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Guest Post by Taylor of Mama Java
Today it’s all about nursing strikes.
With a strike, a baby will stop nursing suddenly and may have difficulty latching.
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I gave him pain relief in case of teething, but it didn’t solve the problem. He wasn’t sick, and ear infections were ruled out, so the problem was elsewhere.
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I made sure to drink Mother’s Milk Tea and rest when possible.
We offered the breastmilk in bottles and droppers, but sadly, it only made Ben angrier. He adamantly refused a bottle of formula. I was pumping in an attempt to maintain my milk supply, but my body has never really been able to produce much with a pump, and didn’t do well under that level of stress.
By day 6, I was exhausted, frustrated, and in tears.
My milk supply was beginning to decrease. He was crying and hungry. I even started to think that maybe he didn’t like me anymore.
That night was the end of my rope, so to speak. After a heart-to-heart with my husband (who was a real trooper through all of it) I decided that if my son kept refusing to nurse, I would quit.
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At bedtime that night, I thought I would try one last time to nurse him. We set up a bed in my craft room, turned all the lights off, closed the door, and I tucked him in the bed with me, skin-to-skin.
I considered it my chance to bid farewell to our nursing relationship. So imagine my surprise when he nursed all night!
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According to La Leche League and Kellymom.com, there are many factors.
- Medical reasons: ear infections, teething, congestion, sore throat, or another illness can contribute to a nursing strike. Solving these can remedy the problem.
- Unusual separation from the mother: A baby forced to seek nutrition from a source other than the breast may be unwilling to go back to nursing at the breast again.
- Major milestone: some think that nursing strikes occur right before a major milestone, like crawling or walking.
- Milk change: A baby can taste a change in the milk and this can deter them from nursing. If the mother is pregnant, the milk changes in preparation for a new baby, and the nursing baby may not like the change.
- Excessive pacifier use, bottle nipples, or other soothers
- Distractions: Once they become aware of their surroundings, a baby is easily distracted while eating. Sometimes babies will even refuse to nurse because the mother changed deodorants or perfume and smells “different.”
- Stress: Babies can sense the tension and stress we feel, and in turn it affects their mood as well. If they are overstimulated, they may have a hard time winding down to nurse.
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Keep your focus positive and support the mother in making informed and healthy decisions. Above all, offer a listening ear. There are plenty of doubts and questions swirling around that sometimes just need to be released. In fact, it’s a big stress reliever.