Tales from the trenches – Nursing Strikes , Breast refusal ...

Well , this tale is from my own trench .  In all my years breastfeeding I had never experienced  a strike. And boy, do I not want to ever see one again . We have had a very easy year my youngest daughter and I – after a rough start with  a posterior tongue tie , once that was divided and she sorted out her sucking – we never looked back .   So   about this time last week my little lassie of 13 months old ,  started to refuse to feed . She just kept turning her head away , no interest. She was perfectly happy , she just didn’t want to feed . So the first day I didn’t get too bothered , the second day,  I was  getting a little more concerned , I kept trying her but no go .
Now, I started looking for reasons – of course the mammy guilt crept  in ! I had been really busy at work and  had not spent as much time with her as usual . Had been out a couple of evenings and not put her to bed.  She had slept through a number of nights thus not feeding during the night .  She had  a slight runny nose but had never refused before even when streaming with a cold.  I had started taking multivitamins and fish oils – maybe there was a taste to my milk she didn’t like ? 
That night I ran into her when she woke thinking if I caught her when she was sleepy she might latch . Nope . Nada , don’t go there Mum.  She even put her hand over her mouth . She was really calm , no crying , just not going to feed.
I lay awake thinking  , this is the end , cue major panic . Devastation . Im  not ready for this and neither is she ( even if she doesn’t know it !) . My husband mopped up the tears.
I got up on Saturday  and pulled out the books – actually, I pulled out the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding . It was like a hug . They said – get support . So I rang the wonderful Mairead of LLL .  Even us IBCLCs know when we need support. Mairead said she would ring me back .  I decided to just try to see if she’d latch and guess what? On she went  and took a couple of sucks . The relief was amazing (both physical and mental !)  Over the day she had fairly short feeds but she was back on and that was all that mattered.  On Sunday she was even better – back to her old self, coming off the boob laughing .  My husband calls it her “fix “.  She can be howling about some injustice, quick feed and  she pops up laughing.
We are back to normal feeding now ,  I’m a little shaken by it all , quite surprised that I was so emotional.   I guess I was just rolling along and though we had at least another year to go.  I am so grateful to Mairead for her support and the long chat on Saturday. Obviously, she has great powers because once I made the call, it all started to fix itself !
And guess what , Monday morning I spotted a nice little molar peeping through at the back of her mouth ……  if there’s a next time I promise to be calmer .  All is well ,  Life is good . 
For more info on nursing strikes - http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/back-to-breast.html


Jo said...

Ah, teething. It's a magical thing, with what it affects! Glad you didn't have such a sudden ending :) And I love your reference to the Womanly Art of BFing being like a hug, that's great :)

Ann said...

I had almost the exact same situation about 2 months ago when my baby (my baby!) was 12 1/2 months old - except she never went back. It didn't seem to bother her, but I was in bits. It was so sudden & my other 3 had nursed for at least a year longer.
It really made me appreciate the breastfeeding relationship.