Us ladies pride ourselves on how well we know our bodies. (how we might look)
We know how long we have until P-Day (aunt flo might be visiting, our enemy is attacking or just period day) based on the soreness of our boobs.
We understand what our vaginal fluids are telling us.
That uterine twinge? We know what she’s telling us.
But the next time your lady friend is bragging about how well she “knows” herself, all you need to do is utter two magical words:
“But what are Montgomery glands and what does that have to do with me?” she will most likely ask.
Well. Let me tell ya…
Table Of Contents
Are They Really Part Of The Female Anatomy?
Trust us – you have ’em.
All of us ladies have these “Montgomery glands” which are also known as the areolar glands and you may be staring them down on a daily basis without even knowing it.
To keep your areola lubed up and protected.
Your “Montys” (can we start calling them that?) aren’t always on top of their game.
They really come to life when you are pregnant and when you are breastfeeding.
These tiny glands help protect your nips from infection and promote a healthy breastfeeding environment.
What Do They Look Like?
If you’ve ever witnessed tiny bumps on your areola and even on the nipple itself, you’ve likely witnessed your Montys.
These tubercles are even more apparent when the nipple is stimulated and during pregnancy (fact: witnessing these little wonders can be an early sign of pregnancy).
These bumpy gals also like to show themselves when:
- There is a hormonal imbalance (i.e. the early pregnancy thing)
- You are stressed out
- You are experiencing physical changes (such as weight gain or weight loss)
If your glands are producing a lot of discharge and are prominent, visit your doctor ASAP.
This has been known to be an early indication that you may have breast cancer.
Do I Have A Lot Of These Glands?
How many glands a woman has will differ from woman to woman.
The minimum you can expect to have are 4 while those who have maxed out on these glands will have 38.
The average number of glands on each areola is 9.
Why Are They Called Montgomery Glands, Anyway?
Long story short, a doctor named Dr. William Featherstone Montgomery, an OB from Ireland, was the first to describe them in 1837.
Although women have been noticing them since the dawn of time.
Can we now rename them “Ladies Knew They Had ‘Em “ glands?
5 Interesting Facts About Your Montys
For years they were overlooked and now that they are overtly apparent (likely because you’re pregnant, have been pregnant, breastfed or are breastfeeding) you want to know everything about them.
Well, we’ve got you covered with these…
5 “fun facts” about your Montgomery Glands
1. Breastmilk may leak from them.
Approximately 20% of breastfeeding moms will witness breast milk beading in and around their Montgomery glands (invest in some high quality breast pads to prevent leakage).
This is because these glands not only have sebaceous/sweat glands.
They have milk glands in there as well.
2. They help your baby find the breast.
A lot of researchers believe that these glands play a vital role in allowing your nearly blind newborn to find your breast and suckle when he or she is first born (and thereafter).
If you’ve ever witnessed a newborn breastfeed, you will notice that his or her nose actually points towards these glands and that the newborn will actively then try to find his or her mother’s breast and self-attach.
Guess this makes sense considering a baby’s sense of smell is their top rated sense.
3. The sweat produced by your Montys is similar to your amniotic fluid.
Some medical experts believe that the smell of amniotic fluid may be similar to what is secreted through your Montys which helps guide your baby to your breasts.
4. The more glands you have, the easier it is to breastfeed.
Supposedly the more glands you have, the easier it is for your baby to pick up your scent, thus making it easier to feed.
So the more glands, the better!
5. Your glands can get infected.
It is entirely possible for your glands to become infected.
You’ll notice almost immediately since you’ll have a red and/or yellow thing on your boob that resembles a zit and that is painful to the touch.
The remedy: an antibacterial ointment from your doctor.
image source: Mothers Boutique
Final Word About Montgomery Glands
Motherhood seems to be all about bumps: baby bump, “bumps in the road”, and now bumps on our breasts.
- Those bumps on your nipples have a name: Montgomery glands
- These glands create a healthy environment for your breasts and your baby
- They are totally normal, but if they become enlarged or produce discharge, contact your doctor as soon as possible
Have a story to share about your Montys or a question? Post a comment below!