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Glossary

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 .  n  .  o  .  p  .  q  .  r  .  s  .  t  .  u  .  v  .  w  .  x  .  y  .  z  . 


a
  AAP American Academy of Pediatrics
 
  allergen Any substance causing an allergic response.
 
  amenorrhoea The absence of a menstrual cycle.
 
  atopy A clinical hypersensitivity state that is subject to hereditary influences, such as hay fever, asthma and eczema.
 
  attached When this word is used in relation to the baby at the breast it is interchangeable with the word 'latched.'
 
  axilla underarm
 
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b
  bioavailability The degree of absorption of a substance and ability of the body to use it.
 
  birth canal The vagina and perineum.
 
  boycott Refuse all dealings with, for the purpose of coercion or punishment.
 
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c
  casein The principal protein in milk for all mammals. The whey-to-casein ratio of human milk is 65:35.
 
  colostrum The fluid in the breast from mid-pregnancy onwards, and in early post-partum. Thicker and yellower than mature milk, reflecting a higher content of proteins, many of which are immunoglobulins. Also higher in fat-soluble vitamins and some minerals.
 
  complicity To comply, to be in accordance.
 
  conception To conceive a baby; to become pregnant.
 
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d
  diabetes A disorder of carbohydrate metabolism as a result of disturbances in the normal insulin mechanism. The normal insulin mechanism may be inadequate due to insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas, an increase in the insulin requirement of the tissue cells, or a decrease in the effectiveness of insulin due to insulin antagonists.
 
  dyspareunia Painful coitus; painful sexual intercourse.
 
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e
  embryological From conception till prior to birth.
 
  endogenous Produced by the body.
 
  enteral Within the intestine. When referring to feeds it could refer to oral feeding, naso-gastric tube feeding, or any way that the feed enters the intestine.
 
  epidermal Layer of the skin.
 
  epithelial A cell layer which is present in every system in the body.
 
  ethical Having moral principles.
 
  exogenous Produced by an external agent.
 
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f
  fat-soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, E and K.
 
  foremilk The milk obtained at the beginning of a breastfeed. The major difference between foremilk and milk obtained at any other stage of the breastfeed is that it starts with a relatively low fat concentration.
 
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g
  galactagogue A substance that increases the production of breastmilk.
 
  gestational diabetes A type of diabetes which develops during pregnancy. It usually resolves after the pregnancy is ended, but a significant number of affected women do develop diabetes later in life.
 
  gestational surrogacy This is a third party arrangement whereby a surrogate mother carries a pregnancy that is biologically unrelated to her. Essentially, the intended mother’s egg and intended father’s sperm are united in a laboratory forming the embryo(s) and then transferred to the surrogate who than carries the resulting pregnancy. This can be achieved with donor eggs or donor sperm as well.
 
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h
  half life The period of time it takes a substance to reach half its original intensity.
 
  half-life The period of time it takes a substance to reach half its original intensity.
 
  hindmilk The milk obtained at the end of a breastfeed. Hindmilk differs from milk obtained at any other time during the breastfeed only in its relatively high concentration of fat.
 
  hyaline membrane disease A disorder, occurring primarily in infants born preterm, in which the alveoli and respiratory passages of the lungs fail to expand adequately. The infant suffers from respiratory distress and poor gas exchange. Respiratory assistance is required until the condition improves.
 
  hypertension High blood pressure.
 
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i
  informed consent Entitlement of a concerned party undergoing treatment to know as far as possible what is involved and what can go wrong, so that informed decisions can be made. Anyone who carries out treatment (ie giving formula to a breastfed baby) without informed consent is breaking the law and may be sued for damages.
 
  internal os The constricted upper part of the cervix at the point where the cervix and lower section of the uterus join. The external os is the lower part of the cervix where it opens into the vagina.
 
  intrapartum During the birthing process.
 
  involution The return to a normal state after a period of increased functionality. Uterine involution occurs as the uterus returns to its pre-pregnant state; alveolar involution occurs as the alveolar cease producing breastmilk.
 
  ion trapping Breastmilk has a low pH; medications that are weak bases can become trapped in breastmilk preventing their movement back into maternal blood.
 
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l
  lactational amenorrhoea The absence of a menstrual cycle as a result of the hormones of lactation.
 
  lactation suppression Inhibiting the onset and/or establishment of lactogenesis II.
 
  lactocyte The secretory cells which form the alveoli.
 
  lactoferrin A protein component of human milk which binds iron in the intestinal tract, thus denying it to bacteria which require iron to survive.
 
  lactose A disaccharide. The principal carbohydrate in human milk; it metabolises to glucose and galactose.
 
  legitimacy authenticity, genuineness.
 
  let-down reflex A neurohormonal reflex resulting in release of milk from the breast. It occurs when the nerves surrounding the nipple are stimulated. A message is sent to the hypothalamus in the brain; the posterior pituitary gland then releases the hormone oxytocin into the blood stream causing the myoepithelial cells surrounding the alveoli to contract, and forcing the milk to move into the ductal system. Usually referred to as the milk ejection reflex.
 
  leucocytes White blood cells which are present in breastmilk and fight infection.
 
  libido Instinctual energy or drive Ð usually used with special reference to the motive power of the sex life.
 
  lipid Pertaining to fat.
 
  lochia The discharge from the uterus after the delivery of the placenta and membranes until the end of the puerperium (about 6 weeks). Initially the lochia is red (lochia rubra), then yellowish or pinkish (lochia serosa), and finally white (lochia alba).
 
  lochial Bleeding arising from the placental site in the uterus after the delivery of baby and placenta.
 
  lymphatic drainage Fluid and waste products are drained by the lymphatic system into the blood circulatory system.
 
  lysozyme An enzyme in breastmilk which is active against E.coli and salmonella.
 
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m
  malocclusion Malposition of the teeth resulting in the faulty meeting of the teeth or jaws.
 
  mastitis Inflammation of the breast. This may be an infective or a non-infective process.
 
  menopause The hormonal cessation of the ability to reproduce.
 
  menses Periodic bleeding as a result of the menstrual cycle.
 
  milk ejection reflex The neurohormonal reflex resulting in release of milk from the breast. It occurs when the nerves surrounding the nipple are stimulated. A message is sent to the hypothalamus in the brain; the posterior pituitary gland then releases the hormone oxytocin into the blood stream causing the myoepithelial cells surrounding the alveoli to contract, and forcing the milk to move into the ductal system. Sometimes referred to as the 'let-down' reflex.
 
  morbidity Illness or disease.
 
  mores Customs, accepted group behaviours.
 
  mortality death
 
  myelinization The process by which conducting nerve fibers develop a protective fatty sheath. The long-chain fatty acids necessary for this process are abundant in human milk, but much less abundant in cow’s milk and cow-milk-based infant formula.
 
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n
  necrotising enterocolitis Death (necrosis) of sections of the bowel. Occurs most commonly in infants born preterm, particularly if they don't receive breastmilk.
 
  negligent Failing in your duty of care to the mother and baby which results in damage or injury to the mother or baby.
 
  nulliparous Never having given birth to a viable infant (20 weeks gestation or more).
 
  nursing supplementer A device whereby a thin tubing is taped to the mother’s breast while the other end sits in a container of milk. The baby takes the distal end of the tube into his mouth when he latches onto the breast and obtains milk from the breast as well as the ’supplement' from the container. The propriety brands available include the Supply Line from NMAA, the SNS from Medela and the Lactaid. Many people also make up their own form of supplementer.
 
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o
  oligosaccharides A carbohydrate comprised of a few monosaccharides present in human milk, with an important role in the prevention of infection in the baby.
 
  open-pause-close type of suck When a baby is getting milk (he is not getting milk just because he has the breast in his mouth and is sucking), you will see a pause in the chin after he opens to the maximum and before he closes, so that one suck is: open mouth wide-->pause-->close mouth. If you wish to demonstrate this to yourself, put a finger in your mouth and suck as if you are sucking on a straw. As you draw in, your chin drops and stays down as long as you are drawing. When you stop drawing, your chin comes back up. This pause in the chin represents a mouthful of milk when the baby does it at the breast. The longer the pause, the more the baby got. Once you know that, you know also when he is not getting milk. And once you know that, you know that 20 minutes on each side, for example, is nonsense. A baby who does this type of sucking (open mouth wide-->pause--close mouth), steadily for 20 minutes won't take the second side. A baby who nibbles for 20 hours will come off the breast hungry.
 
  osmotic The passage of water through a semi-permeable membrane from an area of low concentration to one of high concentration. In this case, from the blood stream with a low concentration of lactose through the lactocyte into the alveolus which has a high concentration of lactose.
 
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p
  passive diffusion Passive (or simple) diffusion is the equalization of drug concentration in breastmilk and blood plasma by simple passage of the drug through the cell membranes.
 
  perceived Understood to be, but not necessarily factual. As in 'perceived low milk supply' - some things may lead one to believe this, but other factors may in fact prove it to not be the case.
 
  percentile When applied to growth charts, referring to the very large sample of children that was ranked in size from the smallest to the largest, to offer a measurement standard for children’s growth. The median is the 50th percentile. A percentile of 90% indicates that 90% of the children are below this level; likewise the 3rd percentile indicates that only 3% of children will fall on or below this line.
 
  permeable Allowing passage through.
 
  postnatal depression A depressive illness which occurs in 10 - 15% of women, usually within 3, but up to 6 months after the birth of the baby.
 
  post-partum The period of time from the delivery of the baby and third stage to approximately 6 weeks during which the mother’s body recovers from the pregnancy and birth.
 
  postpartum The period of time from the delivery of the baby and third stage to approximately 6 weeks during which the mother’s body recovers from the pregnancy and birth.
 
  permeable Allowing passage through.
 
  premature labor Commencement of labor before full maturity of the fetus. Usually labor commencing before 37 completed weeks of gestation.
 
  preterm Born before term (estimated date of delivery). Generally used as being 4 weeks or more before due date.
 
  proliferation Growth and spread.
 
  puberty The stage of development during which the child develops adult sexual characteristics.
 
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s
  safe alternative A debatable and not easily defined term. In countries where morbidity and mortality are high because of unclean water or hygiene practices, the risks of infection/illness arising from this need to be compared to the risks of breastfeeding. Likewise, in developed countries, the ability (both financially and practically) of the primary care giver to provide alternative feedings must be considered.
 
  secretory IgA An immunoglobulin abundant in human milk. It blocks adhesion of pathogens to the intestinal mucosa.
 
  seIgA An immunoglobulin abundant in human milk. It blocks adhesion of pathogens to the intestinal mucosa.
 
  septicaemia The presence of bacteria or their toxins in the bloodstream.
 
  side-stream The smoke inhaled from the general environment (usually refers to cigarette or marijuana smoke).
 
  species specific The composition of, in this case, mammalian milk, is unique for the type of mammal for which it is produced.
 
  synthesis production
 
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t
  tachycardia Rapid heart rate.
 
  tachypnoea Rapid respiratory rate (alternative spelling: tachypnea).
 
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u
  unethical Lacking moral principles.
 
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v
  vertical transmission Transmission of a 'condition' from mother to baby, either in utero or via breastfeeding.
 
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w
  water-soluble vitamins The B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.
 
  whey The liquid left after curds are separated from milk. Alphalactalbumin and lactoferrin are the principal whey proteins.

Thank you to Breast Ed Online, www.health-e-learning.com, for use of this glossary.

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© 2002-2017 Dr. Lenore Goldfarb, PhD, CCC, IBCLC, ALC and contributing authors to AskLenore.info. All rights reserved.


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