Diary of a nursing strike

It took me several hours to realize what was happening, but now I realize that I am in the midst of a full fledged nursing strike. This is my 4th child, almost 9 years of breastfeeding without a break, and I’ve never had this happen!

Sadie is 16 months, and still nursing frequently. Saturday evening she woke up from a nap feeling pretty warm. Her temperature was pretty high all day Sunday, and she was a tad listless and refusing food. Saturday night, all day Sunday and all night last night she was nursing almost without a break.

She refused solids and would only take a tiny bit of liquids. I wasn’t worried though because she was making plenty of wet diapers so I knew she was staying hydrated. She had no other symptoms so I figured her immune system was doing its job with the fever and didn’t worry too much, but Monday morning she was still hot, so I took her to the Pediatrician. The last time she nursed was first thing in the morning, around 7 am.

It’s now 5:45 and I’ve been unable to get her to nurse. :(

When I try she just whines and pushes me away. It’s funny, she is acting ‘off’ and grumpy even though her fever broke and she’s feeling much better. She’s up and playing and interacting, which she wasn’t doing yesterday. The Pedi said she had pus on her tonsils, and that she was probably in pain.

This is probably what’s causing the strike. Generally it’s something like an ear infection or sore throat that makes swallowing hurt, or teething that makes pressure in the mouth from the suction painful. It can also be caused by a strong reaction in baby to something Mom did, like scream after a bite. This didn’t happen in our case though.

Today at around 3:30 I realized that I was swollen and engorged, with that “clustered grape” feeling high up in my breast. Strangely, I thought it was odd that a couple of times when I had offered to nurse she had gotten down out of my lap, but I didn’t really think much of it until I felt the discomfort. She still wanted to hang out in my lap and be held all the time.

I didn’t even own a pump and have never really had to pump, but I didn’t want to risk mastitis so I went out and bought an Avent Isis Manual Breast Pump. It’s comfortable and easy to use, and inexpensive. Plus I owned one several years ago and found it effective.

Sadie is drinking a little breastmilk out of a sippy cup, the old Tupperware style that kind of drips out instead of the new kind that requires a lot of suction.

Still, I’m feeling sad and hoping we get through this quickly. I know this is probably not a weaning, since those happen gradually and almost never when a baby is sick, but still… I’ve heard of strikes ending badly, and the thought of her being “all done” saddens me.

I’ll keep you posted, and if you have any tips or stories to share, please comment here. :)

P.S. It’s over now, but I shared more of the story on day two and day three

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2 Responses to Diary of a nursing strike

  1. Nicole says:

    We’re currently going through the same thing! It’s most likely due to teething pain for my little poppet…and we’re both miserable and in pain. I can’t wait for this to be over and for our beautiful breastfeeding relationship to be back on track. Thanks for sharing your story :o )

  2. Pingback: World Breastfeeding Week | Roundup of Breastfeeding Expert Interviews and Advice | Natural Moms Talk Radio

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