My continuing education in the area of boobs never ceases to amaze me.
So, you know those little bumps on your nipples?
The ones that–as a Jezebel blogger put it–make “teens think their boobs are weird until they realize everyone has them.”
They have a purpose.
According to research coming out of France these little bumps (areola glands) emit a scent at the end of pregnancy to help the baby figure out where the nipple is. These glands increase during pregnancy; their secretions not only emit a special odor for the baby, but they may lubricate the nipples for breastfeeding as well.
Researchers found that new mothers with nine or more areola glands on their nipples were more likely to lactate sooner than moms with fewer glands. Their babies also gained weight faster and demonstrated sucking responses when exposed to the smell of the gland secretions. So there you go. Very clever, boobs.
This helps explain what’s happening in this video:
(The above video, by the way, is one of several documentations of what’s referred to as “the breast crawl”– you can fwd through it to get the idea, but basically the dark nipples — and an appealing odor!– draw even the newest of newborns to the milk.)