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7 Breastfeeding Terms You Need To Know

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Before I actually started breastfeeding I had a pretty limited knowledge of what all it would entail. I recalled my mom breastfeeding my two sisters and there was mention of it in my Bradley birth class. I really wanted to nurse my baby, and do it well, but the actual logistics of breastfeeding were a bit of a mystery to me.

Now, with 48 months of breastfeeding in my past and more to come with the birth of my third child, I feel like I have a hefty dose of experience when it comes to the ins and outs of breastfeeding. It’s not rare that some friend sends me a text or Facebook message asking my thoughts or questions about nursing each week.

I’m always happy to help, and just the same, a bit perplexed that we as moms aren’t more educated on something we intend to do so often throughout our child’s early years. Because of that, I thought I’d share a handful of breastfeeding terms to become familiar with before and during your breastfeeding days. I didn’t know any of these at one point and would have much rather read up on them than leave myself to trial and error!

My Experience So Far on Pregnancy and Nursing

Natural Breastfeeding

You know about the cradle hold and football too, but have you heard of natural breastfeeding? It’s both historic and revolutionary and definitely worth adding to your breastfeeding position repertioure.

Reverse Breastfeeding Cycling

I don’t wish this upon anyone, but if you’re a working mama you may have found your little nursling eager for milk during the nighttime hours. This happened to me with my first and at least knowing what is happening will help you both adapt.


Mastitis is every breastfeeding mom’s worst nightmare. But, more important than knowing its evils is knowing the symptoms that strike BEFORE full blown mastitis arrives.

Milk Blister or Nipple Bleb

Someday you may find yourself Googling photos related to breastfeeding oddities. I know, because I have. Something odd appeared on your nipple and you’re not sure if you should rush to the doctor or sterilize a needle. Before you do anything, read this.

Excess Lipase

This is rare, but worth knowing – either for yourself or a friend. Here is my story about why my expressed milk smelled and tasted like soap. And thus, why my daughter wouldn’t take a bottle.


When you have a breastfeeding question, it’s usually immediate. Knowing who you can go to for educated help is crucial. Get to know an IBLCE lactation consultant and become familiar with your local La Leche League BEFORE you need them. I promise, these women are lovely and truly have hearts of gold. And, if by chance you have a rough experience, just find another consultant or group. I visited with two or three before I found someone I jived with. Be persistent for you, be persistent for your baby – there is help out there!

Milksharing + Donor Milk

Of course there are safety precautions to take when sharing breastmilk, but if you’re on the giving end thanks to oversupply or the receiving ends thanks to low supply, know that you have options. Remember: it’s always ideal for your baby to get your breastmilk straight from you, then your expressed milk from a bottle, then another mom’s breastmilk and then either a quality homemade or store-bought formula. Here is a bit of my experience with milksharing.

What terms or concepts do you wish you would have known more about throughout your breastfeeding experience?


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10 Ways Dads Can Support a Breastfeeding Mom

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