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An Indiana mother was “freaking out” upon realizing her newborn son had grown breasts — which began lactating — at just a week old.
Vanessa Moran of Evansville gave birth to baby Kylan Sherrill on June 1, 2020 — a healthy boy of seven pounds and 13 ounces.
But the 28-year-old hospital schedule administrator soon spotted something strange about him — that his nipples appeared “inverted,” she told Kennedy News.
“I noticed immediately that he didn’t have any nipples,” she said, adding that newborn Kylan also seemed fussier than her previous children. “He was really whiny and cried a lot.”
Over the next few days after birth, his chest appeared to swell “super big” — and eventually out came what a “shocked” Moran could only assume was breast milk.
“I was freaking out — I’d never seen that before in a baby,” said Moran, thinking it could be an infection or “something life threatening.”
Kylan’s worried mom and father immediately visited their family doctor, who diagnosed the baby boy with neonatal galactorrhea, a rare phenomenon in which an abundance of estrogen from the pregnant mother is transferred to the baby, affecting both males and females.
Nicknamed “Witch’s milk” by some, galactorrhea occurs in 5 to 6% of children at some point during infancy, according to an early study of the condition published in the JAMA Pediatrics medical journal. Fortunately, it is neither life-threatening nor permanent.
However, this news was no comfort to Kylan, who would have to endure the pains of lactation for about two months before his hormones stabilized, according to his doctors, and there is no way to relieve it.
“Us women know that when your breasts are full of milk it’s sore, so the only thing I could do was put a warm rag on his chest to try and ease the pain it was causing him and leave his shirt off him for a while,” she explained.
At about six weeks, Kylan’s case of neonatal galactorrhea had cleared up. Now, the 13-month-old is living the life of any other healthy baby.
Said Moran, “I was really relieved and just so happy that he was healthy and happy.”
Now, Moran is sharing Kylan’s story on social media, including a recent series of viral TikTok videos, to raise awareness among other parents who were “confused” by the condition, like her — as well as her 5-year-old son, Isaiah Sherrill, who was particularly “curious.”
“He asked me if Kylan could drink his own milk,” she said, adding that her doctor advised against it, as attempting to relieve the fluid build-up could encourage further lactation and inflammation.
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