My Infant Son Has An Inverted Nipple And My Fiancé Is Freaking Out

shutterstock_109675055My son Holt has one inverted nipple. Because he’s only a few months old, I can make fun of this since he has no idea what’s going on.

I call my daughter into his room, yelling, “Who wants to see a weird nipple?” I’m so not freaked out about this. In fact, I kind of like his inverted nipple. I think that imperfections are what make people perfect. But my fiancé is freaked out about Holt’s inverted nipple and has talked to the doctor numerous times.

I’m like, “Who cares?” I did some research on inverted nipples, because, hey, how many times in your life are you going to get the chance to Google search “inverted nipples”?

This is what I learned. Many babies, both boys and girls, are born with inverted nipples. What happens is the tissue underlying the mammary pit (in your unborn baby) does not proliferate as expected and elevate the nipple and areola. Adhesions at the base of the nipple pull the nipple inward (I have no idea what this all means. All I know is that my son has an inverted nipple, but at least there’s a reason for it and it’s quite common.)

Apparently, as a child’s breasts develop, adhesions may stretch and the nipples will extend. Some children’s nipples begin to extend at the time of puberty. Truly inverted nipples are apparently rare. No treatment is needed (as if I’d take my baby to a plastic surgeon and say, “Um, can you make this nipple look like his other nipple?”)

I’m pretty convinced that Holt’s nipple is going to remain inverted forever, or perhaps, when he reaches puberty it may change. Or may not. That’s years away of course. But, like I’ve said, his inverted nipple really bugs my fiancé. He thinks that he’s going to be made fun of or something when he gets older.

I’m like, “It’s not like he has THREE nipples. Calm the fuck down.” I also say things like, “If he has one inverted nipple and that’s the worst of his problems, then we’re pretty darn lucky.” I also go on to say things like, “If a girl doesn’t like him because of one of his nipples than that’s her loss!” So, yes, my son may never be a nipple model (is there even such a thing?) but was that ever in his future anyway?

Interestingly enough though, a lot of babies are born with inverted nipples and a lot of people are very worried about this. I know because when I did my Google search, I read all the comment boards. “My son is one month old and has an inverted nipple!” wrote one, as if it was the worst thing in the world. Another woman wrote that HER husband was really worried about their son’s inverted nipple. So I’m starting to get the feeling that men are more panicked about inverted nipples than women are?

I also say, “Well, he’s going to have chest hair one day.” Like I said, I couldn’t give a damn about Holt’s inverted nipple, but I have to ease my fiancé’s worries.

God Bless you Holt and your inverted nipple. You are perfect.

(photo: Ermolaev Alexander / Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
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    • Cee

      Well place yourself in your son’s position. If you had an inverted nipple, wouldn’t it make you self conscious about taking off your shirt in front of somebody? As a boy, this can be more problematic because if he feels shy about this, this may hinder him from wanting to join sports or participate in pool parties. But, I guess you won’t know until he grows up and talks about it. I mean, its not the end of the world, but I suggest you don’t brush it off this way if and when he ever approaches you about it. Guys have self esteem issues too.

      • tidbitnipply

        My husband has a third nipple. It’s very noticeable when he has his shirt off. He has always had a sense of humor about it, and was in the habit of showing it off before we got together haha. He never had a problem with girls when he was younger, and it hasn’t ever bothered or grossed me out. I think no matter what your sons quirks, no one should make him feel bad about them. Being different and unique is what makes us special.

      • Chloe

        I would be self concious about it if I didnt have parents with this attitude – that it is no big deal. When people make out like it is a huge issue (and it really isnt) then it becomes something to be ashamed of.
        My son has two inverted nipples! I had a bit of a “huh thats interesting” moment when he was a baby but thats it. Who cares? Perfect nipples really are not high on my list of attributes I wish for for my son.

      • rebecca eckler

        Exactly!

      • Tea

        Eh, my husband didn’t even notice he had one until he was like 17, not only are they hard to spot, but they’re regarded as not a big deal at all for guys anyway. He was a lot more self-conscious about other things that were actually completely normal (Though if an inverted nipple is the worst of your body-image stress, you’re doing well!)

        That, and weird features on guys tend to be conversation pieces and great fodder for joking about yourself. Take it from the albino guy with lots of scars, less body hair than a preteen girl, and child-bearing hips, who’s married to a man-Sasquatch hybrid with Disney Princess hair and stutter. Self-depreciating humor is damn near the language of casual guy interaction, as is good-natured ribbing.

        I’d say Eckler’s handling it well.

    • Not That Rebecca

      I think this is exactly the right attitude. He will almost certainly outgrow it. Or, it will be essentially unnoticeable. Or, it might be noticeable like a small birthmark. Worst case scenario, it is highly noticeable and bothers him and it’s fixed in a minor (covered by healthcare!) procedure when he’s done growing. As you say, may this be worst ailment he ever suffers.
      And, he’s a boy. Inverted nipples can cause trouble breastfeeding, but unless his life trajectory and medical science take very strange paths in the next three decades, that probably won’t be an issue.
      The fiance might want to dial down the concern as your son gets older, though. The one way to guarantee he’ll be neurotic about it is if his dad makes a fuss about it in front of him, repeatedly.

    • Remi

      My ex girlfriend had one inverted nipple too; it was actually kind of cute because when it was, erm, aroused it went from an innie to an outie. Then she got her nipples pierced and it un-inverted all the time. So just tell your fiance if he doesn’t like it, he can always just let him pierce it ;)

    • aileen_t

      Two of my daughter’s toes are webbed together. My ex was really freaked out about it like wanted to have it corrected as early as possible. But, it doesn’t bother her she’s six and goes to swimming lessons and runs around bare foot none of her friend’s care I don’t think they even notice.

    • Gravity322

      I have 3 nipples. The third is a tiny thing that is easily mistaken for a large mole, and hides under my left breast (I’m a DD). Once they found out what it was, past boyfriends found it intriguing…but they never noticed it until I mentioned it.

    • Jessie

      I just Googled inverted nipples, and honestly… I agree with you. Most of the pictures I saw don’t even look all that different from a normal nipple at first glace, it isn’t until you really look at them that you notice there’s something different, so shat’s the big deal? Your fiance should really get a grip, it’s not like the kid was born with an extra thumb or something else highly noticeable.
      Sure, he might get self conscious about it when he’s a bit older in the locker room with the other boys, but only if he’s raised with the idea that his nipple is “weird” and will cause people to pick on him. I highly suggest telling your fiance to cut the nonsense in front of the kid if he’s still freaking out once the boy gets old enough to understand.

      • Jessie

        *WHAT’S the big deal. Not “shat’s”. Wow, there’s a typo and a half for you. XD

    • Bluebelle

      Aw, my brothers have inverted nipples. Well, one has two innies and the other has one innie (that he flicks to make an outie). I have two “regular” nipples (what is regular, anyway? socially expected nipples, maybe). Kind of wish I could do one of those charts you make in middle school science class to figure out the odds of having brown eyes or if someone is able to roll their tongue. How did this happen if my parents both have outie nipples? Where did the recessive gene come from?! /end scientific speculation.

      In any case, my brothers didn’t care about their nipples because we didn’t care about their nipples. A nipple is a nipple is a… nipple is a nipple? Yes.

    • Rissa

      My husband has three nipples(the extra one is inverted and tiny so it actually just looks like a mole.) But its not a big deal. I sometimes tease him about it, but all in good fun.