Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On Strike

Quinn is on a nursing strike.  It's been 3 days now.
If he's gonna refuse to nurse, guess I'll just try to get as much other food in him as I can.... #nursingstrike #day1
It started Monday.  He nursed all through the night as usual, then when he woke up at 6:30 or so I tried nursing him and he just didn't seem interested.  Which was strange, but not unreasonable as he'd just fed at 5:30.  So we played a while, got D ready for school, and before leaving I tried to nurse him again... nothing.

He nursed at 9am, but then refused the whole rest of the day.  It was so weird... this baby who nursed about every hour his whole first 6 months, who almost never refuses the boob, suddenly wanted nothing to do with it.  Anytime I tried he pushed away and fussed.  I got a bit worried, but I made sure to offer lots of solid foods and figured he'd just nurse a bunch at night to make up for it.  He nursed without issue at bedtime (though only taking one side, refusing the other), and I prepared for a long night of many wakeups.

He woke up around 11pm, I think. I went into his room, picked him up, and sat down to nurse him as usual.  And he refused.  And he kept on crying.  Actually, he was screaming, with a bit more urgency than is usual.  And it was at this point that I had a moment of sheer terror and panic, because there I was in the middle of the night with a screaming baby who wouldn't nurse, I didn't know if I could calm him down, Zach was away, and it also suddenly hit me that my baby hardly drank anything all day and now he's not gonna drink anything at night either and ohmygod he's gonna get dehydrated and I'll have to take him to the hospital.

I did get him calmed down, and back to sleep.  He woke up once more that night (which is actually kind of amazing as he normally wakes up 3-4 times or more) and he again refused, and managed to calm down and go back to sleep after a while.

And he hasn't nursed at all since.  Here's what I've been doing:
  • Pumping to try to keep up my supply, though I'm not doing it nearly as often as I should (managing maybe 3-4 times in 24hrs, it's really really hard to find time to pump with a baby underfoot) and I know I'm not pumping nearly as much as he usually gets from me.  
  • Offering the boob throughout the day, trying different positions and levels of sleepiness.  He'll let me hold him as normal (even in cradle hold), snuggle, etc, but as soon as he sees a naked nipple he struggles and pushes away.  
  • Offering Quinn lots of solid foods, trying to go for both high calorie/fat foods like avocado and cheese, and high water-content foods like strawberries and applesauce.  He's eating a decent amount of food, so there's that.
  • Offering water and pumped milk by bottle, cup, sippy cup, and/or straw. However, he just doesn't seem interested.  He'll play with them, take a sip or two, but that's it.  Today he drank a little bit more water than yesterday, but we're still talking a few ounces at most.  
  • Keeping track of diaper output.  Yesterday he had 5 medium-wet diapers.  Today's looking about the same so far, along with 2 big, soft poops.  Not great, but not terrible, either.  The poops were encouraging to see.  
  • Alternating between trusting that Q knows what he needs and will nurse/drink when he needs to, and completely freaking out because he's not drinking anything
For his part, Q's been fairly happy with occasional moments of seeming in pain over something.  I took him to the doctor today and his ears checked out fine, as did his throat.  He might be teething, but that's nothing new-- in the past 2 months he's sprouted SEVEN teeth, all before this strike started.  

Today I found a lactation consultant who works in the area and does free phone advice, so I talked to her some today and may call again if the strike continues tomorrow.  She invited me to the parent group meeting she holds every Friday at a park nearby.  It's right during the monthly parent picnic at D's school, but if Q's still not nursing by Friday morning I may have to go to the group meet instead to try to get some hands-on help.  

So that's what's going on over here.  Apparently most nursing strikes last between 2-4 days.  Tomorrow will be day 4.  So, um, I guess we'll just see what happens...


UPDATES: Day 8, and Day 13 (end of the strike!)


  1. !!!!!! What Cristina said. Because that's all there is to say at this moment, I think. At least from me (absolutely no experience). So yes. *hugs*

  2. Keep the faith, sweetie, you're doing great just recognizing this baffling situation can happen, and that you have information and support to lean on. I read all those articles you linked to in your blog, and am amazed - I thought you invented the term when you started using it. I'd never heard it before.

    I'm hopeful Q'll return to nursing soon. All the changes, D in school, Z away, you 4 adapting to it all, having colds, teeth...! Realize that on the deepest level, you know more than you know. You can trust that. And reach out for the support you need, that you're so good at finding. If I can be of any help, please please call. Love you all.

  3. Hope things get sorted out. Maybe he's ready to go on just food. But I see the concern when he doesn't want to drink... I guess he'll be loosing a bit of weight too..

    Good luck!



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