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1. The erectile protuberance at the tip of each breast from which the lactiferous ducts discharge. The nipple projects from the center of the more heavily pigmented areola. Both the nipple and the areola contain small sebaceous glands (Montgomery glands) that secrete a protective oily substance.
SYN: SEE: mammae papilla; SEE: teat
SEE: breast for illus
Assessment: Instructions and demonstrations to help patients examine their own breasts should include inspecting the nipples and areolae for symmetry of shape, size, color, and texture and reporting any sign of retraction or evidence of discharge.
Pregnancy-related: Prenatal instructions about breast-feeding and postpartum breast care emphasize the signs to report promptly to the health care provider, e.g., nipple cracking, inversion, redness, or bleeding.
SEE: breast cancer; SEE: breast-feeding
2. An artificial substitute for a female nipple, used for bottle-feeding infants. Nipple-shaped pacifiers may be used to satisfy infant needs for sucking as a self-consoling activity.