Have you ever looked at your nipples closely and wondered if they’re normal? Rest assured you know that they come in all different shapes and sizes, they can bring you incredible pleasure, feed your baby, and even tip you off about some serious health problems.
But there are many things you probably still do not know about your nipples. Here’s a list to help you with that.
#1 Nipples can increase by a few inches
Women’s nipples and areolas (colored skin around nipples) can easily expand till 6mm, and it is perfectly normal. However, if you gain weight, are sexually aroused or get pregnant, they may expand even further. This is because of hormonal changes or temporary fluid retention in the body. Thanks, hormones!
#2 Nipple discharge is more normal than you think
This discharge (yellow, milky-white, green or blue) can occur in most women, if they are squeezed. But if you are squeezing and your nipples discharge blood from either or both nipples, consult a physician as it could be due to a benign growth, cyst or breast cancer.
#3 Nipple-gasm is an actual thing
Your nipples can give you orgasms. Yes, that’s right! They are erogenous zones of the body for women (and even in some men). Researchers at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada, conducted a study on the same and found that the sensation from nipple stimulation travels to the same pleasure centers of the brain as sensations from clitoris, cervix and the vagina.
#4 Nipples are supposed to be bumpy
If you notice small (even hairy) bumps all over your nipples, don’t freak out. They are perfectly normal and are the product of your Montgomery glands. These glands produce a protective, oily white lubricant for the skin. Don’t squeeze those little bumps; they are there for a reason. If you open them, they can cause a severe infection.
Find out what nipples ‘hate’ on the next page.
#5 Nipples are hairy. Period.
It’s perfectly normal to have hairy nipples, even in women! Those small bumps you notice on your nipples are also hair follicles. If they are extremely dark, you can remove them by either waxing, cutting or plucking carefully. However, if they swell or give you pain, you should consult your doctor– it could be a sign of breast cancer.
#6 Nipples hate the gym
Working out is super healthy, but it is certainly not something your nipples love. If you do vigorous exercises your nipples can chafe and become dry, itchy, red or even sore. Wearing a well-fitted sports bra or using nipple balm can help you here. It’s nothing serious though, but take it easy on the girls.
#7 Nipples can help you bond with your baby
You are using your nipples for breastfeeding your baby soon after its birth and sometimes it can take a toll on them. They can become sore, bleed, crack or even bleed. These are a few cons of having a newborn attached to your nipples every alternate hour. But your nipples will also create a beautiful bond between you and your baby, given your constant body touch.
Read: Ciara Sotto gives heartfelt breastfeeding advice
#8 Nipples can leak milk
As a result of nursing your baby for hours during the day, your nipples can also leak milk sometimes. So you might want to keep an extra shirt with you when you go out. Or choose a nursing bra and breastfeeding pad combo that works best for you, especially when you are at work. Sometimes you may even leak if you hear an infant cry. Again, totally normal.
#9 Nipples sometimes come in threes
It is been commonly observed that many women (and even some men) have a third nipple. No need to freak out. It happens to many people across the world, reiterates a 2012-study. These are also called ‘supernumerary nipples’ and resemble a mole or mark. They never actually form into a nipple or perform its function and can appear anywhere in the body. So nothing to worry about.
Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Singapore
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