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DD 10.5 months old - nursing strike/biting?

(10 Posts)
ConcreteElephant Mon 06-Dec-10 13:35:25

Hello all,

I've never started a thread before because I've always been able to find the answers I need on this wonderful part of Mumsnet or elsewhere but this development has thrown me and my confidence and I'd be so grateful to hear anyone's advice or words of experience.

DD is 10.5 months old and exclusively breastfed. From a tricky beginning we have, I think, done really well, and I love breastfeeding her.

The last couple of weeks she's been a bit under the weather with cold, snotty nose and also teething - she's particularly suffered with teething even though she still only has two - poor thing.

On Saturday, when I went to feed her before bedtime as usual she tried to latch but immediately pulled off, arching her back and crying. She tried to latch again but this time just pulled her tongue back and bit me. I don't think I reacted strongly enough to have frightened her but she hasn't breastfed since sad.

I have looked at Kellymom, and other resources, and keep offering the breast as suggested there but she does exactly the same thing - just bites me and doesn't want to latch. Is this a nursing strike do you think?

I'm worried that she won't come back to being breastfed - I'd hoped to keep going till at least 1 year and feel so concerned that it might end like this. It doesn't help that her sleep has gone haywire the last week or so and she's awake for large parts of the night when before she slept very well, maybe waking once in the middle of her 10 hours for a cuddle or quick feed and back to sleep. So DH and I are exhausted and this is making the rejection harder to take. Everything feels worse when you are tired doesn't it?

I'm sorry this is so long, my mind is racing as to what's going wrong, what should I be doing, will this pass? If she's trying to self-wean should I just keep expressing and cup feeding? If so, till when?

Again, I'm sorry for the essay - this is just making me so sad. I'd be so grateful for help to get this straight in my head, or to hear of similar experiences. I just can't find similar tales of the biting.

Thanks so much in advance.

littlehedgehog Mon 06-Dec-10 14:26:15

Had only brief personal experience of this with DS2 but found it very hard. This thread 1134-Nursing-strike

was very good, detailed advice and a good outcome. Good luck.

ConcreteElephant Mon 06-Dec-10 14:30:47

Oh, thank you little hedgehog, I don't know how I didn't see that thread in my searches - my head is everywhere.

I'll give that a good read this afternoon. Thanks so much for replying.

ConcreteElephant Sun 19-Dec-10 11:51:39

I just wanted to update this to provide encouragement and support to other Mums who may be experiencing a similar problem....

On day 9 of the strike, having had no breastfeeds at all in that time, not when sleepy, not overnight, nothing, DD finally latched on and took a huge feed. She looked so content and I cherished every minute in case it was a one-off. It wasn't - she's back feeding as normal, her sleep has improved, the teething seems to have passed for now. She's a happy little thing again. It was a rough, rough time and I'm so pleased it's over.

I want to thank every woman who has ever posted her experiences of strikes online because I think I've read every single account! Also, LLL and other organisations for their resources.

I went to a Breastfeeding Cafe on day 4 of the strike and was told by the counsellor there that DD had clearly self-weaned, and wasn't I lucky that I'd be free of her for Christmas and to boost her dairy intake by giving her custard...there was a slight implication that I was being selfish and unreasonable to want to continue to breastfeed if DD obviously didn't want to. Having been able to read so much on the subject of self-weaning and nursing strikes I was fairly hmm at this but thought I ought to bear it in mind given her 'expert' status. I'm very glad that I didn't give up having spoken to her.

Not sure of the point of this post really - just to say that 9 days with no feeds at all doesn't mean the end of a breastfeeding relationship, sometimes experts get it wrong and you are wise to learn from the many Mothers who have taken the time to post their experiences online for your information.

Long may such supportive environments continue!

PenguinArmy Mon 20-Dec-10 05:58:23


so glad she's come back, hard not to take it personally when their striking and everything gets blown out of proportion.

It does seem to be the way that older babies strikes last for longer and get mistaken for weaning.

ConcreteElephant Mon 20-Dec-10 16:35:56

Thanks PenguinArmy,

I'm glad it wasn't weaning - not just for selfish reasons so much as for the reason that she's no good with a bottle and I felt lost trying to get milk into her...honestly, any future DCs will get bottles more regularly in case this happens - or if for some reason I am unable to feed. I really didn't have a Plan B here.

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Mon 20-Dec-10 21:55:06

Thank you for posting to encourage others.

But at the bf counsellor's advice.

ConcreteElephant Tue 21-Dec-10 14:18:00

I know Angels sad...

What's worse is she had a student with her - the counsellor looked strikes up in her big book, decided they only happen between 3 and 8 months, so this must be self-weaning and went from there... And this student will be learning from that...

She obviously didn't notice that I was trying not to cry when telling her my woes as she was very cheery when saying I'd be free at Christmas - not terribly sympathetic.

AngelsfromtherealmsofgloryDog Tue 21-Dec-10 21:03:20

Factual error aside, that was really insensitive of her. Nursing strikes are really distressing and it's hard not to feel personally rejected. I had an afternoon/evening when I thought DS was going on strike (he wasn't) and that was bad enough.

According to Kellymom self-weaning almost never happens before 12 months, rarely before 18 months IIRC. So that was wrong too.

littlehedgehog Tue 21-Dec-10 21:58:58

Great news smile. Well done for surviving the bf counsellor's "advice". Maybe you should go let her know she was wrong and possibly even point out how insensitive her comments were? So many women might rely on her "expert" status.

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