Breastfeeding Mom Lingo: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet
Breastfeeding jargon...it can be a little overwhelming and a lot bit confusing if you're new to this, or if you've had a long break between babies. To help out, we've compiled the most common and noteworthy abbreviations and terms related to breastfeeding. So keep reading and take note!
APNO: All Purpose Nipple Ointment; used for prevention and healing of cracked nipples
BF: Breastfed / Breast feeding
BLOCK FEEDING: method used to reduce production to match baby’s needs. More info here.
BM: Breast Milk
CLC: Certified Lactation Counselor (not the same as an IBCLC); able to help mothers by providing basic breastfeeding information
CLOGGED DUCT: (AKA Blocked duct or plugged duct) the result of insufficient drainage of the breast. Can potentially progress to an infection called mastitis.
CLUSTER FEEDING: nursing frequently for shorter amounts of time; common in newborns and during growth spurts
COLOSTRUM: the first secretion from the mammary glands after giving birth, rich in antibodies and protein; yellowish in color
DANGLE FEEDING: mother leans over baby to nurse; used in the case of a clogged duct so gravity aids with clearing the blockage
DMER: Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. Condition affecting lactating women that is characterized by an abrupt dysphoria, or negative emotions, that occur just before milk release and continuing not more than a few minutes. More info here.
DREAM FEED: baby is not fully awakened, but put to breast to nurse one more time before mom goes to bed for the night
EBF: Exclusively Breast Fed (no formula)
EBM: Expressed Breast Milk (pumped milk)
ENGORGEMENT: overly full breasts; common in the first week of nursing until mother's body regulates with baby’s demand
EP: Exclusively Pump (all breast milk is pumped and given by bottle)
EXTENDED NURSING/BREASTFEEDING: most often categorized as continuing to nurse past one year.
FEEDING ON DEMAND (AKA nursing on demand): Nursing baby whenever they show any hunger cues rather than following a timeline or schedule
FLANGE: the portion of the breast pump that fits over the nipple and forms a seal
FTM: First Time Mom
HAND EXPRESSION (AKA Manual Expression): using your hands to release breast milk instead of a breast pump
IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant; specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding; highest breastfeeding credential someone can attain
IGT: Insufficient Glandular Tissue; inability to produce breastmilk due to lacking glandular breast tissue
KANGAROO CARE: holding an infant skin to skin on mother’s (or father’s) bare chest
LATCH: how a baby’s mouth fastens on to the breast during a feed
LET-DOWN: the reflex of the oxytocin hormone causing breast milk to release.
LLL: Le Leche League
LT: Lip Tie
MM: Mother’s Milk
NIP: Nursing in Public
OALD: Overactive Let-Down; when breast milk comes out too hard and fast during the let-down reflex
PACED FEEDING: method for bottle feeding a breastfed baby to mimic nursing. Caregiver tickles baby's lips and the nipple is put into baby's mouth. Bottle is held horizontally, which slows the flow of milk. Less than a minute later, bottle is tipped downward or removed from baby's mouth to stop the flow of milk
POWER PUMP: a technique of expressing milk that involves mimicking the frequent feedings of a baby experiencing a growth spurt. During growth spurts, babies tend to be more vigorous, more frequent and longer suckling - triggering an increased release of prolactin from the pituitary gland, the milk-making hormone. (Via milkincookie.com)
PUMP AND DUMP: technique used if there are harmful substances in breast milk for a period of time. It literally means pumping (or otherwise expressing) the breast milk out of the breast and then dumping it instead of giving it to baby. (Via healthline.com)
REVERSE CYCLING: when baby nurses frequently at night and less frequently during the day.
ROOTING: reflex that is seen in newborns, who automatically turn the face toward the stimulus (i.e. brushing against cheek) and make sucking (rooting) motions with the mouth when the cheek or lip is touched. The rooting reflex helps to ensure successful breastfeeding. Via healthline.com
SLACKER BOOB: a common issue of uneven supply, when one breast produces less milk than the other breast
STRAWBERRY MILK: blood-tinged milk due to cracked nipples, often discovered during pumping
TANDEM NURSING: breastfeeding two or more children of different ages at the same time
TRIPLE FEED: breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle-feeding at every feeding. May be recommended to women who are struggling with breastfeeding, but is only a very temporary solution.
TT: Tongue Tie
WEANING: when a baby begins taking food from another food source besides the breast/breast milk
WEIGHTED FEED: method to determine how much breastmilk a baby is intaking during a nursing session. Done by weighing baby (sans clothes and diaper) immediately before and immediately after nursing.
_#W_#D (ex. 6w3d): age of baby in weeks and days
We hope this list helps you feel more confident and prepared for your own breastfeeding journey! Be sure to share it with any new or expecting mom friends so everyone can be in the know.
*Special thanks to the Moms Best for Breastfeeding group who inspired this post and contributed some of the terms you see listed.
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