This is a second post about breastfeeding Mavrick written in October of 2010, 1 month after my previous breastfeeding post.
Not so long ago, I blogged how I had mixed feelings about nursing and thinking of slowly weaning Mavi onto formula. I decided to stick with nursing though because it was quick (Mavi was a quick drinker), didn’t require any prepping and I liked the bonding. I pumped what I could and tried to keep an inventory. I couldn’t pump more than 2.5 oz at a time, but I did it.
Then the strike happened…
I didn’t know what was going on and I’d never read anything about it, but Mavi didn’t want boobie anymore. I didn’t say breastmilk because he still wanted that and lots of it…. but in a bottle. He just didn’t want boob, and that my friends is what’s called the Nursing Strike. They say nursing strikes can last several days, even weeks and its causes can include teething, low milk supply, a change in the taste of the milk, etc.
I would present him my left breast (because he refused to drink from the right, and I was barely producing because of it) and he would simply pull a fit, start crying, push himself and unlatch. I tried to express milk to help him. I tried different positions but it didn’t cut it either. So I would give up and give him a bottle of expressed milk instead. He only refused the breast one or two times a day at first, but the issue with that was my little milk inventory diminished rather quickly and pumping couldn’t keep up with the demand. So I had no choice but to give Mavrick formula when he was a little over 3 months.
Wanting to wean him myself was one thing because it was under my control. But now that Mavi was refusing to breastfeed, which made it seem as if he was self-weaning, it tore me up. How strange is that? Plus the fact that I had to give him some formula killed me because after considering quitting breastfeeding, I had finally accepted that I would breastfeed for as long as I could. But my plans changed rather quickly and it wasn’t in my control. Don’t get me wrong, I think formula is great… but emotionally the switch was hard.
The strike lasted a good 3 weeks, and my supply (from 1 breast let’s not forget) went from okay to non-existent, so even if he had interest in breastfeeding, I’m not sure we would have made a comeback. By his 4 month birthday, Mavrick was a full on formula-fed baby. Honestly, I believe that my milk was 1) simply not enough to satisfy his hunger, and 2) the flow was too slow compared to a bottle.
I remember when the strike started happening I had no idea what was going on, and I was frustrated and clueless. Hopefully if it happens to you, you’ll know that you aren’t alone and that most people can move past the strike and go back to full on breastfeeding.
Did your little one have a nursing strike? Where you able to continue breastfeeding or was it the end of that journey like it was with Mavrick?