Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nursing Strike

Asa is on a nursing strike. It's heartbreaking to me.

At first I thought he had weaned himself. I could not believe it! I had hopes and dreams for extended nursing with him, just like with Millicent. I was ready for Millicent to wean but NOT Asa, he's too little. So I was somewhat comforted to learn that babies under 18 months seldom wean themselves. It's almost always a nursing strike. Which means that there is hope.

The bad thing about the nursing strike is that they suggest not using bottles at all. That's bad because we use bottles a lot since I have low milk. It would be time consuming to cup or syringe feed him at every meal. I have to continue with the bottles and just pray (and PLEASE do pray for us) we get through it.

Many people didn't understand why I kept nursing Millicent with low supply. I was the first so many people had seen using the Supplemental Nursing System. People just don't understand that nursing is much more than just the milk. Oh, the milk is of the utmost importance (and more about that on another post), but the rest is too.

Breastfeeding is about bonding in that special way that no one else can. They come to rely on your gift to them for so many things. You can pacify them when they are upset or cranky. When they get hurt the breast makes them feel better. (Millicent will say Mommy's milk makes me feel better.) You can put them to sleep in under 15 minutes, at naps and bedtime. You can reconnect with a busy toddler who never slows down. Its your cuddle time, when otherwise you wouldn't get any. It's your way to show love to your little one, and for them to show they love you back. It's SO much more than just milk. And that is why I use the SNS. And that is why I'm so sad over this nursing strike.

If you have any suggestions please offer them to me. Or your experiences with a nursing strike. In a future post I will talk more in detail about low milk in hopes of helping others through that.


Tara H. said...


I know how you feel. My first would not eat from me. It was in the beginning though. She just would not suck. It was so hard. I was a first time mom without my family around and young. I did not give up (more her dad's decision than mine), but I am so glad I didn't. We did the pumping thing adn the cup thing for a few weeks. it was hard. My milk came in abundance and it hurt physically, but not as much as it hurt emotionally. I felt like a failure to a certain degree. However, I continued to offer the breast each time I presented the cup. I know you miss the "bonding", but if you hold your baby close to you while offering the cup you will not miss that as much. You can continue to offer the breast and hold him close every time. Perhaps if you rid him of ALL distractions while feeding then maybe he will respond quicker. I ended up breast feeding my daughter successfully for 9 months.
At 9 months I was not ready to quit, but she was. She paid more attention to what was going on rather than to the eating. She wanted to look around and would NOT breastfeed. She had teeth at this time and started to bite me. I continued this process for 1 week and then gave up when she drew blood. It was very hard for me to accept. I thought I did something wrong. I did not know about the possibility of a strike. So, I quit.
I don't know if this helps except to say you are not alone. Just put this in God's hands and let him take your worries.
Good luck!

Brightonwoman said...

I don't know much about nursing strikes--my kiddo is a nurn-a-holic. I've had oversupply rather than low supply... They are problems of their own although they sure don't seem nearly so hard as the striking. I wish I could offer help but, like I said, I don't really know much.
I DID post with a lot of bf links a couple of months ago--if you visit my blog and click the topic 'breastfeeding' it's in there...in May or April I think.
The one main thing I would recommend is contact your local La Leche League. They are fantastic!!!