What are Montgomery glands?


  • Montgomery’s glands are small spots found in the areolas that produce a secretion that makes the area hydrated.


  • Thus, they are essential so that the area does not dry out and, above all, during breastfeeding. Therefore, it is not recommended to wash the nipples before and after each feeding and to apply ointments that are not recommended.

During pregnancy, and later lactation, they are an infinity the changes that occur in our body. Therefore, it will be very important that we know each area well and know what changes are taking place. Thus, we will find out if it is something really important, so we will have to go to a specialist, or it is simply one more side effect. One of the most frequent changes occurs in the Montgomery glands, which received their name in 1837 thanks to the irish obstetrician William Fetherstone Montgomery.

What are Montgomery glands

He described them as areolas that surround the nipple and that produce secretions that keep the nipple area lubricated and protected. Thus, they will be essential so that a certain dryness in the nipple does not occur and, also, so that breastfeeding develops with the greatest possible comfort. For this reason, it will be especially important during this stage, since the fatty substance excreted by these bulging spots protects the skin in the area, which is very exposed in each shot.

These small points will be very important for a good breastfeeding.divinity.es

Also, those volatile substances, which are also secreted by the glands, can serve as an olfactory stimulus for the baby’s appetite during breastfeeding. Thus, it will become a kind of signal or anchor that will attract them. That is why it will be very important that the mother does not wash her breast before each feeding or after and, in addition, she should not lie down any type of cream or ointment that can nullify the effect of these glands. Of course, it will be very important to take care of your chest so that the dreaded cracks do not appear, but always thinking about the importance of the glands being able to perform their function correctly.

As they are

These bumps may be more or less visible and, above all, more or less marked during pregnancy. It will be during this period, along with breastfeeding, when its function is more important, although, in reality, all women have this type of glands. It is estimated that each woman can have between four and 28 on each areola. Also, we can find, in that portion of the skin that protrudes, some lumps of a lighter color, which are called ‘Montgomery mounds’, which will increase if the nipple is stimulated.

These are small dots that appear on the areolas.

These are small dots that appear on the areolas.divinity.es

Therefore, these will be essential and, if you wash your chest a lot in excess, the effect of the areolar or Montgomery glands is canceled. In these cases, the nipple will be drier and there will be a greater risk of cracks or pain when breastfeeding, than will increase. Therefore, a normal shower will be enough to keep the cleaning of our nipples at bay. Thus, as we have already commented, it will be very important maintain hydration of the nipples, but also do it in a controlled way.

What other changes can we undergo in our chest

In addition to the inflammation of the Montgomery glands, we can suffer other changes in the chest. It is the case of stretch marks, which appear due to the change in volume in the breasts. In addition, these are sudden and important changes in weight, although they can also appear after breastfeeding, since there is a significant reduction in breast volume. The same thing happens with itchy nipples, which usually occurs when they rub against irritating tissues. Therefore, we will have to take great care of the fabric of the garments we use.

Also, it must be taken into account that each breast is a world and that, therefore, there will be times when the areolas are bigger or smaller. This changes frequently, but does not usually influence the volume of the breast. In addition, since you do not have a completely symmetrical body, it is very likely that you will see that you have a larger breast than the other, now that it will be totally normal if there is no other side effects. This happens especially in puberty, since one breast usually develops more than the other.

During lactation and pregnancy we can find other complications in the chest.

During lactation and pregnancy we can find other complications in the chest.divinity.es

Also, it may be that certain inflammation and, therefore, the area will be warmer, more painful and, also, there will be redness of the skin. In most cases, this is usually mastitis, which is related to breastfeeding and is resolved with an antibiotic. Also, they may appear lumps, especially during hormonal changes and, therefore, disappear after menstruation. Therefore, it will be very important to have some control over our chest and, above all, we will have to take care of it properly.

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