Excuse Me, But Is That A Third Boob In My Armpit?

third-breast

The first pregnancy is always the most exciting. That’s not to say that other pregnancies aren’t full of wonder, but the first one is full of all things new. Every change is a new experience and the unknown helps add to the thrill of it all.  

I enjoyed that first pregnancy myself… that is, until i noticed a kiwi-sized lump growing in my armpit. The worst of scenarios raced through my mind. Did I have cancer? Was this a tumor? What the hell!?

Sitting in the office of the ultrasound technician, I stared at the monitor trying to figure out what she was seeing on that little screen.

“What is it?”

“All I can see is breast tissue. I’ll send the results to your doctor.”

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I felt a sense of relief, no tumor, just breast tissue…in my armpit.  I had no idea why that would be, and my OB/GYN was actually of very little help in that department.  I was told it was just breast tissue, breasts swell during pregnancy, and that it should go back to normal after giving birth. This was a great theory but, after looking around, no other pregnant women seemed to be walking around with a kiwi in one pit!

Finally, a lactation consultant friend of mine told me it could be an extra mammary gland. This was confirmed in the hospital after I gave birth to my first son. A second lactation consultant came in to check on the nursing situation and I blurted out, “I think I have a third boob.” In the tradition of lactation consultants getting all up in your boob business,  she peeled back my hospital gown to examine the extra appendage.

This lady had all the good intel; Apparently, your milk lines run from your armpit all the way down your abdomen (think a cat or a dog with a litter of puppies). You can be born with extra mammary glands or extra nipples anywhere along your milk line and, unless you have a visible nipple, you may not know it’s even there until your breasts swell during pregnancy. The consultant then proceeded to tell me that there was a woman in the hospital the day before with eight boobs! (I can hear the collective gasps through the computer.) I suddenly felt pretty happy just to have the extra ONE.  She then continued by saying that it would go away after nursing and that, because there was no visible nipple, it would dry up and shrink back to its former undetectable size.

But, here’s where she got it wrong: My milk finally came in for my first born, and while I was nursing him, I asked my husband if he’d turn up the air conditioning because I felt like I was sweating profusely. It was then that I  looked down to see that no, I wasn’t sweating, but what I thought had been the tiniest of brown freckles was instead a nipple that was currently dripping milk down into a puddle on my shirt. Yep, sign me up for the circus people! Not only do I have a third boob,  but it lactates.  Lac. Tates.

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I had to nurse with a towel in my armpit, and while most nursing moms got to walk around with just absorbent breast pads in their bras,  I got to do that and wear a huge band-aid on my armpit.  Just so you’re all aware here, my son was born in June. Tank top weather. It was fabulous.

Between baby one and two, I had the boob surgically removed. There’s still breast tissue in there and with each pregnancy, it swells up to say hello, but at least there isn’t a nipple. I’m fine with the third boob thing, just not the wet clothing every time I  need to nurse or hear a crying baby.

So, there you have it. I think the third boob can give everyone a brighter outlook on life and on their after-baby bodies. Your stomach may look like a venetian blind from the stretch marks you earned, or you may have skin that now somehow resembles an elephant’s trunk, but still, looking in the mirror at yourself you can always say, “at least it doesn’t lactate!”

So, here’s to you, third boob. Thanks for making most of the world feel a bit better about themselves… and for giving me a great story to tell. Cheers!

Related post: 4 Truths About Our Post-Baby Bodies

About the writer

Genelle is a sometimes sane, always exhausted mother of five kids ages 10 and under. She is one half of the writing duo behind The Third Boob, a blog about all things motherhood, including how she managed to miraculously and horrifically grow a third boob during her first pregnancy. You can find her endlessly matching children's socks or @thirdboob on twitter and on Facebook.

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Melissa 2 months ago

I just had my 3rd boob removed today. It was quite large and made wearing a bra uncomfortable. The doctor said it is quite rare to have such a large mammary gland under your armpit. If it wasn’t for this story I would have just thought it was extra fat that I would just have to live with.

Aimee 4 months ago

“Lac. Tates.” I’m dying!! I’m not laughing at you, but the way you tell the story is hysterical!! I do appreciate you sharing, because all these little things that happen no one talks about because they are weird but it would be less weird if we knew we weren’t alone!!

Amber J. 4 months ago

I actually have 4 nipples and when I was pregnant with my son the two secondary nipples did enlarge but thankfully never lactated. My secondary nipples formed after I went through puberty.

*Side Note* – Men can also have secondary nipples, my best friend growing up has 1 extra nipple.

I lost it at Lac. Tates. 4 months ago

An enjoyable read, last bough I’m sorry you had to endure that! It must have been “the pits” 😛
I lost it at Lac. Tates.

NerdMom 4 months ago

I actually have a third nipple but it never lacated with either of my children, thank goodness.

Kati 5 months ago

I also share the the third boob in my armpit. Mine started lactating when I was pregnant with my first eleven years and with my son nine. I am currently working with a general surgeon to have mine removed.

Tiffany 5 months ago

Pit-boob twins! I just now discovered, with my 3rd child, that I have a lactating milk duct in my armpit! No nipple, though.

Ale 9 months ago

hahahaha. Good story !! Very funny. :)
I have a 7m baby boy. It’s definitely a struggle to get back into shape.

Jints 9 months ago

Hi there, thanks for sharing the story. Now I know what to expect post-delivery. And I did have a hearty laugh. Who would’ve have thought having a pair of extra large ones was not enough, now I have to bear with an extra one too?

Tami 9 months ago

This put my mind at ease a little. Not only do I have an extra breast under my armpit. I have a nipple outside both armpits very visible. They do lactate but at least it could nurse with out a towel under my pit!

Ayesha Sulthana 9 months ago

Your blog can only be the reliable answer to my query. Thank you so much for turning third boob monster into a comedian :)

Kirsten B. 10 months ago

You are not alone! When my milk came in after my son was born in 2009, I noticed that I had a huge, painful lump in my right armpit. So at my postpartum checkup, I mentioned it to my OBGYN and luckily she knew that it was milk glands… Unlike you, I didn’t have a nipple… So because of that, my milk had nowhere to go or drain, causing me to get mastitis – in my armpit – shortly after the birth of both of my kids. It would swell to the point that I could not put my arm down against my side; it was so painful. Anyway, just wanted to share with you that you are not alone.

mina 11 months ago

i wish i could sympathize. i have the same problem. and mine makes me want to vomit every time i look at myself naked.

Dave 11 months ago

Beautiful website !!! Lot of real amateur girls, with huge breasts and milk, breatfeeding, nipple play, lactating games, auto drip !! 100% Reccomended for lactation fans !!

Lanie 12 months ago

That brought back fond memories of nursing my first child and getting a wet belly due to ab auxilliary nipple just low enough to leak out under his cheek. Number two produced more, and number three even more! My nipples look like they have the measles! The shear joy ;p

Bella 1 year ago

I don’t have children, nor do I plan to. But the articles I find on this site are magnificently and written with a perfect stylistic wit. Love reading them, even if I never want to have children. #MadRespect

SV 1 year ago

I have 4 boops just that the additinonal 2 under my armpits dont have a nipple. My youngest is 3 years old and there is no sign if it disappearing. I can’t wear sleeveless anymore. I hate the look of it. Thinking of surgically removing it. What do you think? Thanks for writing this article.

-Shubha

Renee 1 year ago

Oh my , you are hilarious! So glad I read this . I all of a sudden the day after I gave birth to my 3rd child felt a huge bump in my armpit , I was terrified. My Ob sent me for an ultrasound just find out it was breast tissue , I said like a 3rd boob . The technician said yes! No nipple for me . It’s been a year and the boob is still there . Happy to know that I’m not alone :)

Kristy Campbell 1 year ago

I’ve had 6 kids breastfed all of them, and thankfully never experienced anything like this!

Lisa Gonzalez 1 year ago

Definitely (and understandably) NOT covered in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” … lol! No more complaints on this end unless I can use it explain my expanding butt! Lol!

Ali Sofield 1 year ago

Lmfao

claire 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing! I don’t feel like such a freak anymore! I had one in each armpit!! Both are now removed, haha…but such an insane situation! Mine never swelled, but my seemingly insignificant “skin tags” grew and then SURPRISE!

Maxine Prud’Homme 1 year ago

Good to know they are removable…wonder if it’s considered cosmetic surgery.

Katelyn Salazar 1 year ago

That’s hilarious

Heather Berkley 1 year ago

Lol I was referring to you.

Ali Sofield 1 year ago

I knew you had 3 boobs!

Shakira Sheean 1 year ago

I have extra tissue in my left armpit…. It freaked me out initially lol. Who would have thought!

Bill 1 year ago

I’m glad you’ve kept your sense of humor about this perfectly normal anatomical variation.

I too have an anatomical variation. I have 5 penises! On the bright side, though, my pants fit like a glove!

Aspen Eisenhour-Ramsey 1 year ago

This had me laughing out loud. Seriously funny one. And yes thank you to the author. You have made me feel better.

Megan Amber Lockwood 1 year ago

I probably would have had it removed but to be dead honest my curiosity would have gotten the better of me and I would have tried to pump and see how much I could get from it.

I know I am weird

    Jennifer Pigg 1 year ago

    I’d do the same thing. Orr use it as my pumping boob if I got enough out of it, so I could store the extra for if my regular boobs gave up on me.

Samantha Campanella Farley 1 year ago

Thank you to the author and other moms on these comments… I would have never known this was a real thing!

Jessica Spencer 1 year ago

Wow ! This is definitely news to me.

Natasha Downes 1 year ago

Hahahahaha – great article, thanks for the chuckles xx

Kimberly Daniels 1 year ago

No this is new for me

Jennifer Pierson 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing this. It makes me feel better about my stomach, especially my strange new bellybutton.

Julia McChesney Ray 1 year ago

Mine developed way after my last son was born. It hurt at times. No nipple or leaking. Doc did remove just to be sure it wasn’t cancer. Then told me it was a third boobie. So weird. Small scar in my armpit.

Yomara Alvarado Cruz 1 year ago

I have 2! But one is worse than the other and they don’t get wicked swollen or even leak on their own. But the moles get darker and I get pain like milk let down. It’s ugly too :( I’m looking into getting them removed.

Nikki Michaelov 1 year ago

I didn’t get that but while pregnant with my oldest i gained a lot of weight and got a lump on my shoulder called Lipoma which at the time was small everyone told me was nothing and after pregnancy and i lost the weight it would leave…well five years later its tripled in size I’ve also had another child they finally looked at it and removed it …in had to have 27 stitches and a scar that covers half my back the lump was the size of a grapefruit maybe bigger …….But it was all worth it in the end

Ashley Whitehead Smail 1 year ago

lol so true

Victoria Goldstein 1 year ago

I have it in both sides…thankfully no extra nipples

Amanda Grant 1 year ago

I have this in both armpits but have not had it remove. After the first few months they stopped leaking. Happened with both of my babies. Glad I am not the only one lol

Liana Marciano 1 year ago

I’ve had them since puberty, and they’ve only gotten bigger with each child. Now it’s like having a testicle under each armpit the size of a golf ball. Not cool.

Gemma Kirkham 1 year ago

I thought it was just me!

Ishita Nandanwar-Gill 1 year ago

Well, I am glad I am not the only one with one under each armpit.. Imagine walking (read ‘Waddling’) around with shoulders angled as if I’ve hidden newspapers under each of them..!! Hahaha

Erin Reeves Attere 1 year ago

It’s been a rough night with my one month old, but reading your story COMPLETELY made me laugh. Thanks for the perspective and good luck!

Stephanie 1 year ago

Oh wow. I had no idea women could be wired that way. Thanks for making me laugh. I got such a kick out of this post, I read it aloud to my mom and sister, and we all laughed the whole way through.

Valeria Kay Riley 1 year ago

LAC. TATES! Bahahaha perfect

Janessa Paige Hood 1 year ago

Ah-mazing.

Rebecca Sallee Hanson 1 year ago

This wasn’t in any of the pregnancy books I read, but it should be. I had the same experience as the author (though no extra nipple) and it scared the bejesus out of me!

Stephanie Villers 1 year ago

I’m speechless. I feel like I would have been straight off to the loony bin if I grew a boob in my armpit that had a nipple and produced milk. OMG

Nicole Leavitt 1 year ago

Wow, I’ve never heard of that. Very interesting. Very amusing to read.

Lisa Morgan 1 year ago

This made me laugh. Lac. Tates. Lol.

Tawnya Rene Hunt 1 year ago

8 boobs… that’s fucked up… I bet she felt like a dog

Melisa Hennessy 1 year ago

Omg lac. Tates. I died! Lol!

Tiffany Elizabeth 1 year ago

I knew I wasn’t the only person with a third boob!!

Angella Wilson 1 year ago

Yup…one under each arm. Thankfully without the nipple. They’ve not returned to “normal” though! Oh well…could be worse!

    Joanne McCudden 1 year ago

    Same here. Had 1 off when I was a teenager and the other one swelled up when I was breastfeeding

Kendra Jones 1 year ago

Lmao that’s hilarious I couldn’t imagine having one my husband would pee his pants from laughing about it. He giggles every time I get mad about leaking lol.

Tina Perdue 1 year ago

My story isn’t that exciting but when my milk came in at the hospital with my second, I had a huge swelling under my left arm. My ob/gyn just looked at it and said, yeah, extra breast tissue. It disappeared when my milk supply settled down, which I suppose is surprising given that I was nursing three babies, my own son and my daughter’s twins who I was babysitting.

Mary Kathryn Edgerly 1 year ago

LOL!!!! “Lac. Tates.”

Jen Poehler England 1 year ago

Wow! Who knew?!

ChristopherandHeather Biernacki 1 year ago

well there you go! something to be grateful for, no 3rd boob!

Chrissy Pinkston 1 year ago

My sister and I both had that! I am here to tell you that when your milk comes in right after having the baby and your armpit boobs swells to the size of a baseball, it hurts like a motherfarker! I also had the one removed due to discomfort even after being done with babies, and I was lucky enough to be the 1% that developed complications post-surgery. So, for all of you who don’t have armpit boobs? Be glad. Be very very glad.

Karen Brownell 1 year ago

Right? A third lactating boob? A woman with 8? Formula is all I gotta say

Shannon Whatley 1 year ago

So many chuckles in that 1!

Gillian Nicole 1 year ago

Lolol this lady is hilarious .. But that is strange

Chelsea McGee 1 year ago

This is so funny.

Angie Ferraro 1 year ago

Oh my… Ya learn something new every day lololol

Irene Joy Sapon 1 year ago

My girls made fun of me for having milk drip from both of my armpits while nursing their baby sis.

Sandra Newman-Walton 1 year ago

Say whaaaat?!? I had no idea this happens. I’m super happy I had all that side tissue removed when I had a breast reduction years ago. I didn’t even get milk after I delivered. Dodged a bullet lol

Jennifer Dayton 1 year ago

Omg. Lmao. Amazing.

Kori Savage Bourgeois 1 year ago

Torpedo underarms

Brooke Baer 1 year ago

Ahh finally I don’t feel alone! I’m an OB nurse and I had no idea about this until I woke up 4 days postpartum with an engorged armpit! At least mine didn’t leak!

Angel Morgan 1 year ago

Oh my gosh! Other people have pit fall out! Thank goodness! Also very thankful that mine didn’t lactate!

Lynae ‘Granzow’ Kibiger 1 year ago

Omg! Never knew and yes thank you, although my pregnancies weren’t easy, I feel glad I didn’t have this!

Lynn ElectricRainbow Cantu 1 year ago

Why is this a thing omg….

Gina Dickey 1 year ago

This is why I had to stop breastfeeding…I couldn’t even lower my arms to my sides :/ dr said I could remove the breast tissue but insurance doesn’t cover elective surgery. Oh the fun stuff we moms go through!!

Lindsey Hoopes 1 year ago

My dr told me itd go away and my son turns one next week.

Megan York Parker 1 year ago

Great rack photo!

Lisa Marshall Alvarez 1 year ago

Hilarious read! Who knew?!

Courtney Staton 1 year ago

The left side is slightly smaller, and much so do to lifting my arm. Mine don’t leak, but do get engorged. Kind of goes away after weaning. But- it’s always bothered me. When I’m done with kids it’s lift, implant and removal of this stuff

Dianne Foster Fagan 1 year ago

Omg … Bizarre but she has an amazing sense of humor.

Christina Stepnitz Crise 1 year ago

I really love her attitude about this!

Angie Perez Marshall 1 year ago

I didn’t have the extra mammary glad, but I did have a little tiny mole in my armpit before children. Now, two kids in it looks like a giant 3rd nipple. I can’t wait to have it removed!!

Rebecca Morris 1 year ago

I just had my third boob removed on Dec 12! I still have swelling and the doc said it could take up to 4 months to look normal. So glad to know I’m not alone!!!

    Kristine Marie 1 year ago

    I was just at the doc yesterday trying to decide if I should have it removed or not. I didn’t leak but it swelled like all hell. How bad was having it removed?

    Rebecca Morris 1 year ago

    It wasn’t a long surgery, but to be honest it took me longer than I thought to recover. About 2 weeks. It doesnt seem like a big deal but it affected me moving that arm and that made an impact. I dont regret it or a minute though- Im so happy I took care of it- having my third boob was painful and now it’s gone.

Lauren Zimmerman 1 year ago

Oh that’s lovely

Sharmina Zaidi 1 year ago

Holy smokes!!

Maria Young 1 year ago

I also have breast tissue in my armpits… I never had smelly armpits but now that I’m breast feeding my pits stink lol.

Dizzie Babar 1 year ago

Lol, that was an awesomely intriguing story.

Denise Romeo 1 year ago

Omg

Ashley Cotton 1 year ago

OMG that happened to me!! I honestly thought it was a tumor

Sarah A. Clarke 1 year ago

Amazing!

Leslie Stallings 1 year ago

Oh man!

Miranda Leigh 1 year ago

Yes!! Happened to me after Kira!

Jacqueline Shutts-Pineda 1 year ago

Haha. After feeling disgusted over my post fourth baby body, I can say i am really glad that I don’t lactate from other areas of my body. Lol.

Rachel Reichley 1 year ago

Great story and love your humor!! This really happens to alot of women!!

Sue Seccurro 1 year ago

Well written! Hope all your babies are well and have the sense of humor lke mom! CONGRATS on being a wonderful mom!

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