Babies on nursing Strike- Please read

Jeanine - posted on 12/18/2008 ( 2 moms have responded )




Being a first time mom i am learning every day!! Its difficult with all the new developements vs your mother and grandparents giving you all the advice that now seems so wrong!

A couple of day ago Daniel (my 3 month old) started fighting the breast!! Crying uncontrollable and just not happy. Thing is, i knew he was hungry, so i tried and tried again... swaying and singing... boob in mouth and baby screaming. Eventually he'd get tired and start drinking like he had never been fed before! he'd drink for what seemed forever, with the odd jerk off the boob, only to start the whole process over.

Not to mention that by the time i had him fed and sleeping i was in a state... feeling inadaquate, crying and stressed out!!! Not sure if i was force feeding, but i was so sure he was hungry! He does not take a dummy or bottle, so i was so scared that he's starve (not likely)

All the old folk said he is hungry and i should start feeding him the number1 porridge... which concerned me because all i have heard is that they should't have any solids until ATLEAST 4 months!!

Finally... my doula advised that it might be what they call a NURSING STRIKE. It occurs when something traumatic happens while breastfeeding! The baby then associates the breast with the trauma... Either being poked in the eye by another child, or you screaming if he bites you while feeding...

And the bells went off.... Monday, while breatsfeeding(naked) the house alarm went off (very loud) I jerked the boob out his mouth and scurried for my gown... By now he was screaming, along with the alarm and the security company calling on the cell. I picked him up.. ran out the house, him still crying, cellphone on ear to security company and disarming the alarm!!!

You can imagine how traumatic it was for him!

So please know, if it does happen to you, use some rescue drops, on both of you!! Take special care to make him feel secure when you breastfeed. Try a different room or position! talk to him and reassure him!!

And be assured, your milk is not "OFF", he has not turned on you... and more than that... you are a good enough mother!!!!!


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Jeanine - posted on 12/20/2008




Its a terrible feeling... but you're right.. its so nice to speak to moms going through it.... Its not an easy job.

Thanks for taking the time to share


Jennifer - posted on 12/19/2008




My daughter went through a similar 'nursing strike' as you describe - that's a great name for it! It would only happen in the evenings and she'd kick and scream and come off the latch, then go right back on, then scream again. I called the lactation consultant and she suggested it might be caused by a number of things: gas, needing to burp, milk flow too fast, or if it happened toward the end of a feeding maybe it was b/c she was getting to the hindmilk, which is thicker, and was having to work harder to get it out). I stop nursing, burp her, and try again. If the screaming continues, I switch sides. The LC said if she was struggling to get the hindmilk on one side, I could switch sides so she could get the easy-flowing foremilk from the other side and once she was calm again, put her back on the first side to make sure she got the hindmilk.

If none of this worked, I would put her in her crib for a short while - maybe 15 minutes - where she might continue crying, but would eventually calm down. Then we'd try nursing again in a little while. She'd always get to the point where she was hungry and would take the feeding without any fuss.

This 'nursing strike' went on for several weeks. My daughter is now 11 weeks old and seems to have grown out of that phase (knock on wood)! I was beginning to wonder if I was doing something wrong. It's so nice to have others to bounce ideas off of and to see that you are going through similar situations.

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