Woman lactating from her armpit gets answers from doctors


  • A woman in Portgual developed pain in her right armpit shortly after giving birth.
  • Doctors found a mass that “released a white discharge when pressed.”
  • They later determined the discharge was actually breast milk.

Skim, whole, or armpit?

A woman in Portugal developed pain in her right armpit two days after giving birth.

When the doctors examined her, they discovered a “round, firm” mass that “released a white discharge when pressed,” according to a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Cristiana Marinho-Soares and Dr. Maria Pulido-Valente, who wrote the report, discovered that the discharge was actually breastmilk.

The doctors diagnosed the mother with polymastia, “a condition in which accessory breast tissue develops along the former embryonic mammary ridge,” as the doctors explained in the paper.

Research suggests that it’s extremely rare, but it does occur. Between two percent and six percent of women are born with extra breast tissue, which grows as a result of embryonic development — often in the armpit region — when the cells that become mammary glands form a line from the armpit to the groin.

Usually, this “mammary ridge” disappears as the fetus develops, except for at the sites for the breasts. Sometimes it remains, and additional breast tissue forms.

In some cases, the additional breast tissue may come with extra nipples. However, even without a nipple, it may still be possible to express milk from the tissue.

Source: Sky News

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