Montgomery glands

What are these bumps on my areolas?

Areolas have small bumps known as Montgomery glands. They produce oil that keeps the areola healthy, and they produce an odour that attracts the baby. Montgomery glands rarely cause problems, but larger ones can produce tenderness when a mother starts breastfeeding, and they may also become infected.

A) Describing Montgomery glands

Montgomery glands are the nodules on the top half of the areola.

The areolas have small bumps known as Montgomery glands which are about 1 to 2 millimetres (1/16 inches) wide. They number between 1 and 15 per areola and increase in size during pregnancy (Schaal 2006).
Montgomery glands are secretory glands. They make compounds whose smell attract the baby. They can sometimes produce milk and even leak (Schaal 2019; Smith 1982).

B) Problems caused by Montgomery glands

Prominent Montgomery Glands

Problems related to the Montgomery glands are infrequent. Occasionally a larger gland can be tender after the baby starts breastfeeding, but this quickly disappears.
The glands may become infected but this is rare.


Schaal B, Doucet S, Sagot P, et al. Human breast areolae as scent organs: morphological data and possible involvement in maternal-neonatal coadaptation. Dev Psychobiol. 2006 Mar;48(2):100-10
Schaal B, Doucet S, Soussignan R, et al. The Human Mammary Odour Factor: Variability and Regularities in Sources and Functions. In: Buesching C. (eds) Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 14. 2019; Springer, Cham
Smith DM Jr, Peters TG, Donegan WL. Montgomery's areolar tubercle. A light microscopic study. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1982 Feb;106(2):60-3