Today was our first bottle-free day in a long time. I can safely say that Tyler's breastfeeding strike is over. Beginning about a week ago, Tyler would not breastfeed, even when he was clearly hungry. He would only breastfeed at night when he was asleep.
I believe the strike was from a combination of stress leaving for this trip, vaccines last Tuesday, and some stomach and nasal upset. That is a lot going on for a little guy! He just wanted the bottle. I got very frustrated with him. My milk supply dropped considerably and I had trouble pumping enough to keep up with him. Luckily I have plenty of milk in the freezer.
I had several bad thoughts go through my mind, such as he would never breastfeed again and my milk was going to dry up. We have worked so hard to establish and maintain this breastfeeding relationship, it was breaking my heart to think that it might be coming to an end.
I was ready to call off the trip I was so worried but I decided so go and do the best we could. I pumped every 2-3 hours on Saturday while we were traveling to help get my milk supply back up. Tyler was really thrown off by his new surroundings but still napped at least once a day and slept through the night. Gradually he took less and less bottles and let me breastfeed him while awake. At times the only way he would nap would be to nurse the whole time while in bed but that was ok with me.
I talked to my LC who has been helping me since Tyler's birth. She assured me that this is common, it will soon end, and that one's milk supply is resilient and will return. Her words really helped me feel better and push on and not give up.
It feels so good to have Tyler nursing again and without a fuss. He is still very distracted and must feed in a dim room with a noisemaker. But he feeds well and continues to flourish.