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!
M.

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!

J.,

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.

J.

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,
B.

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.

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