Am 29 weeks pg. Just had a bath and noticed little lumps/spots all over my areola on both nipples. They looked like they had little white heads when in bath but once inspecting after out of bath lost the white-ness and just looked like redish little lumps.
Sure they wern't there yesterday . I had nipple pain a few nights ago but just regular discomfort since. Is this normal? Should I use/do anything or see GP about this next week? (really don't want to unless needed as still snow around here so risky to get there). I'm wondering if it could be thrush in nipples (have had recurrant vaginal thrush throughout pg) or beginnings of mastitis or something else icky or whether its just one of those normal pg things you don't know about until you get them.... If it makes a difference I have a nasty cold so my whole immune system/body is quite low.
They are called Montgomery Tubercles and are a sign of pregnancy. They are totally normal. The small white heads are first milk/white blood cells secretions. Your milk will come out of most or all of these little lumps (something I certainly did not know before a started spraying like a watering can ).
Ha, that's what I thought too! But nooooo, there are several milk ducts that provide milk. This is why it is really important that the baby takes a good chunk of breast (aureaola and all) into its mouth - it's called breast feeding and not nippple feeding for a reason .
Google 'asymmetrical latch' or have a browse on kellymom. Or my favourite: look at the videos on Dr Jack Newman's site.
I'm pretty sure milk doesn't come out of the MOntgomery Tubercules. They secrete a type of sebum (and also sweat, I think) that lubricates the areola and nipple, but they don't secrete milk. The milk comes out of many tiny holes at the end of your nipple, fed by ducts that lead from the milk-producing lobules.
The reason that a baby needs to take a good chunk of areola to latch on satisfactorily is because if he only latches onto the nipple, he can't use his mouth and tongue muscles to suckle properly. To milk the breast, you need to be in contact with the area round the nipple. Try expresing colostrum yourself and see - if you just squeeze the nipple alone, very little comes out if at all. Then try gently expressing by squeezing just outside the areola.
Reshape, you are right. Montgomery tubercles are glands as you describe and milk does NOT come out of them.
However, milk does come out of several milk ducts, not just the nipple. There are many reasons why a baby has to take lots of breast into its mouth (proper mouth/tongue action as you say being one), but also to avoid soreness and to ensure good and effective milk transfer from all ducts.
And when I mentioned a watering can further up the thread, I was not exaggerating...