Are Your moles nipples? | Breastfeeding Men
How can men breastfeed?
Why do we only have 2 nipples?
Do you have more than 2 nipples?
Time to find out!
#4 Why do we have nipples?
Mammals have nipples to breastfeed their little ones.
If you’re wondering mammal is, it’s basically an animal that can produce milk from their nipples to feed their little ones. Female mammary glands give the way to produce milk. Men have mammary glands too but I’ll get to that later.
What you need to know is, humans are mammals. Now for the next question.
#3 Why do we only have 2 nipples?
We typically have two nipples because mammals have twice as many nipples as they need to feed their little ones.
Dogs are likely to have 10 nipples because they usually have 5 puppies.
Cats are likely to have 8 nipples because they usually have 4 kittens.
And humans tend to have 1 baby at a time, so we usually have 2 nipples.
Think of these extra sets of nipples as a backup nipple. And some people have an extra, or extra, extra, extra, extra nipple.
Let’s talk about the third nip. When we’re forming into a baby you start off with a female blueprint. So we were all female at one point…kind of. That’s because nipples develop before our sex is determined.
Milk lines appear when we’re developing and it runs from our armpit to our thigh. These milk lines turn into thick ridges and the ones on your chest turn into 2 nipples. Then the rest of the milk ridges fall away, but for some people, the rest of those ridges didn’t fall away. This leads to an extra nipple.
#2 Do you have more than one nipple?
These extra nipples are called supernumerary nipples and males are more likely to have an extra nipple than females. But get this, most people with extra nipples think it’s a mole.
I’m curious, comment below if this just made you look at your chest.
So let’s nip this in the bud right now. Here’s how to check if your mole is a nipple. Pay attention to these 6 main categories of supernumerary nipples.
- Polymastia, which is an extra nipple with an areola and breast tissue
- The nipple has no areola, but it does have breast tissue
- Breast tissue and areola are there but there are no other features
- Breast tissue is there but no areola or other features
- Pseudomamma- You can see the nipple and areola but there’s no breast tissue, instead, there’s fatty tissue
- Polythelia – a nipple is there but it has no areola or breast tissue
These nipples tend to be small but they can vary in looks depending on what category you fall in.
Comment below if you just found out that your mole is a nipple.
Now, what if I told you that these nipples don’t only have to fall along the milk lines. 5% of cases show nipples in other places. They can grow on any part of the body, meaning your forehead, butt, leg, foot and back.
Now let’s talk about the question you’ve been waiting for.
#1 Can men breastfeed?
Turns out women aren’t the only ones with milk ducts and mammary tissue, men have them too. Some men were left shocked when they found out ways to trigger milk to come out of their nipples. This is known as male lactation. Not everyone can do it but if you give your nipples just the right amount of stimulation you might surprise yourself.
Groups of men found out that chest pumping (aka breast pumping) led to them being able to lactate. Some even decide to breastfeed their baby. A few years ago, you may have heard the story of the Sri Lankan man who breastfeeds his baby after his wife died. That story was true.
There’s also a really horrific way to lactate. It was reported that there were hundreds of cases of Japanese Prisoners of War and men that survived the Nazi camps that were able to lactate. They were starving and when they were finally given food they found their nipples lactating. The reason why this happens is because when you’re starving and then suddenly get food, the hormone levels in your body rise faster than your liver which usually regulates these hormones. So the spike in hormones can result in male lactation.
Male lactation comes from a hyperactive prolactin hormone. Some boys going through puberty find themselves lactating because of the spike in hormones. It can also be caused by a health condition known as hypothyroidism and if that’s the case for you then definitely check in with a doctor.
Men can also produce milk when taking certain medical drugs. This is also a topic of interest for some trans people if they’re interested in chestfeeding or breastfeeding.
Thank you for reading! Also one last fact, some babies can lactate too.
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