The human body is full of surprises! Which is not great! Pregnant women know more than anyone, that your body can surprise you in the most mysterious ways. The internet recently learned about a horror that plagues new mothers: “pitties.” Pitties are lumps or swelling in the armpits that occur when breast tissue from breast milk becomes engorged.
On the fateful date of April 19, a tweet changed the world.
A Twitter user shared the image of an anonymous woman with engorged breast tissue that extended into her armpit. The image had originally appeared on the Legendairy Milk Instagram account. Along with the image, the tweet contained a comment on the image.
“This exact thing happened to me. When I pressed on my armpit, milk would seep out of it,” one woman wrote. “It was borderline traumatizing with my first. Second I found it hilarious. I called them my pitties. My kids still [call] their armpits their pitties.”
“Pitties” was born.
A few women shared similar experiences with the condition.
In the original post, the person who shared the image captioned it:
“Breast tissue can extend into the armpit and it has a special name, ‘the Tail of Spence.’ During engorgement or at the beginning of lactation, you may notice lumps and swelling in your armpits. It’s also possible to have extra breast tissue that is not connected to the breast both in the armpit and in other areas of the body. This ‘accessory’ breast tissue can also increase in size and/or produce milk. Has anyone else experienced this?”
“That’s an armtit!” one person wrote.
“Me. I was so freaked out! I was even LACTATING from my armpit. One of those crazy pregnancy things no one tells you about!!” another woman added.
“This was one of my first pregnancy symptoms before my positive test. They weren’t as big, but they hurt so much!” another added.
While the comments were good-natured on Instagram, they were rather frantic and panic-stricken on Twitter.
“Reason #87 on why kids will not be coming out of my body,” one person wrote on the Twitter thread.
“Everyday i see something bizarre about pregnancy,” a person commented. “Is this a sign Lord?”
“So pregnancy is cancelled,” another commenter agreed.
While some lost their minds, others pointed to a lack of education around pregnancy.
“Just what I needed to see just had my baby less than a week ago and I have this under my armpit plus painful engorged breasts…thanks for the info though. I now know what exactly it is,” one person wrote.
“People have been getting pregnant and having babies for too long for there to be so much we don’t know [about] pregnancy,” a commenter pointed out. “At this point, I’m convinced it’s intentional cause the more I learn the less I’m down with pregnancy.”
“[It] baffles me how little I know about what happens to the female body with the whole process of growing a child in us and giving birth,” a woman tweeted. “I’m a woman and even [though] I [am] nowhere near having kids, [it] scares me with how little things like this is talked about.”
What do the experts say about pitties?
CafeMom spoke to a couple of experts about the condition. Ashley Georgakopoulos, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, told the outlet that the condition only occurs in a small percentage of women.
The expert referred to the pitties as “accessory” mammary tissue that “is not connected to the rest of the breast tissue network for proper milk release.”
She continued, saying it’s a “normal development, following under the same phenomena as third nipples or lack of an areola.”
Speaking of third nipples…
CafeMom also spoke to another International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Leigh Ann O’Conner who said that some women even develop small nipples in the armpit.
“In rare cases, mastitis can develop but that is not so common,” she said.
“I have them use ice to reduce swelling and sometimes a poultice of herbs such as peppermint or sage,” O’Conner explained.
While the tweet about pitties was meant to be funny, we actually learned something!
The condition is rather shocking and it’s no surprise that something that looks so strange would blow up on Twitter. While it was clearly published for laughs, we actually learned a lot about a not so uncommon condition.
There are so many mysteries when it comes to pregnancy and that one post on Instagram by Legendairy Milk helped a lot of moms identify a similar experience.