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The TikTok’s creator, @thelittlemilkbar, shared a video of her discovering she was lactating from her armpits.
Check out the clip below:
We wanted to find out more about the possibility of leaking breast milk from your armpits and also whether it can be a cause for concern.
Arielle Ball, Naytal Lactation Consultant, spoke to Tyla about this phenomenon: “A small percentage of women have extra mammary tissue, extra nipples or an ectopic milk duct. Often these unusual breast developments go undetected until pregnancy or early postnatal. The pregnant or lactating parent sometimes notices something leaking from under their armpit or a possible bulge.”
“Some people really do have a third nipple and some even have more than three. These leftover nipples and/or mammary tissue are the remnants from the embryonic development of the mammary ridge otherwise known as the milk line.”
So can breast milk only leak from nipples? Arielle explains: “Sometimes the milk line simply doesn’t fully regress and extra nipples or breast tissue form along the line. Some women have ducts that leak milk through the skin without breast or nipple.”
Arielle details how this can particularly occur in the armpit area. “Believe it or not, normal breast tissue extends into the armpit this is called the Tail of Spence. This area can make milk and can sometimes become engorged. However, the milk from the Tail of Spence is connected to the breast and milk is usually moved through the main ductal system.”
However, Arielle also discusses how this extra breast tissue can build up milk where it doesn’t connect to the breast and so doesn’t drain as often which can cause huge discomfort. Arielle says that most of the time this will just dry up, but also recommends these methods as a relief:
· Cool compresses
· Gentle Lymphatic massage
· Breast pads or a bandaid over the leaking area
Arielle also assures that these areas don’t produce a huge amount of milk and they do not interfere with the breastfeeding process.
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