Friday, November 27, 2009

Baby is on a nursing strike

Tristan does not want to be breastfed. 48 hours ago he started to freak out each time I would put him into position to feed. At first, it was just one side but now it is both sides. This has happened before but his refusal is much more aggressive this time around. I tweeted about it and was told by @AmberStrocel that he is likely on a nursing strike and that it is very common. Apparently, if it is really time to wean him, that would happen gradually over weeks or months. If he suddenly stops nursing, then it is probably a nursing strike. After reading more related stories on nursing strikes, I would have to agree that Tristan is on a nursing strike.

The question now is how long will I allow him to be on strike before I decide it is time to stop breastfeeding him? Most nursing strikes last for 2 to 4 days and it has already been 2 days for me. In the meantime, I am pumping milk so that my milk supply is still available when he goes off strike. I am still trying to nurse him at our usual times but it has been refusal after refusal. I always attempt both sides, then I try again in a different location like on the floor or in a different room. Nothing has worked. To be honest, I am feeling a bit depressed from it.

This whole breastfeeding journey has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Actually, it wasn't as difficult to learn as I anticipated but I had to endure a lot of pain. I had tons of blisters, breast infections, breast yeast infections, sickness for myself and the baby, and now I discover that this is the baby's second nursing strike. He actually started to freak out a bit just at the sight of the nursing chair tonight! I'm beginning to think he will never want to breastfeed again.

I find it surprising how I became so attached to breastfeeding. At first, the whole idea was a bit strange to me and I wasn't even sure if I would be comfortable doing it. Now that I have been doing it for so long, I can't seem to let go. I have already kept it up way longer than 6 months, which was my initial target. After that milestone, I said I would breastfeed as long as Tristan still wanted it and when the first nursing strike hit, I still persisted. I guess it really is that important to me. Or I just don't like to feel rejected. I don't think I could be one of those mom that could bare a nursing strike for weeks. Tristan is eating a lot of solids so I'm not too worried about him losing much weight. His consumption of milk is quite low but it has always been like that though. So the plan right now is to continue trying and pumping for another 48 hours, in the hopes that he will return to me. Hopefully, next time I blog, it will be with good news!


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