NURSING STRIKE: when babies refuse to breastfeed and keep saying "no more breastfeeding, no more breastfeeding!" .... or according to kellymom.com, "when babies abruptly stop nursing."
I have been reading a lot that babies rarely wean themselves from breastfeeding before they are one year old. Well, our twins must be that small exception that does stop breastfeeding, unfortunately. Why does this happen? Such a tragic event!
Breastfeeding the past 5 months has been such a rewarding and uplifting experience. Since I pretty much am not able to get either baby to nurse, I can now say that I regret not trying harder to breastfeed more often in the past. Perhaps it was mostly due to poor latching...which eventually led to frustration and a decrease in nursing sessions until I was feeding them with the bottle 98% of the time. I feel very sad that the babies never try to breastfeed or anxiously look for the breast when they're hungry (which they used to do all of the time!). All of a sudden, one day, I tried breastfeeding them and they immediately cried and arched their backs as if it was pure torture.
I have read on other forums that this is called a nursing strike and it commonly occurs around 4-6 months. This is the time when babies are going through new phases, such as crawling, eating solids, becoming more conscious of everything around them, talking, grabbing things, etc. Who wants to be forced to stay in one position and eat when they can go explore and try out all of these new things they're experiencing?! I have also read that it is just a nursing strike and the baby will go back to breastfeeding eventually if you keep trying.
The only time I am successful at breastfeeding is when they have already fallen asleep (almost) while drinking the bottle. I'll do a quick switch and trick them and sometimes get them to nurse. I'm successful 10% of the time.
I guess the only thing moms can do when facing this bump in the road is to be proud and thankful for the time they had in the past with breastfeeding.
Something I have also realized is that consuming large amounts of chocolate may lead to a more fussy, crying baby if you feed him/her your breast milk. This is from personal experience. So I try to not eat chocolate if I know I'm going to attempt to breastfeed that day. I have read that your diet can consist of only M&M's and this would NOT affect your breast milk. Well, I always feel the babies cry more than usual on days when I eat chocolate.
So, hopefully this is just another phase that the twins are going through and that it will pass. Kellymom.com states that "self-weaning is almost never abrupt." Let's hope it's true! I will update this post in the future!!