Have you ever wondered what the small bumps are around your nipple (areola)?
Is it normal to have small bumps around your nipples?
Well, those ‘little bumps’ are actually called Montgomery glands or montgomery tubercles, and they have several important functions.
Some women who notice changes to the bumps on their areola might wonder if it’s a sign of pregnancy.
What Are Montgomery Glands For?
What are these glands for exactly? And are they a pregnancy symptom?
Here are 7 interesting facts you might not know about those little bumps around your nipple:
#1: There’s an average of nine on each areola
Women have an average of nine Montgomery glands on each areola. Although some women have none and others have up to 38.
More glands are located on the upper outer part of the areola. Interestingly, this is the area towards which a baby’s nose is often pointed when breastfeeding.
#2: They get bigger during pregnancy
Most mothers notice that their Montgomery glands become more prominent during pregnancy.
Montgomery glands must increase in size, because they have an important role to play when your baby is born.
If it’s possible you might be pregnant, be sure to check out our article about pregnancy symptoms, to see other signs that you might be pregnant.
#3: They’re important for lubrication
Montgomery glands are sebaceous glands. They produce an oily substance to help to keep your areola and nipple lubricated and protected.
This is the reason why it’s often suggested to not wash your nipple or areola area with soap.
#4: Montgomery glands help reduce infection risk
The oily secretion that Montgomery glands produce also contains antimicrobial factors that help prevent germs growing.
#5: Milk can leak from them
Around 20% of breastfeeding mothers report seeing breastmilk coming from their Montgomery glands.
This can happen because these important glands consist of both milk glands and sebaceous (sweat) glands.
#6: They help your baby find your breast
Perhaps the most interesting function of Montgomery glands is their possible role in helping to establish breastfeeding by assisting your baby to find your breast.
Straight after a baby is born and is placed on her mother’s chest in skin-to-skin contact, she displays natural instincts to seek out her mother’s breast and self-attach. This important imprinting and learning a baby does at this time is very beneficial and can help prevent attachment problems as you learn together how to breastfeed successfully.
A baby’s sense of smell is her most important sense to help her find your breasts. The smell of amniotic fluid (which is familiar to the baby) is supposedly similar to the secretion produced by Montgomery glands. It could be the smell of the secretion from the glands that helps guide your baby to your breasts.
Interestingly, the more Montgomery glands a mother has, the less time it takes for her baby to pick up the scent from them. Therefore it takes her less time to attach and begin feeding.
#7: They can get infected
Though they contain antimicrobial properties, it’s possible to get infected or clogged Montgomery glands.
An infected gland may be sore, look red and/or yellow and be larger than usual.
If you suspect an infection, see your doctor who will likely prescribe an antibacterial ointment.
Can you pop Montgomery glands?
It’s not a good idea to try squeezing Montgomery glands in an attempt to get them unclogged.
If you’re thinking about popping your Montgomery glands, it’s possible that they may be infected. See #7.
As we go through pregnancy and motherhood, we learn how even seemingly trivial bumps can play such important roles in helping us to nourish our babies. From lubricating to prevent irritation, to guiding our babies with their scent, these little bumps aid in successful breastfeeding.
A: If you get a faint line on a pregnancy test, it certainly does count. Especially if you used a test that can detect early levels of hCG. In order to be really sure, you might like to take another pregnancy test a day after missing your period.
A: There are several methods you can try to conceive a boy. One of them is to eat foods which contain potassium or sodium. According to Dr. Shettles, another important tip is to time intercourse right before ovulation. You should abstain or use condoms in the days prior to, as female sperm live longer.
A: I bet you’re quite excited about this major baby milestone to happen! Your baby may start talking his or her first words from 11 months of age. It’s fairly common for baby girls to be ahead with language development compared to boys.
A: Yes you can drink hot tea when pregnant. But, you should opt for herbal teas such as ginger tea, nettle tea, and raspberry leaf tea. Teas that contain caffeine – such as green tea and black tea – should be avoided.