Nursing Strike Observations

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Believe it or not, my baby is on a Nursing Strike again.

It continues on to today. This time is worse than the last time. Last time she nursed no problem in the middle of the night. Not this time. Also, she starts crying even before the breast touches her face. This is really tiring.

To review, she started this back on Monday (that is a week tomorrow) and I thought that it was because her routine was broken. I think that part of it might have been that, but my friend Jonathan helped me figure something out. I noticed that the last time and this time Sofia has noticeably grown - in chubbiness and in length. I suggested this to him. He has two boys - they are something like 10 to 13 years old. He said that he notices that whenever they approach a growth spurt they eat like crazy and then once the growth spurt has ended, they are super finicky about food and almost eat nothing.

I am thinking this is the only thing that makes sense to me.

I had emailed Dr. Jack Newman (the author of the book, "The Guide to Breastfeeding) since I figured he's pretty much the expert in his field. He wrote me back (mind you with a copy-and-paste response... which I can understand). And suggested that I had a baby with the nursing strike. I was like, AGAIN?! However, in his email he suggests that it is caused my a decrease in milk supply (NOT ME), and I should stop using bottles because I'm only making the problem worse (don't agree - since this is the way I got myself out of the nursing strike last time).

I also called my doctor and told him what was happening and he asked me about how she was besides the breastfeeding and I'm like, totally happy - sleeping well, interacting well, developing well... he said that babies just change their habits sometimes, and just to keep offering the breast and then bottlefeed if she really won't take it. This is what I have been doing.

So, I feel a lot better about it now. I am the kind of person that can withstand and endure something just as long as I know that there is a positive reason behind it. I delivered my baby without an epidural because I had read that the baby can have the drug in their system for up to two weeks. If Sofia is not eating because she is growing 'too' much, then I know that there is an end in sight.

It's crazy. I'm all for it, but if breastfeeding is so natural, then why is it so hard?

Oh, and I figured out a new trick - if she is freaking out, give her the pacifier until she calms down. Once she is calm, pull the pacifier out and swap it for the breast. I successfully fed her this way this morning. Also, feeding her while sleeping still works the best.

(If you're a mother and have had trouble breastfeeding, I would love to hear about when you have trouble too. Please leave a comment and tell me I'm not alone!)


  1. genie liu26/3/08 15:40

    hi! it's genie from APC.
    i know this is probably a bit late, seeing sofia has grown a lot now. but believe it or not, with my first, he was terrible. i didn't sleep for the first three months. literally walking zombie. very stressful and very irratiting. however it got better after the third month. i breastfed him til he was 16 months. (Praise God, without Him, i wouldn't be able to have done it) Now with my daughter, she was total opposite! great eater/drinker and great sleeper. what a world of a difference! i'm still breastfeeding her and she's 17 months. so just so you know, you're not the only one!!
    i hope feeding her now is much better!! :) see you at SNG!

  2. Anonymous15/8/08 11:44

    Hey, you are NOT alone!!!
    I know this is way late--you posted in March and this is now August, but if it happens again, here's some ideas...

    I had a difficult start to breastfeeding, and just when I was starting to relax and congratulate myself that every thing was going to be ok, WHAMO, nursing strike. Here's what worked for me to end it:

    1) Put the baby on the breast when he is asleep. Nursing is something he has done since birth, so when he gets a breast in his mouth, he will automatically start nursing. He may awaken and stop the first few times, but at least in my case, this was the key to ending the strike.

    2) Stop bottles. Seriously. Finger feed or cup feed or syrange feed or just give solids if your baby is over 6mo. Once the strike is over, if you have to use bottles (as in, you have to go to, you know, WORK...), re-introduce them slowly.

    3) Take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle to make sure you have a really good supply. Babies like fast flow, and the more milk you have, the faster the flow.

    4) I have heard of this one since the strike was over, but if it happens again, I'll do it. Try a nursing necklace. Baby likes to play with the necklace and might not notice that he is nursing while he does this.

    Good luck!

    Nursing is Worth It!!!!!


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