Did you know, breastfeeding has its own vocabulary? Here are fifty-five breastfeeding terms I've learned along the way.
Areola - darkened area around the nipple.
Areola Glands - also known as Montgomery glands, secrete oil keeping nipple and surrounding area lubricated, sanitary, scented and protected. When visible they make the areola look bumpy.
Breast - womyn's protruding organs.
Breast Crawl - a newborn's natural instinct to move towards the breast for feeding. The most adorable sight.
Breast Acne - when baby's sharp nails leave marks on breast resembling acne scars.
Breast Milk - baby's first food.
Breastfeeding Positions - positioning mother and baby's body to breastfeed comfortably. Some of our favorite positions are koala hold, cradle hold, and standing and side-lying.
Breast Pump - a suction machine used to extract breast milk. There are manual pumps, hands-free pumps, mechanical pumps to name a few.
C-hold - hand position in shape of a "C" to support baby while breastfeeding. See V-hold.
Child-led Weaning - also known as self-weaning is when baby depends less on the breast for nourishment. See Forced-weaning.
Chocolate Milk - nickname for Black womyn's breast milk.
Colostrum - also known as baby's first vaccines Earth side, these golden drops are mother's potent first milk filled with so many antibodies.
Discrete Nursing - breastfeeding in a secretive manner. Some moms use their shirt, nursing scarves or blankets (to name a few) for covering.
Disposable Nursing Pads - absorbent pads worn inside a bra to absorb any excess milk. See Reusable Nursing Pads.
Engorgement - breasts swollen with milk. The expansion and pressure of the excess milk can be extremely painful.
Expressed Milk - manually or mechanically extracting milk from the breast.
Extended Breastfeeding - breastfeeding beyond one years old.
Feeding On Demand - feeding when baby wants, not on a specific schedule.
Flat Nipples - nipples flush to the areola and surrounding breast skin.
Forced-Weaning - when someone besides baby decides it time to stop/decrease breastfeeding. See child-led weaning.
Foremilk - the first watery liquid released after suckling. See Hindmilk.
Hindmilk - the fattier milk released after baby has been feeding for some time. See Foremilk.
Inverted Nipples - nipples hidden inside the areola.
Lactation - the body's process of making mother's milk.
Lactation Amenorrhea - absence of ovulation due to breastfeeding.
Lactation Consultant - health professional who advises breastfeeding mothers.
Latch - how baby attaches to breast.
Leak - when milk involuntarily drips or sprays from the breast without a baby suckling.
Let Down - a reflex to release milk, usually initiated by baby suckling.
Lip Tie - the lip is connected too tightly to the upper gum which can cause issues with breastfeeding.
Liquid Gold - nickname for breastmilk referring to its richness.
Long Nipples - stretched nipples sometimes caused from years of nursing.
Lopsided Breasts - occurs when one breast is noticeably larger than the other, often caused by the breastfed child preferring one breast over the other.
Low Supply - when the breast produces an insufficient amount of milk to feed baby.
Mammary glands - milk producing glands located in the breast.
Mastitis - bacterial infection that can occur during breastfeeding.
Milk ducts - the vessels milk uses to travel to the nipple.
Night Nursing - breastfeeding at night.
Nipple - the area of the breast where the milk comes out. See flat, inverted, and long nipples.
Nursing Bra - bras designed to make breastfeeding easier.
Nursing Cover - a lightweight material draped over baby and breast for discrete nursing. More fashionable choices include nursing shawls, scarves, aprons and wraps.
Oxytocin - hormone linked to milk secretion.
Pacifying - baby's form of self-soothing by suckling at the breast, not for milk.
Pre Feeding Weight - measured before breastfeeding to help determine how much breastmilk baby is getting.
Post Feeding Weight - measured after feeding to determine how much milk baby is getting.
Prolactin - hormone linked to milk production.
Reusable Nursing Pads - washable absorbent pads worn inside a bra to absorb extra milk. See Disposable Nursing Pads.
Suckling - an intricate way of extracting milk from the breast, not to be confused with sucking.
Sleeping Attached - not to be confused with co-sleeping, which is sleeping beside baby. Sleeping attached is when a breastfed child sleeps with breast in their mouth. This is common if they are sick.
Tandem Nursing - feeding more than one child at the same time.
Thrush - a yeast infection that can affect baby's mouth and mother's breast while breastfeeding.
Tongue Tie - the tongue is connected too tightly to the mouth floor, restricting tongue mobility and sometimes making it difficult to breastfeed.
Twiddle - when a child twists, moves, fiddles, or rubs the nipple.
V-hold - hand position in shape of a "V" to support baby while breastfeeding.
Wean - The process of introducing baby to something other than mother's milk. See self-weaning and forced weaning.
Are there any new terms that you’ve heard since being on your breastfeeding journey? Are there any ones that are new to you on this list?
Feel free to download the list here.
Until next time.
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