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Those Little Bumps On Your Nipples? They’re Sending Messages.

By ceridwen |

Bumps on nipples explained!

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.)

 

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About ceridwen

ceridwen

ceridwen

Ceridwen Morris is a writer, mother, and certified childbirth educator. She is the author of several books and screenplays, including (Three Rivers; 2007). She serves on the board of The Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York and teaches at Tribeca Parenting in New York City. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ceridwen's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Those Little Bumps On Your Nipples? They’re Sending Messages.

  1. Katy E says:

    Newborns have the same scent on their hands as well. They smell their tiny hands and know exactly the scent their looking for. Newborns are so smart!

  2. Katy E says:

    Newborns have the same scent on their hands as well. They smell their tiny hands and know exactly the scent their looking for. Newborns are so smart!

  3. Robin | Farewell, Stranger says:

    That’s cool. I knew about the breast crawl, but that video actually makes me feel a bit weepy!

  4. Bumby says:

    Are you talking about “montgomery glands” :)

  5. I did the breast crawl with my little girl (6 wks old now) and it was amazing. She knew exactly what to do. Mother nature is so incredible!

  6. Jeefer says:

    The video is no longer available? Aww! Wanted to see what the breast crawl was :(

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