32 answers

Small, Painless Lump in Armpit: Breastfeeding Mom

While I was showering today, I discovered a pencil eraser-sized lump in my armpit. I've had strange lumps there before that somewhat hurt and that would go away while nursing, but this time, it doesn't hurt. It's significantly smaller (and different in consistency), and it's not going away, either. Has anyone ever had this happen? Should I be alarmed? Is this common while breastfeeding?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I did what most everyone suggested: I got it checked out. I ended up having to have an ultrasound on it (this morning), and so far, they're saying it's just a harmless cyst. They've told me if it's still around in a month, I need to follow up with my CNM (Certified Nurse-Midwife). So, all is well! Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I had the same problem and I was devastated cause I thought the worst. I went to the dr and it was just an elnarged lymph node. No big deal and it went away...

I had one of those also. I waited to see what happened and it got bigger. So I went to the doctor and he put me on antiobiotics. I was told that if it didn't go away I was to go back and see him. It went away after the first 3 days on the medicine.

Hi J.!
Definitely go see you OB-GYN. It could be nothing or it could be MANY different things. Dont let anyone tell you: "Oh, I had that, its nothing." I work for a breast specialist in Arlington Heights so let me know if you have any more questions. Hope I helped!

More Answers

I'm not a doctor, but from my experience, most likely it's a clogged milk duct. It happened often when I breastfed my son, who's now 16 months and was just weaned about a month ago. Usually nursing from the breast with the lump first, a warm compress on the lump before nursing, and massaging in the direction of milk flow helps the lump go away after a few days. I'm not a doctor, but I did have a breast infection once during the first few months of breastfeeding and needed antibiotics. I hope my comments are helpful. Don't be discouraged, though! I found the discomfort to be minor setbacks and the benefits to moms and babies far outweigh the disadvantages!

If you're still concerned I would call your ob/gyn or local La Leche league for some advice.

Hi J., I have the same sort of lump. It's in my pit and painless. I only noticed it when shaving and it's been there a week. I'm breastfeeding too and have my 6 week appt next week. I am interested in what your dr. has to say and will share my dr's diagnosis too.

Here's to our health!

While nursing my first child, I also noticed some small, painless lumps in my breasts. I assumed they were clogged ducts of milk, or just filled milk sacs. One in particular did not go away, and I brought it to my OB/GYNs attention at my 6 week follow-up appt. She went so far as to refer me to a breast surgeon who did an ultrasound of the breast, just to determine that they were "normal" lumps associated with breastfeeding. It did go away when I stopped nursing.

So, just wanted to ease your mind and let you know that in my experience it was nothing . . . but if your lump doesn't go away or you become worried/concerned about it, by all means, bring it up to your doctor. Your peace of mind is what's most important!


I don't think you have anything to worry about, it is most likely just a swollen lymph node. I have hade those before in the same area too. There are a lot of lymph nodes in the armpit area and various things can cause them to become swollen. Just to be safe though it couldn't hurt to see your doctor.


I wouldn't try to worry about it. I had issues with my breasts from breastfeeding with my kids. Had a biopsy done and ultrasound. Thankfully it was all hormonal, but yet very scary. With my first I got discoloration and when I weaned my second I got pea sized lumps. I wasn't relieved until I got medical attention. You never know so please seek medical attention.

Best Wishes,

J., please get it checked out. My friend (not breastfeeding) found a lump in her armpit and assumed that it was just a fibric cyctic lump like her several others. After quite a few months, it became irritated. She went to have it removed, assuming that the doc would just take it out in the office. She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and lived for 5 more months. The doc told her when he gave her the bad news that had she had it checked when she discovered it, she most likely would have been at stage one or maybe 2 and would have lived a long life.

I would definitely mention it at your 6 week check up but I don't think you need to be alarmed. It is probably some type of cyst-I got quite a few when I started nursing. My doc said not 2 worry unless it becomes very painful or keeps getting larger. I hope this helps-the crazy things birth n nursing does to our bodies is amazing! Enjoy your new bundle of joy.

Monitor the lump. See if it goes away shortly. If it doesn't, it is always best to get it checked out. Could have something to do with breast feeding; could be an inflamed lymph node - your body could be fighting some kind of minor illness. Your life has changed so much in the last few months. Make sure you are trying to get enough rest and are eating well; Also, make sure you are asking for help with the baby, housework or any other chore if you need help. It's a great time in your life but it can be overwhelming. Good luck.

I had a lump in my armpit last year, and when it was still there after a couple of weeks, I got pretty worried. I was not breastfeeding at the time however. I made an appoint to have it checked, and the dr felt it was fine... prob just a little cyst.. and sure enough, it went away & has not come back. Get it checked for sure though... always best to be safe. Do it soon, so that if it doesn't go away, they will know if it has stayed the same size or changed any from your intial visit. Good luck... hope it's perfectly harmless.

Believe it or not, you also have breast tissue that is in your armpit. It is perfectly normal for that, while pregnant and nursing, to get enlarged from either an overproduction of milk or just swollen breast tissue. I had multiple issues with my armpits while pregnant and nursing, too many to go into. I would defiantly talk to your OB about it, but it is probably nothing.

Hi J.. I'm a stay-at-home graphic designer too! But, more importantly, I've had a lump in my armpit for about 2 years. I had it looked at while I was pregnant and they did a few tests. The specialist said it was only breast tissue and that I should expect it to get a little larger during the rest of my pregnancy and breastfeeding. I may have to have it removed because it was there before pregnancy and I don't think it will go away after I finish nursing. Mine hurts a little but I'm the only one that can see it (it stands out like a sore thumb to me!).

You might want to see your doctor, just to be sure. I wouldn't take any chances with lumps near the breast. I'm sure it's just extra breast tissue as well.

Good luck / E.

I had similar lumps sometimes when I was breastfeeding. I would massage it when I was in the shower and that usually helped. It is something you could call and mention to your obgyn and get their advice.

i am sure its fine- probably a swollen lymph node but always always go to the dr to be sure

Hi J.!
Definitely go see you OB-GYN. It could be nothing or it could be MANY different things. Dont let anyone tell you: "Oh, I had that, its nothing." I work for a breast specialist in Arlington Heights so let me know if you have any more questions. Hope I helped!

It may be nothing, but I would get to the dr. and have him check it out for peace of mind sake.

I do recall something similar and was advised to lay off coffee or something but with all the visits you probably have with the baby going to the doctor you would probably feel better if you just ask them to check it. Or give you a straight answer. They used to have the LaLeche league,not sure if it is in existence but they were encouraging in the old days tee hee, so look them up and ask them, too. But the doctor is always best for your peace of mind. Not that I always currently follow that advice, but you will be taking baby back and forth so it might be a natural thing to bring up and will make you feel better.

I would suggest seeing your OB/Genie doctor immediately. You never know what the lump means. M.

Yes, I've had that too. (Due to nursing.) I would still get it checked just to make sure all is well.

Good luck!

I am not a medical professional, but if I found a lump that remained more than a couple of days and for sure one that didn't hurt, I would get it checked out immediately. Better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck!!!

Please see your family doctor or obgyn and get paperwork for mammography. It is important to have lump of unknown original checked out by your doctor. The mammography will be read by a radiologist to determine more about the unknown lump. I have been through this process and also through the next step which is breast cancer biopsy. I have very small staple in my breast to mark an area that was found to be benign. It is really important to get the testing and be able to rule out breast cancer or said differently, get speedy followup and attention to it in case it is the beginning of breast cancer.

I wouldn't mess with something like that. Make an appt. with your doctor to get it checked out. It's better to know that it's nothing then to worry about what it might be. Good luck.

Hi J.,
The lumps that don't hurt are the most worrisome. Cancer lumps are small & painless. Blocked milk ducts & swollen lymph nodes do hurt. Go to your OB/GYN ASAP.

Hi there-

I developed this when I was newly pregnant and just watched it for changes. Although, I did mention it to my OB. He too documented it but the pregnancy continued and it didn't get bigger. However, it did go away...briefly. I had to have some antibiotics while pregnant and that seemed to clear it right up so I wasn't worried. After about a year, I decided to go have it checked out by a specialist. Turns out it is an infected sweat gland. So, it's still there and unless it gets worse, I will likely have it forever.

Call your OB. Get it documented as it is likely due to hormones and just watch it for any changes in size, etc. Keep an eye on your breasts themselves. This is my .02. Try not to worry and follow the above steps. Congrat's on the baby and hope this helps.


I would get that checked out, I had/have one in my left armpit and got it checked. It hurt to scratch and even shave. The doctor said it was a cyst, it wasnt cancerous though, when they removed it there were three of them in there! He said that these types of cysts come back and unfortunatly it did! I havent been back to the doctor yet but it is still hurting! But get it checked out to eliminate the cancer scare!!!
Good luck!

I had the same problem and I was devastated cause I thought the worst. I went to the dr and it was just an elnarged lymph node. No big deal and it went away...

Definitely see your Doctor.

Go see your OB/GYN to get the lumps checked out. There are lymph nodes in the armpit area. It could signal something simple as an infection of some sorts (like a blocked milk duct or mastitis) or something more serious as breast cancer. So please go get checked. Better to be safe!

Don't be alarmed, it will only stress you out & you don't need that:) But do go to your Dr. and have it checked out, don't wait, it's probably nothing but the sooner you have it looked at the better.

Could be nothing and go away right?, but wouldn't you feel better to have a professional opinion. Better safe than sorry! I would get it checked out by your doctor.

ALL lumps need to be checked out by a doctor! But I should also tell you that I had one and it turned out to be a cyst.

Scary though. Please get it checked soon!

Please call your doctor today! It may very well be nothing, but it is never wise to take a chance with a breast lump, and it is never wise to wait. Better to be told that it is nothing to worry about, than to wait and regret doing so. I assure you, your doctor will not make you feel silly for calling, and will probably get you in right away. Please call!

I had one of those also. I waited to see what happened and it got bigger. So I went to the doctor and he put me on antiobiotics. I was told that if it didn't go away I was to go back and see him. It went away after the first 3 days on the medicine.

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