Day 3: It’s over!

January 25, 2007

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At around 7 pm Tuesday night Sadie whined and pointed towards the bed, and I lay down with her and nursed, and she’s been fine since! I’m so glad it’s over, of course, I had a seriously bad case of mastitis as a result and felt like I had been hit by a truck.

It’s so interesting that we use the term breastfeeding “strike” to describe this. So many babies have been weaned when they weren’t ready because they went on strike and Mom thought they were done… but that’s not the case.

A worker on strike doesn’t want to quit his job, if he did, he would just leave. He goes on strike because he wants to stay at his current employment, but he finds something unbearable about the conditions.

And so it goes with baby. One minute, nursing fine, next minute, baby won’t nurse. Maybe her throat hurts. Maybe she has an earache, maybe she bit and you screamed (understandable, but frightening to some sensitive babies ). Maybe you’re on vacation and she can’t settle down to nurse.

And so the rounds of “negotiations” begin. While Sadie was striking it was:

Will you nurse in the sling? No.
Will you nurse in the tub? No.
Will you nurse if I walk you around? No.
Will you take your milk in a cup if it’s cold? Bingo!

And so I met her halfway by pumping and offering her my milk in a cup, but she would only drink it if it was cold. That helped me understand why she was on strike - her throat hurt. (She would also eat ice cream, which is soothing to a sore throat.)

Anyway, I’m glad it’s over and I learned something from this experience. It’s easy to rattle off what to do when your baby goes on a breastfeeding strike, it’s another to experience the emotional and physical discomfort - both hers and mine.

I learned that a Mommy is more than her breasts. My little one needed me more than ever - my lap, my arms, my attention. I learned that I’m still her favorite person in the world, milk or no milk. She clearly wanted and preferred me since she was so uncomfortable.

I hope I don’t take it for granted again. :)


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