Glossary

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  • Breastfeeding Terms
  • Bottle Feeding Terms
Anti-Colic Bottle

A marketing term for bottles designed with features such as venting systems or angled shapes, purported to minimize colic and gas by reducing the amount of air a baby swallows during feeding.

Example:

Susan switched to an anti-colic bottle which she believed would alleviate her baby's stomach discomfort.

Best Practice

Health practices, approaches and interventions based on high-quality evidence which improve health outcomes.

Example:

Best practice for mastitis treatment has recently been updated to cold therapy and light massage, in place of hot therapy and firm massage.

Biomimetic

A product or object built to emulate models, systems and, elements of nature to solve complex human problems

Example:

The Emulait Anatomy bottle is a first-of-its-kind biomimetic bottle that mimics the human breast.

Blocked Milk Duct

When milk is not adequately drained from a duct, the blockage can create a tender lump in the breast tissue. This is typically caused by a constricted exit point due to heavy milk supply.

Example:

Katherine applied cold compresses and nursed with baby’s chin pointing toward the tender area to resolve a blocked milk duct.

Bottle

A container with a nipple, used to feed infants with formula or expressed breast milk.

Example:

John prepared a bottle of formula for the next feed, ensuring it was ready when the baby woke up.

Bottle Warmer

A device used to warm formula or breast milk to a comfortable temperature for the baby.

Example:

Michael used a bottle warmer to heat breast milk to the perfect temperature, ensuring his baby's comfort.

Breast Compression

Gentle compression of the breast during a feed to ensure a continuous flow of milk. Compressing the breast for 1 to 3 seconds increases the milk flow rate and helps baby engage their oral muscles to suckle effectively and nutritively.

Example:

Using breast compression helps baby receive both foremilk and hindmilk during a feeding session.

Breast Milk Substitute

Any liquid offered to feed or comfort an infant such as formula or water, used when breast milk is not available or chosen.

Example:

Sarah opted for a breast milk substitute when she returned to work, making it more convenient for her baby's caregivers.

Breast Shell

A device worn inside the bra to protect sore nipples and collect dripping milk. They are also used to aid in healing damaged nipples or aid in nipple eversion for inverted nipples.

Example:

Breast shells are especially useful for breastfeeding mothers experiencing nipple pain or soreness.

Breastfeeding

The act of feeding a baby with milk produced from the mother's breast, whether by latching or expressed milk.

Example:

Jane breastfeeds her newborn every two to three hours to ensure proper nourishment.

Burping

The act of expelling air from the stomach, usually done during or after feeding to prevent discomfort or mark the end of a feeding session.

Example:

Tom gently patted his baby's back after feeding.

Cluster Feeding

When a baby breastfeeds more frequently than usual over a period of a few hours. Most common in newborns until the age of 3-4 months, this can happen daily or during growth spurts.

Example:

Susan recognized that her baby's cluster feeding was a natural behavior during growth spurts.

Cluster Feeding (Bottle)

A pattern of closely spaced bottle feedings, like cluster feeding in breastfeeding.

Example:

Emily noticed her baby going through a growth spurt, which resulted in cluster feeding with the bottle for a few days.

Colic

Crying due to gastrointestinal discomfort, in an otherwise healthy baby, for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks.

Example:

Jennifer searched in vain for a baby bottle which she thought might resolve her baby’s colic.

Colostrum

The first form of milk, rich in nutrients and antibodies, produced by the body in the days following birth.

Example:

Sarah was amazed at the small amount of colostrum her body produced, recognizing its nutritional value for her baby.

Combination Feeding

Providing a mixed schedule of breastfeeding and formula feeding. Can also mean providing baby with a combination of breastmilk and formula.

Example:

Daniel and Emma adopted combination feeding, allowing them to share feeding responsibilities and provide flexibility.

D-MER (Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex)

A condition where a mother experiences negative emotions, such as sadness or anxiety, during milk let-down.

Example:

Understanding D-MER can help mothers cope with the emotional challenges associated with breastfeeding.

Engorgement

Swelling and discomfort in the breasts caused by an excess of milk.

Example:

Lisa experienced breast engorgement during the first week postpartum, making breastfeeding challenging until her supply regulated.

Expressed Milk Storage Guidelines

Recommendations for storing expressed breast milk to ensure its safety and retain nutritional quality.

Example:

Expressed milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for several months, following established guidelines.

Extended Breastfeeding

The act of continuing to breastfeed a child into the toddler years. The AAP recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of life to meet nutritional needs, and continuing if baby and mom want to.

Example:

Samantha embraced extended breastfeeding, recognizing its benefits for both her and her toddler.

Flow Preference

When a baby develops a preference for the easier milk flow associated with an artificial nipple (bottle). Related to nipple confusion, argued by many to be a more correct assessment of the baby’s challenge.

Example:

When Jen returned to work, her baby developed a flow preference for the bottle her caregiver was feeding her with.

Foremilk

The milk released at the beginning of a breastfeeding session, thinner and higher in volume.

Example:

Emily ensured her baby received both foremilk and hindmilk by allowing longer feeds on each breast.

Foremilk-Hindmilk Imbalance

When a baby consumes a higher proportion of foremilk, and not enough hindmilk, during a feed. This is correlated with milk overproduction which exceeds baby’s nutritional needs.

Example:

A lactation consultant can help address foremilk-hindmilk imbalance by assessing for overproduction and providing a milk regulation plan.

Formula

Commercially prepared artificial baby milk, containing ingredients to meet a baby's basic needs of hydration and nutrition. Also, key in allergy support such as with dairy protein allergies.

Example:

Michelle chose a specialized hypoallergenic formula for her baby who showed sensitivity to cow's milk.

Formula - Concentrated Liquid

A type of formula that is liquid but needs to be diluted with an equal part of distilled water before feeding.

Example:

Rachel found concentrated liquid formula convenient, especially when traveling, as it required less preparation than powdered formula.

Formula - Feeding

Providing nourishment to an infant using artificial, rather than natural (breast), milk.

Example:

Due to work commitments, Mark and Rachel decided to transition to formula feeding while still incorporating some breastfeeding sessions.

Formula - Powdered

A type of formula that comes in powdered form, requiring mixing with distilled water before feeding.

Example:

Mark measured the powdered formula carefully before mixing it with water to ensure the right concentration for his baby.

Formula - Ready-to-Feed

Pre-mixed formula that does not require additional water. It is the only sterile form of formula and is often recommended for newborns or preterm infants. It is also convenient for on-the-go feeding.

Example:

Lisa found ready-to-feed formula convenient during outings, eliminating the need to mix formula on the spot.

Galactagogue

Foods, herbs, or medications believed to increase milk supply.

Example:

Fenugreek and oatmeal are commonly thought of as galactagogues.

Gavage Feeding

A method of feeding where formula or breast milk is delivered through a small tube passed through the nose or mouth into the stomach.

Example:

Brian and Maria's premature baby received gavage feeding in the neonatal intensive care unit to ensure proper nutrition and growth.

Hindmilk

The milk released toward the end of a breastfeeding session and later in the day, richer in fat and calories.

Example:

Maria noticed her baby seemed more satisfied after a longer feeding session, indicating a good intake of hindmilk.

Lactation Tea

Herbal teas containing ingredients like fenugreek or fennel, believed to support milk production.

Example:

Drinking lactation tea can be a soothing ritual for breastfeeding mothers.

Latch

The way a baby attaches to the breast during breastfeeding, enabling the baby’s jaw and tongue to squeeze the milk ducts behind the areola and extract milk.

Example:

Emma worked with a lactation consultant to improve her baby's latch for more comfortable feedings.

Latch Assist

A device or technique to help achieve a proper latch by gently pulling the breast tissue into the baby's mouth.

Example:

The latch assist tool proved helpful in shaping the breast for a deeper latch.

Latch Score

A clinical scoring system used to assess the quality of a baby's breastfeeding, usually used in the hospital by nurses and lactation consultants.

Example:

A high latch score indicates a good latch, while a low score may require lactation support.

Latching Issues

Difficulties a baby may face in achieving a proper latch onto the breast during breastfeeding.

Example:

Michelle sought guidance from a lactation consultant to address her baby's latching issues.

Let-Down Pain

A tingling or mild discomfort experienced by some mothers during the let-down reflex.

Example:

Let-down pain is temporary and often resolves as the breastfeeding relationship continues.

Let-Down Reflex

The release of milk from the milk ducts, triggered by the oxytocin reflex.

Example:

Rachel felt a tingling sensation during the let-down reflex.

Low Milk Supply

When a breastfeeding mother produces less than the amount of milk required to meet her baby's nutritional needs.

Example:

Factors such as infrequent breastfeeding or insufficient glandular tissue (IGT, or low mammary tissue) can contribute to depleted milk supply.

Mastitis

Inflammation of the breast tissue that can be accompanied by pain and fever.

Example:

Rebecca recognized the signs of mastitis early and sought medical attention to prevent complications.

Milk Blister or Milk Bleb

A painful and small white spot on the nipple caused by inflammation in the tissue.

Example:

It is recommended not to pick at a milk blister as it can increase the likelihood of infection.

Milk Donation

The voluntary contribution of breast milk to a milk bank, or directly to another mother, also known as community sharing.

Example:

Holly donated her excess breast milk to a milk bank to help premature babies in need.

Nipple

The rubber or silicone tip of a baby bottle, designed to mimic the mother's breast for feeding. Also known as “teat”.

Example:

The pediatrician recommended using a slow-flow nipple for the newborn to avoid overwhelming her during feedings.

Nipple Confusion

The phenomenon where a baby has difficulty switching between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. There are different views on nipple confusion, and some professionals frame it as bottle or flow preference.

Example:

James wondered whether his newborn was experiencing nipple confusion when they struggled to transition between breast and bottle.

Nipple Flow Rate

The speed at which milk flows from the bottle nipple. Different flow rates are available to match the baby's age and feeding abilities.

Example:

Jessica switched to a slower nipple flow rate as her baby grew older and became more adept at feeding.

Nipple Shield

A thin silicone cover placed over the nipple to assist with latching and pain.

Example:

Jessica used a nipple shield temporarily to help her baby latch while addressing feeding challenges.

Nursing Strike

Baby’s temporary refusal of breastfeeding, often due to teething, illness, or changes in routine.

Example:

During a nursing strike, Tom offered his baby breast milk through alternative means to ensure continued nourishment.

Paced Bottle-Feeding

A method of bottle-feeding that mimics the slower flow of breastfeeding, promoting a more natural feeding pace. Baby is supported to stop sucking and rest for a few seconds between active sucking and swallowing.

Example:

Steve practiced paced bottle feeding to ensure his baby maintained a comfortable and natural feeding rhythm.

Pumping

The act of expressing and collecting breast milk while using a breast pump.

Example:

Amanda returned to work and established a pumping routine to maintain her milk supply.

Responsive Bottle-Feeding

A feeding method that involves paying attention to baby's hunger cues and fostering communication between baby and caregiver, allowing baby to control the pace of bottle-feeding

Example:

Karen practiced responsive bottle-feeding, allowing her baby to take breaks and guiding the feeding pace based on hunger cues.

Reverse Pressure Softening

A technique involving the application of gentle pressure around the nipple to soften the areola and facilitate latching.

Example:

Reverse pressure softening can be useful for mothers with engorgement or flat nipples.

Sanitization

The process of removing microorganisms from feeding equipment to a “safe level”. Generally considered sufficient for healthy babies.

Example:

Washing bottles in a dishwasher hot cycle is considered a satisfactory sanitization process for most babies.

Switch Feeding

Alternating between breast and bottle during a feeding session.

Example:

The pediatrician recommended switch feeding to gradually transition the baby from breast to bottle.

Teething

The process of a baby's teeth emerging (or erupting), which can impact breastfeeding when baby relieves pain through biting.

Example:

Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable if baby is biting to relieve pain. Offering teething toys can help.

Thrush (Candidiasis)

A fungal/yeast infection that can affect the mother and baby during breastfeeding.

Example:

Emma and her baby received treatment simultaneously to clear up a case of thrush.

Transition Bottle

Alternating between breast and bottle during a feeding session.

Example:

The pediatrician recommended switch feeding to gradually transition the baby from breast to bottle.

Weaning

The gradual or sudden process of transitioning a baby from breastfeeding to other sources of nutrition.

Example:

Laura decided to initiate weaning when her baby began showing less interest in nursing.

Baby Wearing

Carrying baby in a wrap or device to keep them close for bonding or convenience. Main types include ring slings, wraps, soft-structured carriers, and framed or hiking backpacks. There are also hybrids of these categories.

Example:

Babywearing allows mothers to have their hands free while keeping the baby close.

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