Milky Matters Blog

A-Z of Breastfeeding Words. Now S-V

Nikki Adlam

S is for Suckle. I love this old word. It doesn’t get used much at all now. Traditionally; it is defined as what the mother does or gives. She suckles her infant at her breast. If it is used now, it is often described as the baby breastfeeding.

T for tingle. This follows on neatly from suckle. When the mum’s milk ejection/let-down reflex (see Oxytocin) happens, she may experience a tingle within her breast or in her other breast. I stress the word “may” here as not all mums feel this sensation, however, her baby is growing well so the reflex works well to release her milk perfectly. Some mums feel the tingle in one breast always, but not in the other, some mums feel it only sometimes, and some mums feel it at every feed. There are even some mums who feel it when they’re not feeding their babies. Making love can also induce the tingle – and the milk ejection that follows – how refreshing! 

U for Undersupply. This refers to low milk supply. There are very successful ways of rectifying a low milk supply in most mums. Breastmilk is made by frequent breastmilk removal. Getting knowledgeable help very quickly to understand why the supply is low, and then practical and skilled help, leading to the mum and baby to breastfeed comfortably and efficiently is fundamental to a happy conclusion.

V for Vasospasm. In this case of the nipple. The mum will probably feel pain on breastfeeding, and notice that after the feed her nipple is white, and then becomes more painful as it returns to its normal colour. Nipple vasospasm and nipple pain is caused by the nipple being compressed into the baby’s hard palate and slowing down or stopping the blood circulating to the end of it. The increased pain as the white nipple returns to normal a while after the feed is because of the blood returning. Support to help the mum adjust her baby’s angle to gain a deeper attachment for breastfeeding needed here.  


Only another 4 letters to go. I will try to make Z something to look forward to!