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One week into a nursing strike and starting to panic...

(26 Posts)
MumOfTheMoos Thu 28-Mar-13 12:14:02

DS is 12mo next week and last week because he was v poorly with a badly blocked nose, he couldn't breathe through his nose and stopped feeding.

For the first afternoon he rooted and put the nipple in his mouth and just breathed around it (iyswim). For most of the intervening time he has not wanted the nipple and just turned his head ,happy to use my boob as a nice comfy pillow.

Yesterday morning and again this morning when he woke up at 4am and was sleepy I managed to get him to take the nipple in his mouth but he did not latch on and no feeding.

He is feeling much better now and able to breathe with his mouth shut (most of the time, every now and then he's still a bit bunged up) and has been drinking formula, expressed bm and gold top cows milk through his straw cup so I know he can suck.

I'm expressing ok (just got 110mls) so I'm not too worried about my supply. It's gone down a bit, I would imagine, but once DS starts feeding again he can make that go up.

I'm just worried htat he's not going to start feeding again. He was having 2 to 4 feeds a day (depending on whether he was at CMs or not) and I am not ready for him to stop. He had undiagnosed TT when he was first born and I found not being able to feed him so traumatic and I'm beginning to feel really panicked thatI 'ill never be able to feed him again.

I had planned to drop to 2 feeds a day after his birthday, first thing and last thing but I had wanted to keep those until he was ready to drop them naturally.

I don't know how to encourage him to start sucking. I've been offering the breast regularly, doing lots of skin on skin, bringing him into our bed early in the morning when he's sleepy to feed lying down etc, etc

What are other people's experiences? How did you go from dc occasionally putting the nipple in the mouth to feeding again? I hand express so that he doesn't have to wait for the let down as well; what else can I do?

MumOfTheMoos Thu 28-Mar-13 16:56:56


BimbaBirba Thu 28-Mar-13 19:48:47

I feel for you, it's heartbreaking isn't it?
I think there isn't a straight forward solution, it's a case of persevering patiently. Have you seen this article on Kellymom it has a lot of good info.
The main thing is to keep calm and tell yourself that the odds are in your favour and although it may feel to you like he'll never latch on again, he probably will!
Good luck!

MumOfTheMoos Thu 28-Mar-13 20:21:42

Thank you, Bimba - useful reading - it's good to read about other people's experiences.

DH keeps saying it'll be OK, after all, we persevered through 4 weeks of not latching at all 'cos of tongue tie so we will get through this. I'm terrified though - I can't bear the thought of never feeding him again.

BimbaBirba Thu 28-Mar-13 20:35:53

I know how you're feeling but please keep trying calmly and patiently. Come back and let us know how it's going!

mercibucket Thu 28-Mar-13 20:51:07

Keep on offering and keep it stress free. He will start feeding again

mercibucket Thu 28-Mar-13 20:51:07

Keep on offering and keep it stress free. He will start feeding again

PointyDogs Thu 28-Mar-13 22:49:46

I was about to post something similar myself! My DD (9 months) stopped feeding on Monday. She is down to two bf a day (morning and evening) plus one ff in the afternoon (we've always mixed fed). I think in her case it is due to teething. Out of nowhere Monday night she was suddenly crying and screaming when I tried to get her to latch on, really distressed sad

I spoke to a bf counsellor yesterday who recommended lots of skin to skin, feeding when she is very sleepy if possible, and also trying different times and locations to normal, to try and break any negative associations. It sounds like you are already doing all of that, so can't suggest anything else I'm afraid.

I'm also not ready yet to give up, and especially not like this! We had moderate success this evening, in that I could position her without any tears or screams, but still definitely not interested in latching.

One thing I forgot to ask the counsellor - should I be replacing the missed feeds with formula? I have with a couple of them, and am expressing milk (in fairly small quantities) which she will drink from a cup. I thought that over just a few days, it shouldn't be a problem to miss them, but if it goes on much longer, she'll be lacking nutrients. But I don't want her to get used to bottles morning and evening either...any ideas? She loves her solids so shouldn't get too hungry.

MumOfTheMoos Thu 28-Mar-13 23:14:08

Hi pointydogs,

Since DS has been on his strike I've swapped the water he gets when he's eating for either expressed bm or gold top cows milk (he's 1 next week, so can drop formula then). He drinks from a straw cup so I keep it by him to have some as he plays etc. He has formula at his CMs. However, with a 9mo you'll not be wanting to replace bm or formula with cows milk yet.

What do you give her when she's eating?

Good luck, by the way.

PointyDogs Fri 29-Mar-13 10:46:36

that's a good idea - she usually has water with her meals, but I can mix up some formula to have cold in the fridge and give her that during the day as well. I've started giving her ebm in a cup too, while its still warm, but I don't get enough out to cover everything she should be having.

Just had a lovely morning snuggling in bed, loads of skin to skin, but she is definitely not herself - combination of teething pains and a snotty cold, she is quite congested which can't be helping, and seems more tired than normal. No tears when offered milk, although still turning head away.

Good luck to you too, let us know how you're getting on!

Branleuse Fri 29-Mar-13 10:55:04

Maybe there will come a point when you accept he doesnt want to do it any more despite you not being able to bear the thought of not breastfeeding.

You call it a nursing strike but its kidding yourself. Babies do commonly self wean at that age

MumOfTheMoos Fri 29-Mar-13 10:59:49

Branieuse, everything I've read on the topic suggests that self weaning happens gradually and doesn't take place before 18 months - so, I don't think I am kidding myself.

If I thought it was self weaning, then I would just suck it up and get over it.

PointyDogs Fri 29-Mar-13 11:25:04

I've taken expert advice on this from breast feeding counsellors, and they all agree that true self-weaning under 12 months (even under 18 months) is VERY rare (calling a strike self-weaning on the other hand is fairly common!), and that true SW happens gradually - not in an instant from one feed to the next, with tears and pain. If I genuinely thought it was self-weaning, I would be happy to go with it. When it is clearly related to temporary issues, I prefer to give my LO the chance to work through the problem and get back to what we BOTH want.

BimbaBirba Fri 29-Mar-13 11:31:46

Branleuse what an unhelpful and untrue thing to say! shock

LAF77 Fri 29-Mar-13 11:41:31

Can you make a GP appt and see if there is anything else going on, like an ear infection that may be making it uncomfortable to feed?

MumOfTheMoos Fri 29-Mar-13 12:05:44

Yes, LAF, I've been thinking I'll see if I can get him in to the surgery tomorrow morning (I think they'll squeeze in a potential baby ear infection). Ear infection, I think, can be quite common post a bad cold.

We just had some lovely skin time when he woke up from his nap - still no feeding but he stopped wriggling and cosied up for a while.

PointyDogs Sat 30-Mar-13 10:44:44

Quick update - DD decided this morning that she'd start feeding again! We were having some skin to skin time in bed, and after a while she just snuggled in and started feeding - had a good long feed on both sides, then kept on coming back for more over about half an hour or so before she fell asleep again grin Five days in total!

MumOfTheMoos Sat 30-Mar-13 11:14:28

Oh fantastic - I'm so pleased for you!

No luck here yet. He's still quite full of mucous and I've come to the conclusion that he's just not comfy lying in the feeding position. He'll only go to sleep if he's snuggled semi upright on my chest (as if he was snuggling like a new born).

Turned out our doctor is closed today, so we're gong to take him to a walk in centre to check he doesn't have an ear infection.

Last night he moved as if to latch on but opened us myth wide ad ten thought better of it. I'm feeling quite hopeful that one of these days, he'll do that and keep going!

I got a bit stressed out about it yesterday afternoon but I'm just plodding on.

MumOfTheMoos Sat 30-Mar-13 11:15:14

Sorry, that should be 'open his mouth wide'

MumOfTheMoos Sun 31-Mar-13 13:16:19

Ok, so just back from the nhs walk in centre and he's got an ear infaction on both sides. So fingers crossed the antibiotics will start to work and he'll start feeding again.

Does anybody know how long that might take - I'm thinking at least 24 hrs before the penicillin starts to make a difference.

BimbaBirba Sun 31-Mar-13 15:34:31

Aww bless! That explains it, doesn't it. I hope it all sorts itself out in the next couple of days.

LAF77 Mon 01-Apr-13 09:07:17

It should start to kick in under 24 hours. I hope that you both get back on track. Well done for working through the strike.

PointyDogs Mon 01-Apr-13 15:08:40

Poor little lad, hope he feels better soon - no wonder he's been out of sorts!

mercibucket Mon 01-Apr-13 19:35:14

Awww poor thing. Hope he's better soon. Should start to work in 24 hours and be a lot better in 48 based on my kids.

mercibucket Mon 01-Apr-13 19:35:14

Awww poor thing. Hope he's better soon. Should start to work in 24 hours and be a lot better in 48 based on my kids.

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