Learning something new often entails deciphering a brand-new language. If you take up cooking, you’ll need to become familiar with words like sauté and chiffonade. If scrapbooking’s your thing, it’s phrases like, “I can’t believe you’re charging so much for this small piece of crap!” Breastfeeding is no exception to this rule, and it too comes with its own vernacular. Here are some key terms to know before you enter the business of breastfeeding:
Nipple: The dense pointy part of your breasts that pops up out like a turkey timer
Areola: The darker pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. If you’ve noticed during pregnancy, your areola has become much darker in color and much larger in size. Studies show that the reason for this transformation is so that your colorblind newborn can easily locate it when it’s time for a feeding. I thought that was interesting.
Colostrum: Think of this as starter milk. It’s what your breasts produce while you’re pregnant and during the first days after your baby is born. It’s very nutritious and high in calories. It’s the trail mix of breast milk, if you will.
Fore milk: Once your milk comes in, it makes up the majority of your milk supply and represents about 90 percent of the type of breast milk that your baby will consume.
Hind milk: The thicker and denser milk that comes at the end of your milk supply on each breast. It’s like that thick blob of syrup that collects at the bottom of a glass of chocolate milk.
Let down: The process of getting your milk to flow from your ducts down to your nipple. This term can have double meaning to a new mommy since it also refers to how she feels once that baby blues have set in.
Latch on: It’s the way a baby adheres to his mother’s breast. If done incorrectly, it’s the thing that’s responsible for all the screaming.