Nursing Strike – Day 2, 3, 4, and 5

Yep, that’s right. We are on day 5 of this nursing strike :(

Thank you so much for your sweet comments and encouragement on my initial post. It’s been a rough road and I’m still unsure where/when it will end.

I’ve talked quite a bit with my amazing La Leche League lactation consultant and we’ve brainstormed all the reasons this strike began and is persisting along with some remedies. She loaned me a great book, How Weaning Happens, which has a section on nursing strikes.

We determined that right now Jemma has alot going on in her little body. When she started to crawl at 8 months her sleep was terribly disrupted for a few weeks – tossing, turning, moaning, sleep crawling. It was almost like her body couldn’t quite rest with all the development she had going on. I’m curious if her nursing strike is something similar since she has taken off in regard to walking this last week. On top of walking she has 2 new teeth and we are adjusting to being home from our Texas trip (I’ll hopefully have a chance to share about our trip sooner rather than later).

All weekend we …
Snuggled in bed for naps.
Tried playing and nursing in the bath tub.
Pretend nursed Jemma’s favorite doll.
Had lots of skin to skin.
Talked about why she didn’t want to nurse and how much I missed it.
Talked about the biting episode and I told her I wasn’t mad and she didn’t need to be scared.
Tried drinking my pumped milk from her sippy.

On Sunday, I started getting more nervous about how long this could last. She had only wet 3 diapers (normally she has more like 6-8 each day), wasn’t interested in water, and was acting more fussy and sleepy. This morning I was cradling her for some sippy cup mama’s milk and she would have a few sucks and then push it away crying. I definitely didn’t want her to get dehydrated and I was now worried about her ears since sucking seemed to be bothering her. So, I called for an appointment.

Normally for an ear infection I would head to the chiropractor. But, knowing that we were starting day 5, I felt better meeting with our doctor to recap the last few days. If you recall, we switched to a naturopath a few months ago — but, at almost $100/visit I opted to go back to our pediatrician just to get her ears checked. I felt that once I knew what I was dealing with, then I could assess the next step. Our usual pediatrician wasn’t available so we met someone else in his practice and sure enough … middle ear infection in her left ear! I am both relieved and sad. There is a reason behind her not wanting to nurse, which means this is most likely a strike and not a sudden weaning – YAY! But, poor thing is all tuckered out from walking, not eating well, and now trying to heal from an ear infection :(

I called our chiropractor and he offered to see us during his lunch – seriously, amazing guy! He adjusted Jemma’s neck and ears to help with draining and we made a follow up appointment for Wednesday.

I have a prescription for amoxicillin as well, but am hesitant to dose her up on that for a few reasons:

  1. By treating ear infections with amoxicillin you increase your chances of a reoccuring ear infection by 6 times.
  2. Jemma hasn’t ever been sick. The most she has had is a small dose of Tylenol for her bouts with teething. I worry about crashing her immune system with a 10 day supply of a pretty powerful drug. 
  3. Amoxicillin is routinely given to children who have an ear infection to wipe out a potential bacterial infection. Problem is, not all ear infections have bacteria, some are viral and will heal on their own. The antibiotic, when unnecessary, can actually create a resistance to the bacterial strain making it more dangerous. source

Jemma is sleeping well and not terribly bothered by her ear. I just noticed it this morning and she has already been adjusted to get fluid draining. My hope is to increase her vitamin D supplement, give her some garlic drops, and re-assess in 24 hours. At that point, I might consider the antibiotics if she isn’t doing much better. In addition to clearing up her ear, I’m still worried about getting nursing back on track. I would prefer to resume nursing on a prescription than have her be bothered longer by her ear and further postpone nursing. At least that’s what I’m thinking at the moment …
I don’t at all want to come across as an expert with nursing strikes, ear infections, or prescriptions, but wanted to share my experience and the course of action we are taking.

You can read all my posts about our nursing strike here.

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  1. says

    Good luck! Sounds like she is just having a hard time right now. Keep on trying. I am sure she will come back around.

  2. says

    Hope it works out and that she feels better. The trend is moving towards not treating every single ear infection with antibiotics. Good for you for doing your research! Just keep her comfortable and treat her symptoms as needed. (If she's in pain, give Tylenol or Advil!)

  3. Megan Boucher says

    so sorry you've had a rough few days. She seemed happy here! Hope the infection clears up quickly and you can get back to normal life again. You're doing awesome! Jemma is so blessed to have such a loving and caring mamma. :)You left her blanket here today so I'll bring that Wed! Thanks for coming over and joining the crazy fun! Megan

  4. Jennifer de Cupcake says

    yikes mama! I second your plan of garlic drops and THEN amox. Scary how strong that stuff is. poor girl hope you and her are feeling better fast!!

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thanks Megan! I'm doing my best :) Being a mama can be so emotionally taxing some days/weeks :) I knew I was going to forget her blanket – thanks for bringing it on Wednesday! ________________________________

  6. Jenny M Meredith says

    Has anyone foun an affordable natural vit. d drop?? I dont like all the additives in the drug store brands but can't justify spending $28 for the whole foods option.

  7. J Bossio says

    Oooohhhh, I so feel for you, for Jemmy, and Daddy, too. Am so thankful that it didn't happen while you were still working! We will keep all of you covered in prayer personally, and in our LifeGroup tonight. I'm hopeful that the treatments have really started kicking out that infection by now. But always remember, sweetie, that whenever one stage sadly goes away, the next stage will bring something new and exciting! That's what helped me get through all the child-rearing years (and come to think of it, through the empty nest years, too!) Much love.

  8. ThatMamaGretchen says

    This is what we use – only $11! bought our first bottle at Whole Foods, but then found out about this website. Great place for all supplements! ________________________________

  9. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thanks for your prayers :) You're the best!________________________________

  10. says

    I'm so sorry you and Jemma are struggling through this right now, but it sounds like improvement should be coming soon! I hope you're able to pick back up where you've left off as soon as she's feeling better! I've been following your blog for awhile now, and just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your nursing posts! As a new mama, recently having returned to work, I don't know how many times I've reference your blog as I'm learning to settle into a new routine while continuing to nurse. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  11. says

    Oh, this sounds hard. Hope things get cleared up and that you and Jemma are able to keep breastfeeding as long as you both want to!

  12. says

    Oh I am thinking and praying for you. My daughter weaned at 14 months… just one day up and refused. It was way earlier than I expected or hoped. But she did what was best for her and that was the deal I made – to let her decide. (My mama heart was a little crushed still.) Sounds like she way just need a little better ear and then get right back at it. I hope she has a speedy recovery.

  13. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thanks for your prayers! I'm starting to think she is just ready to be a little more independent. We'll see. It's so hard on our mama hearts when it happens so suddenly! ________________________________

  14. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I'm so glad my posts have been helpful! It definitely takes some adjusting but gets much easier when you get into a good routine. I'm so happy you've been able to return to work and keep up the mama milk – it isn't easy, but every day is so rewarding :) ________________________________

  15. says

    I guess nursing strike effects badly on the patients health, as they didn't get full attention and care what they should get. From my point of view nurses should not go on strike…

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