The BRAND NEW Piggy Family

The BRAND NEW Piggy Family
The cartoon is by Piggy Daddy who is a full time educator and freelance illustrator. Anyone who needs freelance illustrations, please contact us! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Self weaning or Milk Strike?

I was searching online for answers on why RL doesn't want to latch anymore and finally I found some useful info from

Possible Causes of a Nursing Strike
Sometimes the cause of a nursing strike is obvious, but other times the mother may never discover the reason. Some common causes for a baby to refuse to nurse include:

•mouth pain from teething, an injury, a cold sore, or a fungus infection, such as thrush, (Check, 4 teeth sprouted while we are away. )
•an ear infection, which may cause pressure or pain while nursing,
•pain while being held in the nursing position, perhaps due to an immunization or an injury,
•a cold or stuffy nose that makes breathing difficult while nursing, (Check, she was having a runny nose when we were away in Taipei and still had it when we came back.)
•too many bottles, overuse of a pacifier, or frequent thumbsucking, which >may lead to a reduced milk supply, (Check, she has always been a thumb sucker, She even has a sore thumb with swollen bite marks. :P)
•regular distractions and interruptions while nursing, (Not sure, RaeAnne has always been a distraction but I thought Mei Mei would have filtered out the noise by now)
•an unusually long separation from mother. (Check, I was away for 5 nights due to Taipei trip)

Raelynn has 4 checks out of 7. Wish I read about this before going to Taipei. But then I'll never know if it's because she is self weaning because according to another article from kellymom

A child who is self-weaning will almost always cut down on nursing very gradually over a period of months one session at a time (anything abrupt is most always a strike). Many children will continue with only a nighttime, morning or naptime nursing session (or a combination) for months before weaning. When a child self-weans, she will also have been drinking well from a cup and getting the vast majority of her nutrition from solid foods for a while.

RL has been willing to nurse only at night before she sleeps for the longest time. She loves her solids over her milk ever since I started giving her solids at 6 months plus. Besides finishing 1 cereal feed & 2 porridge feeds, she has started eating rice and bread. Many times, she refuse to nurse but when the maid feeds her, she will eat esp fruits, biscuits and bread. She can drink from a cup but not very well yet.

Oh well, I guess I really don't have answers. Maybe it's a mixture of both internal as well as external factors. Anyway, all I know is my heart ached when I had to lead the weaning for RaeAnne and she was lifting my t shirt and crying cos she still wants to nurse. Not to mention the physical pain cos I was engorged all the time and applied cold cabbages for 1 week plus and still had to rely on hormone pills to stop BF. Now, even when it is weaning initiated by Raelynn, I can just stop pumping immediately and I won't even have to worry about engorgement and blocked ducts. But my heart still aches.

I always think of breastfeeding as the unique bond between me and Raelynn cos it was something that only I could do. Not Daddy, not the confinement lady, definitely not the maid (RL's favourite person). I love to soothe her hungry cries and gaze into her closed eyes and suckling mouth and seeing her fall asleep happily and peacefully when she had her fill. It made me feel less guilty when I had to ignore Raelynn's cries and let the maid attend to her sometimes because of sticky and demanding RaeAnne. That's my motivation to BF no matter how many times and how early she wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Now, I feel sad when she is sleepy and crying cos she will suck her thumb and lean on my chest but I can no longer soothe her to sleep with my breast. I have to pass her to the maid cos even after 10 minutes, I can't make her sleep cos I don't have the right technique to carry or pat her to sleep. That was the maid's forte. For me, it was always my boobs that did the work. :P

Rationally, I know nursing is only one aspect of motherhood. Although losing the BF connection made me feel that I've 'lost' my baby, I must not forget that I have an active 13 months toddler who has been mimicking sounds more and more accurately (it's a bit unnerving sometimes to hear her trying to say 'rubber band' and 'tiger'). I think it won't be long before she shocks me by speaking accurately and putting 2 words together. She is waiting to discover more and more of the world around, I can be there for her even without BF. In fact without BF, I know I will have to put in extra effort to bond with her so that I can move from 2nd position to 1st position in her heart. :P

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