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When you’re trying for a baby you’ll look for any kind of sign to tell you if it’s good news, especially since you have to wait a little bit until you can get a reliable result in a pregnancy test. We’ve already covered a few signs here on Best For Parents and today we’re going to discuss another – white spots on nipples.
White spots suddenly appearing on your nipples around the time where you feel like you could be pregnant can be as a result of pregnancy and are among the earliest signs of pregnancy – before morning sickness, clear mucus and so on. If you’re actively trying for a baby and they’ve made an appearance after the ovulation window then it is the most likely cause, however it is not the only cause of white spots on the nipple and areola.
But, what are they?
What are the white spots on nipples and areola?
White spots on the nipple and areola are called Montgomery glands. Their main purpose is to create and secrete oils (lipoid fluid) which help to moisturise, protect and lubricate the nipple in preparation of a breastfed baby and changes coming to the breasts from the pregnancy itself. This special oily substance may also stimulate a newborn baby or an existing breastfed child’s appetite. It can be theorised that these glands are important to help a newborn find the nipple easily and stimulate them to suckle.
They also possess antibacterial agents which help to make sure the baby’s feeding area is clean as well as ensure no infections rise from any leftover breastmilk. The moisturising helps to stop them drying and being cracked, especially in cold weather and strong heat.
Montgomery glands may not always appear white, they may appear as just bumps which match the colour of the nipple/areola. The number of spots which appear can also vary quite a bit from mother to mother, but generally they look similar and unmistakable.
What causes the white spots to appear on the nipple?
Montgomery glands have always been there in the nipple and breast area and are a normal part of a woman’s anatomy- pregnancy hormones are what stimulates them and makes them raised, bumpy or change colour. If you are still breastfeeding an existing child and then become pregnant again these glands may still be there from the previous pregnancy (they stick around to take care of mother and baby). If you are not pregnant and they’ve appeared then other causes can force their appearances, typically involving hormones such as:
- Chemical miscarriage
- Menstrual cycle
- Chemical contraceptive
If you are without a doubt not pregnant and they’ve made an appearance then try not to do anything to them unless they are irritating, painful or both. Don’t apply any nipple cream, either.
These white spots can appear for a number of reasons outside of pregnancy and more often than not they will come and go but if they are giving you trouble don’t self medicate and instead seek the help of a GP.
White spots have appeared on my nipples – am I pregnant?
White spots on nipples are a sign of very early pregnancy but it is still not the sort of sign that should make you rush to your nearest and dearest with good news, that should still be reserved for a big fat positive on a pregnancy test. Instead, take it as a sign that it might be good news and try to relax until you have missed a period and are able to take a test!