Incredibly sad at nursing strike(9 Posts)
Hello... I need a little cheering up.
My 6.5 month old is on a 'nursing strike' which has lasted about 2 weeks. Before that he gradually fed less and less until one day he totally refused the breast... After pretty much trying everything to get him back to the breast, I'm reaching the conclusion this is probably permanent. And I feel awful. When I think about it too much, I just end up in tears. He acts angry even if I try to get him anywhere near a bare breast. Up till now, I've been expressing at every feed in case he changes his mind, but I'm finding it unsustainable - I'm so stressed and so tired with expressing (and other issues). So I've decided to cut down to 1 or 2 expressions a day - then I guess stop completely. I know it's a bit irrational but I feel so, so, so, so sad.
I tell myself it's better that he's bf as long as he wants to, and I won't be in the position of having to wean him when he doesn't want to. But it doesn't stop me feeling incredibly sad. I guess I'm not really asking for advice, but just wanted to share because (apart from my DP) I have few friends to talk to about it and when I do, I can tell they don't get it...
Haven't got much spare time for the internet at the mo but will check for any responses when I can...
It is sad though isn't it, I think in part because BF is ending before you want it to. I haven't got practical tips as to what else you could try, but my first did this at ten months. You have done better than me; I hadn't heard of the concept of a nursing strike and after a few days decided he didn't want to feed. I was sad later there were options I could have tried.
And no, it isn't irrational to be sad. BF can be a lovely experience; for me it wasn't just that it was the end of the BF, it's also the stage in my baby's life that has passed. So many mixed emotions.
Hope you feel better soon.
Don't have practical advice but didn't want to read and run, it's not irrational to feel sad, totally understandable. I was sad when my period returned cos it meant ds was dropping amount of milk...its such an emotional thing and whenever it ends i think there is a sense of babyhood passing. If you arent ready to end that must make it even harder but Whatever happens you have done a great thing feeding this far, especially all the expressing, and your relationship with your ds will continue to grow and evolve and deepen however he gets his milk.
Thanks so much missorinoco and blossombath. That's exactly it - a stage of life passing... I really appreciate your encouragement. Going to bed a tad more cheerful... well, not in tears at least! Thank you.
Have you been to the GP, violet perhaps DS has an ear infection and once it is treated you can resume bf?
Thanks LAF77 - I took him to a nurse who just said, "well, he's probably self-weaning". She didn't seem very interested or surprised. She said on a previous occasion (when I was concerned about his head scratching) that I'd really know if he had an ear infection because he'd be crying all the time it's so painful...
Children at his age don't self wean, unfortunately. There mat be something else. Is he teething?
Dd1 did this at around 4 months, I was a wreck, constantly crying, I'm sorry you're going through it. Will he feed when asleep? I was advised to lift her when asleep and put her to the breast, she would feed like this. My dd started feeding again after about two weeks and she continued to feed until she was eight months. From this point on through she only ever fed for about two minutes at a time, will he take a really small feed?
Thanks TooMany. Sorry you had to go through it too, but so pleased you found a solution. I know how hard it must have been for you - I've been in tears all week. No, he's never really been able to feed when asleep, but I did try when he was drowsy. He gets angry just being put in that position. But thanks for the tip. I'm keeping expressing for the moment but I don't think he'll be changing his mind.
Thanks LAF77 - He could be teething, but not showing any obvious signs. In the past when he was teething, he temporarily favoured the bottle and it was very clear what was going on.
But, it's true - although people don't really talk about it, babies can and do self-wean this young. And for me there's nothing, nothing, nothing fortunate about it... My boy wasn't able to breastfeed from birth due to an injury and I went through hell to get him to bf. I'm lucky in that I have the support of top lactation consultants and NCT counsellors but having followed all their advice, I've been told it's baby-led weaning, and to try to be happy that it's what he wants...
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