50:10

Buffy it will almost certainly stop soon but must be very hard at the moment. Your poor dd and you sad

You sound like a lovely mum btw - hopefully all will be resolved soon and you can go back to lovely calm feeding again.

xx

Asmywhimsytakesme Thu 18-Oct-12 22:52:08

Sounds like a good plan re the expressing. If you freeze it you could build up a very handy stash.

I've made nice mashed potatoes for dc with mine before - maybe she would eat it like that. You could also put it on wheetabix maybe.

BuffyFairy Fri 19-Oct-12 00:39:21

Aw thanks asmy thanks.

I tried weetabix once. Not letting dd loose with that again. That stuff sticks like glue! grin

Mashed potatoes are a great idea. It makes good pancakes too.

It's the abruptness of it that's hard to handle. There's no slowing down to allow you to get used to it.

BuffyFairy Fri 19-Oct-12 15:07:30

Well dd managed a feed when she woke this morning. That was the best feed ever! She even gave a round of applause afterwards [melts].

She hasn't tried since but at least we're on the right track.

BuffyFairy Fri 19-Oct-12 15:07:56

Thanks everyone who posted for your messages and support.

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 19-Oct-12 15:11:07

So pleased Buffy - hopefully the first of many grin

Mampig Sat 20-Oct-12 22:36:29

grin Great news!! Hope it continues!!gringrin

BuffyFairy Sat 20-Oct-12 22:58:17

I'm pleased to report that dd is all better today and normal service has resumed! grin

Thanks for the hand holding. Hats off to you mampig for surviving a hardcore strike. I was a quivering wreck after 6 days!

Mampig Sun 21-Oct-12 08:45:31

Ah, well done!! That's great news! Unless you've been through similar, it's difficult for others to understand! Glad all is well againgrin

Asmywhimsytakesme Sun 21-Oct-12 11:00:21

Excellent Buffy - sounds like you serve very popular milk grin

You and Mampig have both done wonderfully and well done babies as well!

xx

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