EBF, CIO, BLW, EP, BM. If are a mother-to-be or a new parent and you know what all of these abbreviations and terms mean, then hats off to you, because you have really done your homework in advance.
However, if like me, you are totally under-prepared and overwhelmed by this, well I am here to try and help ease things a bit.
Now I am no expert, but after 70+ days of parenting and extensive reading, (I kid you not when I say extensive reading), I feel fairly confident about writing about this and hopefully helping mothers-to-be and new mothers to familiarise themselves with the basics.
Disclaimer- This post is meant to a combination of facts and humour. The terms are all real ones with my explanations that are in the way I have understood them. I’ve tried to bring in a little bit of humour so that it is not a dry and dab textbook style post. I am not expert in any of the fields- lactation, baby wearing, baby nutrition, pediatrics. Do read the post keeping that in mind.
EBF– Exclusively breastfed- Refers to a baby who feeds directly from the breast of the mother for most of the feeds. What every mother aims to achieve and hates herself if she falls short for even a day and has to pump milk or feed formula.
EP– Exclusive pumping- Due to certain reasons (usually medical reasons such as tongue tie, lip tie etc), the baby is unable to latch onto the mother’s breast to be fed. Hence the mother has to pump milk to feed the baby.
Tongue tie and Lip Tie– while most people get tongue tied in front of an audience or their latest crush, for babies, this indicates that they are not able to open their mouth as wide as they should to latch onto the breast. As this is a medical term, I would suggest that you get a doctor to explain it in technical terms like frenulum etc etc.
BM– Breast milk- just a short way refer to milk that comes from the breast but not necessarily fed from the breast. Usually pumped and stored milk is referred to as BM.
FM– Formula milk- what many mothers dread to feed their babies because of societal pressure. Should one give formula milk or not is a whole other discussion. Let’s not get into that now.
Milk Ejection Reflex or Milk Let Down– When brain sends a signal to the breast that milk needs to be released. Usually this happens when it is time to feed and the baby is at the breast, and thus, can cause some babies to cough and choke. Other times this happens just by hearing a baby cry. Not even our baby. Any baby. When that happens, it leads to the dress getting stained by leaking milk. Nope, mothers do not have it easy.
Haakaa pump– Remember the milk let down that we talked about, well the Haakaa pump is a piece of equipment that can be used to collect that milk so that it can be given to the baby later. I haven’t heard a lot of Indian mothers talk about this, but it sure is popular abroad.
Milk Expression or Hand Expression– Imagine how one milks a cow? Well same idea. You use your hand to pump out the milk from the breast. Not as painful as using a manual or electric pump, but so tiresome and time consuming.
Feed on Demand– This is a no brainer. The baby demands, and the mother feeds. New mommy, this is your mantra for the first 6 months. This could continue to be your mantra even if you are doing BLW (I’m coming to this in a minute)
Clusterfeeding– Some babies feed more frequently at certain times of the day. This happens usually during a growth spurt. Articles give you timelines like 2 week growth spurt, 4 week growth spurt, 9 week growth spurt etc, but lets face it, no baby follows this calendar. They just feed when they want, and grow all the time.
Growth Spurt– When your already growing baby decides to grow a bit faster. This could be in terms of height and weight, and usually it is accompanied by cluster feeding.
DreamFeed– When you manage to feed the baby in his sleep without waking him up. If done right this will help him sleep for a longer period of time during the night. I am clearly not yet at that stage of doing it right. He still wakes up for every feed.
Colic– That word that every parents has grown to dread because it basically means that you have a baby who is going to be consistently crying without an actual reason. No I’m not joking. Colic is defined by webMD as when a healthy baby cries for more than 3 hours a day , for more than 3 times a week,for more than 3 weeks. Umm.. What? So by default every baby is said to have colic when it cries for no reason. Is it gas? Is it nerve pain? Or is it just how babies adjust to the outside world? Well, we’ll probably never know. (This is also why you should probably not depend upon webMD for a diagnosis). The babies do however grow out of it as they hit around 3+ months. Yes I can see my baby growing out of this currently
Witching hours- Though traditionally it is the time of the night when supernatural events occur, in parenting language it refers to the time from about 5pm till midnight when the baby gets fussy. Is this related to colic? Maybe, Maybe not? Maybe it is a supernatural power that the baby knows what time of the day to cry even when it does not yet know day and night.
Tummy Time– When you spend some time putting the baby on his tummy to help reduce the colic pain and also help strengthen the neck muscle. Some babies like it. Some don’t. So it can be a bit of a hit or miss. My baby loves it, and it seems to have helped him to be less fussy. I think. Well, there are even books and courses on this. But I just summarised the entire book/ course in a line for you. You can thank me later.
BLW- Baby Lead Weaning- Another new age term which basically means that you allow the baby to eat when he wants and how much he wants. This is unlike how we were fed with spoons of pappu mammu (dal rice) containing copious amounts of ghee being shoved down our throats until we were bursting at the seams. We, new-age mothers are all about putting the baby in charge of everything. What he eats, when he sleeps, if he wants to sleep, and so on.
CIO– Crying It Out- Apparently a very popular method that is used to sleep train babies. Popular back in the days. Parents now no longer subscribe to this method as it is believed to traumatize the babies. I personally think it is because babies today are really LOUD! I am not joking. Allowing them to cry it out is more traumatizing for the parents.
Sleep regression– The term for ‘oh god my baby has not slept all day and I am exhausted. Someone Help!‘. What this means is that the baby is undergoing a change in the sleeping pattern. While the articles say that this happens around 6 weeks, 2 months and then 4 months, in reality, it felt like every other week to me.
Gentle parenting– We spare the rod and spoil the child. No, I am just joking. When as a parent we choose to not yell and thrust our dominance on the child but instead treat the child as an individual with needs and emotions. This teaches the child that he is respected and he too should show respect. The child also communicates better. Also gentle parenting means being gentle on yourself, it is NOT gentle otherwise.
Open ended activities– Give the baby blocks, tiles, something, anything, that will allow his skills to develop and give you some time to relax (Hopefully)
Baby wearing– When you become a kangaroo and carry your baby around with you all the time. You can be hands-free and the baby is happy to be with you all the time. It may need an adjustment period, more for the baby,
Ring Sling/ Baby carrier– You’ve seen pictures or movies where women working in the paddy fields, tea estates would have their baby tied to them via a saree. Well this is a more modern version of that with ergonomics taken into consideration so that you and your child don’t get back issues. I told you about being a kangaroo, right?
Cloth diapering– The new age parent is all about sustainabililty. What does that mean? It means we are going back to our roots. We are putting our child in cloth diapers and ourselves in cloth pads. Cloth diapers are multi layered nappies which can hold more pee than a simple dhoti cloth. It can hold more pee and it also needs a lot more work. Don’t dry in the sun, do a pre wash, do a post wash, etc etc. I have just started my journey in this, so no comments for now.
Okay so this brings me to the end of my list for now. Like I said, this is a summary of all the knowledge that I have gained over the last 70+ days and as I continue to keep expanding my knowledge, I will continue to update this list. (P.S I wore this a bit after Baby Kays turned 2 months old. Now Baby Kays is going to be 2 years old. I definitely need to do a post on toddler related terms)
Parenting has a steep learning curve. That is for sure. No one, and I mean no one really warns you about that.
Okay all jokes apart, I am also adding a set of links here to articles that really helped me in the initial few days of motherhood. These links will be able to give a lot more insight and factual content on various topics.
Nursing a new born- Article from Kellymom
How to wash cloth diapers- Article from Bumpadum
Month by Month Development- Article from FirstCry Blog
Tummy Time- Article from Pathways.org
If you are looking for some non-motherhood related posts, click here for some fun styling posts.