Montgomery's glands are small glands that surround the nipple and areola of the breast. Montgomery's glands appear as small dots and are usually more obvious in pregnant women. Come on, know more about what the Montgomery glands are and what their functions are, especially during lactation.
The number of Montgomery glands in each woman's breast is generally different. Each side of the breast has an average of about 10-15 Montgomery glands. These glands will usually appear as lumps or small dots around the nipple or areola of the breast.
During pregnancy, the Montgomery glands may enlarge and become more visible. This is influenced by pregnancy hormones that make a woman's breasts change during pregnancy and breastfeeding later.
Some Functions of Montgomery's Glands
The Montgomery glands are a combination of the mammary and oil glands of the breast. The Montgomery glands have several functions, namely:
Lubricates the nipple and areola
Montgomery's glands produce natural oils to moisturise, moisturize, and cleanse the nipple and areola area. This oil also has antibacterial properties that can prevent the growth of infection-causing germs around the nipple and areola.
Support the smooth process of breastfeeding
Montgomery's glands can produce scents that can be detected by the baby's sense of smell. With the aroma, the process of attaching the baby's mouth to the mother's nipple when breastfeeding becomes smoother.
It is this scent that encourages the baby to look for the position of the mother's nipple so that she can breastfeed immediately after birth or during Early Initiation of Breastfeeding (IMD).
How to Maintain the Health and Function of the Montgomery Glands
Montgomery's glands can sometimes become blocked, swollen, and inflamed or infected, especially during breastfeeding. This can cause swelling in the breast and make the nipple and areola area painful.
To prevent this from happening, you need to treat the Montgomery glands in the following ways:
1. Clean the Montgomery glands properly
So that its function is not disturbed, you need to regularly clean the Montgomery glands properly. The trick is to clean the breasts, nipples, and areola regularly with warm water and mild chemical soap.
When cleaning your breasts, avoid using harsh chemical soaps, such as antibacterial soaps or soaps that contain perfume, because they can irritate the breast skin and Montgomery glands.
Using irritating soaps can also strip natural oils and dry out the sensitive nipple area. Although lumps on the glands look like pimples, they are generally harmless. However, do not occasionally squeeze the lump.
2. Use the right breast care products
When the nipple and areola feel sore, dry, cracked, or sore, you can use a cream or lotion specifically for the breast to treat the condition. However, pay attention to the content or ingredients of the product you want to use.
You should use products made from lanolin because they tend to be safer for the breasts and Montgomery glands. Avoid using creams or lotions that contain petroleum, mineral oil, or alcohol, as these can cause the Montgomery glands to become blocked and irritated.
If you are breastfeeding, also avoid creams or lotions that contain vitamin E because they have the potential to cause side effects on the baby.
3. Wear a bra that is comfortable and can absorb sweat
To keep the Montgomery glands functioning smoothly, you can also wear a bra that is comfortable and can absorb sweat. This is to prevent the breasts from sweating a lot and clogging the Montgomery glands.
While breastfeeding, you can use a special bra for nursing mothers or bra pads that can absorb sweat and milk.
4. Apply breast milk
Breast milk is not only good for the baby, but also the health of your breasts. When you're done feeding, you can express a few drops of breast milk and rub it around the nipple and areola to moisturize the area. Breast milk can also keep the area around the Montgomery glands clean and prevent irritation and infection.
When breastfeeding is over, the Montgomery glands will generally shrink to their original or pre-pregnant size. However, the Montgomery glands will sometimes enlarge again just before your period.
With proper breast care and breastfeeding, the function and health of the Montgomery glands can be maintained. In addition, some of the steps above can also be taken to treat cracked or cracked nipples when breastfeeding.
However, if the areola or nipple appears to be severely swollen with breast tenderness, pus or blood is coming out of the nipple, or if you have a fever, you should immediately consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.