FRANK PREGNANCY TALK Frank discussion of pregnancy symptoms, emotions, side-effects and oddities.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Story of My Third Nipple

What’s a third nipple, you ask? Well, let me tell you the story of mine. I have always had an area of darkish skin under my left breast, near the bottom of my rib cage. I thought it was a scar from childhood (perhaps a chicken pock mark), and it always turned purple when I became cold.

I never paid it much mind until about the fourth month of my first pregnancy. It started to swell up like an engorged tick. I assumed that this fleshy colored nub protruding from my rib was a new mole.

After pregnancy and breastfeeding were over, I consulted a dermatologist regarding the still-existing tick-nub. I was told that it was nipple tissue and it had swollen as a result of the hormones released during pregnancy.

Most people never know they have nipple tissue existing in other areas unless they become pregnant. Apparently, it is fairly common (although I had never heard of such a thing!) for people to have excess nipple tissue within a vertical line of the breast from the clavicle to the hip. Weird, huh? Fortunately, my “third nipple,” as I so named it, was not of the lactating kind, therefore a fairly simple procedure for removal. I do have a small scar, though.

Ah, well, just another battle wound of pregnancy!

BTW- This is a picture of my scar, not the third nipple. I know, I know, the pic's not that great. I took it from my cell phone.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Izzy said...

I've heard of those but never knew someone who actually had one. Interesting!

1:18 AM  
Blogger Demeter said...

Wow, you find the wierdest things in pregnancy!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I thought third nipples were an urban legend. Very interesting...Why am I speechless?

1:19 AM  
Blogger Kelly Magyarics said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did it cost much to have it removed?

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok - was just doing a search on third nipples... I found you all! I heard about them a few years back and realized that I had at least one. The biggest sign for me was that I was born with them and they look like little baby boobs, even with areoli, although faint. Well, I just had my first baby. One of them changed just like my regular nipples - got bigger, darkened, etc. Well, they other day, the lactating thing occured to me, so after a shower, I squeezed it. Holy cow - I have a lactating third nipple! I am both horrified and fascinated. I feel like a freak. My God - I'm a cat!

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Katy said...

Hurray I'm not the only one! I'm 35 weeks pregnant, and mentioned my 'extra nipple tissue' (which is in the crease under both breasts, though right hand side is miniscule, left hand side size of newborn baby nipple) to my midwife a few days ago. She said if I do get milk supply to it then I'll have to express from there to avoid mastitis. I'm really hoping I don't need to do this, (how will I do it???) but will only know once the baby's born.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just found my lactating third nipple this morning. i can't even believe i just wrote that sentence...lol...anyway, i thought it was some kind of weird cancer for so long and then i squeezed it this morning and milk came out. i am 31 weeks pregnant, and really appreciate this website for normalizing this for me because i had never heard of anything like this before and i didn't notice it happening with my last pregnancy.

4:57 PM  
Blogger cheetah said...

I always joked that my strange mark under my right breast was a "third nipple" until I was getting ready for my second c-section when the anastesiologist reached down, gave it a pinch and said" oh, you have a third nipple" The doc confirmed it at my two week check. It was never any kind of problem for me until recently. I am seven months pregnant and it just started lactating. It never did before. I go to the docs tomorrow to talk about my concerns, but I feel better knowing that there's more like me.

6:00 PM  
Blogger l.c. said...

Right on! I've been breastfeeding for four and a half months and just realized that the weird bump at the bottom of my areola could be a third nipple. I always though it was a cyst or zit, but when I squeezed it, it shot milk out with a vengeance. Woo!

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an extra breast too. It's just under my left breast and is very small, but a small amount of mammary tissue can be felt. It hasn't been a problem until recently during my first pregnancy. It is growing and is tender like the "real" breasts. I am going to talk to my doctor about having it removed after the pregnancy.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider myself an average 24 year old female human being until. After my pregnancy under my left breast was a mole like thing. That seem to pop up over night. but it was so big Im like .....When did that GROW!!??? I always examine my body how the hell!...did I miss that?!. i hate it. its wierd disgusting. i want it removed.

3:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what would happen if an obvious (doesn't just look like a mole) third nipple was removed before pregnancy? Would there be problems when I'd start to lactate?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your story. My six month old had her wellness check up yesterday and the pediatrician and I discussed her third nipple. Up until that point I thought it was just a cute little dimple. So now I am trying to find some info on what this might mean for her in the future and I realized after reading your story that I have one! It appeared in the form of a strange fleshy type mole during my first pregnancy. It went down a bit after I quit nursing my 1st and swelled back up during my last pregnancy. Looking at it now...yeah...it looks like a mini nipple! At least I know that it won't be such a traumatic thing for my daughter to have to live with.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Moll said...

Oh I am so glad I found you all, i have had this mole in the area of about 3 ribs up under my left boob. It has always slighly resembled a nipple and called it my third nipple. HOWEVER didnt expect it to grow into a fully protruding actual nipple during pregnancy! Its not very big but its got darker and sticks out like a cold nipple! wierd, dont know if it will lactate as I am only 15 weeks preg, but good to know Im normal (ish) just think in the middle ages we would all have been burned at the stake!!!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

Aww..looking up for info because I wanted to know if a third nipple feels like a needle is being stabbed. It really bothers me. Im guessing its because my bra presses on it. I found out of my third nipple when I became pregnant. It started to grow outwards & get dark. Before it was flat like a scar looking like. My husband said when he first saw it he tought it was a hicki from another guy & was really dissapointed but didnt tell me nothing & started noticing it was always there & obviously that he was wrong!!& confesed! Now he knows its a third nipple. I'd rather have heared that its that from the Doctor than cancer. So dont feel bad about it. My husband calls it his fantasy third nipple, dont know why, if because his a man or just trying to make me not feel bad. But I love that he accepts me the way I am lol..otherwise I'd probably wouldn't feel comfortable at all about my self or being around him.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im 24 weeks pregnant, and i knew i had a 3rd nipple since i was little, it was just a tiny tiny little dark circle under my right breast. i have never told anyone, basically my family (sisters brothers mum and dad) know and not even my boyfriend knows. im pretty sure he has one too, (though he'll never admitt that because i've asked him what it was before and he gets embarrassed) i dont blame him, i'm embarassed, and it never REALLY bothered me until now, now that im pregnant its getting bigger and looking like a real nipple, its become really painful and tender and has gotten darker like my other two (god that sounds wierd to type) I want it removed.. i have been so self concious my whole life and now its also causing me pain - like alot of pain, my underwire sits on it sometimes and it just kills!, i just dont want it there anymore.. anyone got any advice, im actually scared!?

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 41 and have always known that I had an extra nipple under my left breast. As I child I used to wonder which of my three nipples would develop into my 'real breasts'.
My nipple is also lactating. I've had three pregnacies and when squeezed there's clearly milk. The odd thing is, I have three sons and two of them have a third nipple too! I discussed this with my brother a few years ago and it emerged that he had one too, but under his armpit; again on the left side. Could this be an indication that it's hereditary?

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I became about 34 weeks pregnant I had a new mole appear on my chest. At first it was not a big deal. In one month it swelled from the size of a pin point to 1 inch in diameter and about a half inch in length. I went to a dr to have the "mole" checked out since cancer runs in my family. The doctor agreed that it should be biopsied (sp), so he removed the tissue from the "mole". It all together was about 2 inches in length and an inch in diameter. When the results came back, it was just very vascular tissue. My sister and I joke that I had a third nipple! It was harmless to have removed but had left a scar that reminds me everyday (it formed about 2 inches under my clavicle so its very hard to hide).

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 19 and I have two extra nipples that look like small moles directly under both breasts I've known about them all my life but never really did research until now. I use to be embarrassed by them but then i learned that they are normal and some celebs have them like lily allen and carrie underwood. I'm fine with mine but I just hope nothing happens when/if i ever become pregnant.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ive had my 3rd and 4th nipples my whole life. my 4th one just looks like a faint mole but follows the "milk line" my 3rd one is under my left breast and it looks like a little girls nipple...like a 3 year olds...im 5 months pregnant now and have noticed that its developing breast tissue underneath!! i started to panic because i dont want it to lactate but im glad there are other ladies who this has happened to! i know they are fairly common, i know lots of people, men and women, who have them but ive never seen one as developed as mine.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also had a 3rd nipple which starting getting larger as I matured. In my teens I had it removed. I just had a baby and now that area seems swollen like the breast probably has milk in it. I can't express it because I don't have the nipple. Anyone have any experience with this?

3:23 PM  
Blogger smsjts said...

I had a third nipple removed a few years ago and now I am pregnant. I noticed the scar getting darker and now it is starting to really hurt. don't know if I should go back to the doctor or what they can really do about it I don't think I can go another two months with this pain and I'm worried it might have been the lactating kind...

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuckling at some of these posts, I think I beat you all, I have two extra nipples in a line down either side of my belly towards my hips, four in total, it happened with my last pregnancy too, but I didn't notice that they lactated, and hadn't realised that they could! They are only very small, more like moles than anything else and they vanish after pregnancy, I find them amusing, and have shown them to some close friends for the shock factor, great fun!

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out I had one too. didn't no I had it till my baby was 3 mo old. and I could nvr figure out y my one breast always was leaking and encouraged. cone to find out I have a lactating third nipple right under my right nipple above the areola. although very small. makes more sense now! I find it interesting although I haven't mentioned it to anyone

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extension: I wasn't sure what it was. I thought I was getting breast cancer cuz that side had become larger than my left and warmer. and lactated more then the left. as well as the small bump. but it was just another nipple. actually it was pretty realeving

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Okay. so I noticed my third nipple a few years ago during puberty. Now I'm fifteen but I can't seem to find anything about people finding the supernumerary nipple during puberty. I've only found people mentioning finding it during pregnancy or that they were born with it. I want to know if I should expect this to grow like a boob if and when I get pregnant. Also I saw that it's identified as a genital disorder. Should I have reproductive problems? I'm kinda creeped out by myself and haven't told anyone.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'm 11 weeks pregnant and I've had 3rd and 4th nipples. Got them removed too when I was 19. Now I'm noticing one of them get bigger and darker. I wonder if the other nipple will get swollen without there being a nipple. So weird. I don't like it.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also in the tripple nipple club. I've always known and it did change a little during puberty. It's on my left side on the lower side of my boob. There's no visible mini boob. During pregnancy it changed in colour like my two proper nipples. I was freaking out about it and was so self conscious about revealing my abnormality when I was trying to breastfeed my first son. I spoke to a lactation specialist and she said that it's unlikely to leak but if it did just ignore and it will soon dry up and not interfere with breastfeeding. It hasn't cause any problems other than psychological! However, after reading messages on here I feel more normal and prob won't pay to get it removed.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria. It won't grow like a boob but the nipple itself may change colour and shape slightly just like your nipple changed during puberty. It doesn't have an effect on your fertility so don't worry!

12:28 PM  

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