Breastfeeding Glossary

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Harvard Medical School

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Breastfeeding Glossary

Breastfeeding
24684
Basics
Breastfeeding Glossary
Breastfeeding Glossary
htmBreastFeedingGlossary
Learn commonly used breastfeeding terms.
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InteliHealth
2010-02-24
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2012-12-17

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Breastfeeding Glossary
 

Areola — The areola is the pinkish brown area around the nipple that helps attract the baby to the breast.

Clamping — Clamping occurs when the baby controls the flow of milk by closing his gums on the nipple. Some babies do a clampdown bite, which can be painful and interfere with nursing. If this is happening, the mother should talk to the baby's health care provider (rarely, this can be associated with neurologic problems in the baby) and to a lactation consultant.

Colostrum (foremilk) — Colostrum is the thick yellowish fluid that is secreted by the breast in the first few days after delivery, before mature milk is produced. Although only a small amount of colostrum is released from the breast, this liquid is loaded with calories and infection-fighting proteins. The baby should be allowed to nurse the colostrum to obtain these benefits.

Latching On — Latching on is when the baby takes the nipple and areola properly into his mouth to begin nursing.

Let-Down (milk ejection reflex) — Let-down occurs when the sucking action of the baby on the breast sends a message to the brain, stimulating the hypothalamus gland, which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland. Hormones are then released that act on special cells in the breast to produce the milk and send it toward the nipple where it is available for the baby.

Rooting Reflex — The rooting reflex is when touching your breast to the center of the baby's lips or stroking his cheek causes the baby to open his mouth and turn his head toward your breast to nurse.

 

 

 

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Last updated February 24, 2010


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