Women’s breasts, specifically the nipples, serve more than an evolutionary purpose to feed babies. Though it doesn’t dictate if women can, should, or want to have children. It’s also easy to forget that male nipples might not be too different either.
READ ALSO: Home Remedies for Breast Pain and Tenderness
With the blitz of breast augmentation ads, boob-lifting bras, and nipple bans, it’s vital for us to get more facts about the nipple.
There are 4 to 8 types of nipples
Your nipples can be protruding, flat, inverted, or unclassified (multiple or divided). A person can have one breast with a protruding nipple and the other with an inverted, making the total combination of nipple types up to eight.
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Women’s health used to be diagnosed via nipples
The colour of the nipple was a major factor doctors and nurses considered when reading into a woman’s health. In 1671, the English midwife Jane Sharp published a book called “The Midwives Book or the Whole Art of Midwifry.”
According to a Stanford, the nipples are red after Copulation, red as a Strawberry, and that is their Natural colour: but nipples of nursing moms, when they give Suck, are blue, and they grow black when they are old.
Inverted nipples are normal
Inverted nipples, which pucker inward instead of protruding outwards functions same as regular, protracted nipples. It’s possible to have one non-inverted nipple alongside an upturned one, and it’s also possible to have inverted nipples that pop out later.
Inverted nipples tend to go away after breastfeeding a baby and won’t hinder with breastfeeding. Stimulation or cold temperatures can also temporarily cause nipples to protrude. Piercings and surgery can convert nipples that that are inwards to pop out.
Nipple hair is real
The tiny bumps around your nipples are hair follicles, which both men and women have, so it only makes sense that hair grows there. These hairs might look darker than other hairs on your body, but you can pluck, trim, wax, or shave them the same way as other hairs, if you are uncomfortable with them.
Your nipple isn’t your areola
The nipple is at the very center portion of your breast, and is connected to the mammary gland, where milk is produced. The areola is the darker colored area around the nipple.
Nipple pain is common among women
It’s common for breastfeeding moms to experience pain in their nipples for various reasons, but breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful. Pain or soreness in nipples also affects non-mothers. It can be a symptoms of PMS or other hormonal changes. Also factors like allergies, skin irritation, friction from a sports bra, can cause nipple pain.
READ ALSO: Eight Possible Causes of Nipple Pain
You can have two nipples on one areola
Having two nipples on one areola is called double and bifurcated nipple. Depending on the ductal system, both nipples may be able to produce milk for infants. However, infants may find it difficult to fit both in their mouth when breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding wasn’t always the standard
The educated, upper-middle- class women actually used to oppose breastfeeding their babies. In the Renaissance period, upper-class women used wet nurses to feed their babies. And in the early 20th century, infant formula was considered ideal because its price tag was an indicator of wealth. Since then it is now known that formula can never provide all the same ingredients as human milk does.
Nipples can change in size
During pregnancy, nipple size can change. A study conducted in 2013 discovered that 56 pregnant women showed that their nipples grew in both length and width during the course of the study and their pregnancy. Their areola width also increased considerably.
Sexual arousal is enhanced with nipple stimulation
Nipple arousal is rewarding foreplay for most men and women. A study of 301 men and women (ages 17 to 29) found that nipple stimulation enhanced sexual arousal in 82 percent of women and 52 percent of men. While only 7 to 8 percent said it decreased their arousal.
- Breastfeeding mothers can start impulsively leaking milk if they hear or think about their babies
For some mothers, this can also happen if they hear someone else’s baby crying. Mothers whose babies are in NICU and too premature or sick to eat, have more success pumping if they have a picture of their baby near.
Breast surgery can affect nipple sensitivity
Breast enlargement surgery, also called breast augmentation has become extremely popular, with 37 percent increase from 2000 to 2016. A 2011 study found that 75 percent of women surveyed had changes in sensation after the surgery, while 62 percent experienced pain from being touched. One of the risk of the surgery is loss of sensation.
You should have bumps around your nipples
Bumps around your nipples are normal, they are called the Montgomery glands, although the scientific name is the areolar glands. These glands produce a secretion called lipoid fluid to help keep the entire areola and nipple area more greased and comfy.
The average nipple height is the size of a lady bug
In a 2009 study, the results of 300 women’s nipples and areolas, showed a mean areola diameter of 4 cm (which is a little smaller than a golf ball), a mean nipple diameter of 1.3 cm (similar to the width, not length, of an AA battery), and a mean nipple height of 0.9 cm (the size of a lady bug).