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Partial Nursing Strike? DD 15mo do I need to express?

(11 Posts)
Nyunya Sun 06-Jan-13 09:15:19

Will try and make this brief, as I'm really a one for including every minutiae of detail, which isn't always needed.

Basically, dd (15mo) has stopped feeding during the day for the last three days or so. She still happily feeds to sleep and will feed a lot during the night (we co-sleep so its manageable but still tiring).

The reason I suspect a nursing strike and not self-weaning is:
a) due to her age
b) she hardly eats a thing - up until 3 weeks ago she ate virtually no solids, survived on breastmilk and was very happy with this. The week before Christmas she suddenly started eating 4x as much as she did before - but going from one teaspoon of porridge to 4 teaspoons still isn't much iyswim. Since her temperature (see below) and since she's stopped feeding in the day she's gone back to barely eating a thing again.
c) her temperature has been really up and down over the last 4 days or so - normal one minute, and then 38 degrees or more half an hour later, then back to normal a couple of hours after that. Firstly suspected an infection of some kind but after a quick trip to the GP, we got the all-clear for her ears, throat, chest and only one gland slightly raised.

I'm suspecting teething as a cause, and have just had a feel this morning and one of her molars is just poking through (only got a chance to check one side!)

I've read about nursing strikes on Kellymom, and also LalaDipsey's thread, Mampig's thread, and BuffyFairy's thread.

My main questions are:
As she is feeding so much at night (4-5 times - one side at a time, which is normal for her) and then once in the day before her nap 11.30/12ish, and once before bed at 6.30, do I still need to express in the day? Or will it be ok for me to build up my supply when she does decide she wants to feed again?
Should I be trying to coax her back to the breast (a la kellymom)? Or should I just wait it out? (I ask because she is still choosing to feed before a nap and before bed.)

Just read this through and realise it sounds very matter-of-fact but tbh I've been so up and down the last few days about it all, I really don't know what to do. Its so hideous when she's doing her 'milk pant' and pulling at my top and then as soon as I start to lift my top she shakes her head and walks away. The whole thing feels very odd, and anything connected to milk is so emotional and hormonal!

So not that brief after all, if you're still reading, thank you!

Nyunya Sun 06-Jan-13 12:31:07

Bump sad

timeforgin Sun 06-Jan-13 14:01:46

I am sure someone will be along to shout me down, but...

I would be more concerned about her not eating solids - though sounds like she has increased this; I would encourage that as at 15 months she needs the nutrients etc from solid food too. I would also note thay my son (just 16 months) has basically self weaned in the last few weeks (we have been down to just bedtime feed for a couple of months now, and I would offer cow's milk after. I also read on Kellymom how babies under a certain age apparently don't self wean, but he has. However he has been on 3 proper meals a day since seven months and has been sleeping 11/12 hrs since weaned (ie not feeding in the night) so that might have something to do with it. Just a circuitous way of saying she could be self weaning.

Also sounds like she hasn't been herself with temp though and that can def have an impact in my experience - my son would go through fussy phases though generally when he was a lot younger and still getting most of his nutrition from milk.

I never expressed during the day when he was or seemed to be dropping feeds as I have quite a responsive supply and found once he got his appetite back it would readjust, but I guess everyone is different. Your supply is very established at 15 months but I guess will do no harm f you want or need to express..?

RedKites Sun 06-Jan-13 14:25:57

You could give one of the telephone helplines a call. I've found them very helpful in the past. Not an expert, but I wouldn't have thought you need to express at this stage- your supply is pretty established by now I would think. Certainly, around this age my DS1 would no longer feed in the day if we were out and about, but would if we were home, with no issues. Be gentle on yourself, like you say feeding can be a very emotional thing. I hope it all resolves quickly.

Nyunya Sun 06-Jan-13 14:29:08

Thanks for your response time, nice to have a reply!

I have a friend who's baby self-weaned at 14 months - but, like your DS, was eating three full meals a day by that time (and drinking from a cup - one of the other signs) so I know it can happen before 18-24 months, but my DD has never really 'got' food, though her weight-gain has always been fine, and she is very lively!

I think what I'm finding difficult is that DD used to want to breastfeed 6+ times a day (and at night), even after she increased her intake of solids, and now its just before sleeping (but still a lot at night!) If she had cut down her feeds gradually and was taking more solids, then I would consider this situation to be self-weaning, but as she hasn't I'm thinking it must be some kind of strike/partial strike. But DH has suggested that DD may use this opportunity to increase her solids intake - which is fine by me! after months of worrying that she wasn't eating enough, and trying various different methods to encourage her to eat, I eventually gave up and decided that she'd eat when she was ready!

Yes I also wonder whether my supply is able to 'take' such a change, as she's still feeding a bit, presumably it will be able to be built up again if she decides she wants to feed more again?

But I'm not really ready to give up breastfeeding yet, and wanted to see if we could make the WHO 2 year mark!

Nyunya Sun 06-Jan-13 14:35:28

RedKites X-post!

Yes DD did always feed less if we were out and about - but she's even not feeding at home now! Thanks for the reassurance about supply.

What a good idea to give the helplines a call! I'd completely forgotten about them (and one was so helpful when DD was small) thanks for the reminder!

timeforgin Sun 06-Jan-13 20:46:00

Hmm yes my son has been using a cup for a long time, g

Tbh given she has had a temp and the whole thing has been over quite a short period of a few days maybe she is not feeling great and her body has craved (?) bit more solids?

timeforgin Sun 06-Jan-13 20:49:20

Hmm yes my son has been using a cup for a long time, good point.

Tbh given she has had a temp and the whole thing has been over quite a short period of a few days maybe she is not feeling great and her body has craved (?) bit more solids / bit less milk?

I would be really interested to see how it turns out so do update!

Nyunya Mon 07-Jan-13 12:47:30

Phew! DD has started feeding again this morning. So its only been short-lived thank goodness. My supply is a bit diminished, but still fine and DD seems to be making up for lost sucking time, so I think it'll be back up to what it was fairly soon.

Interestingly, she has also started eating solids again, so I think it must have been the tooth that has just popped through. Her temp is back down to normal (was also pretty steady yesterday). I'm glad she's back on milk and solids, as I wondered if her eating more just before Christmas was a 'blip', but now I think she'll be back on it again!

So all seems well and resolved (until the next crisis!) Many thanks for suggestions and support. Always good to have people to mull stuff over with!

RedKites Mon 07-Jan-13 18:09:38

smile I'm glad it's resolved so quickly, and hope she keeps up the solids too.

Nyunya Mon 07-Jan-13 20:37:53

Thanks RedKites!

Ha! Yes, it always seems to resolve quickly once I've asked the mn massive about it - perhaps I should post more often...

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