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Women > Breasts > Breast Development

A Rite of Passage

Photo right; Typical of a young girl with budding breast. the white area is due to wearing a tiny bikini.

For girls it's an exciting time when breasts finally start growing, but it can also be an anxious time, with lots of worries… like how big will they get, will they look good, and is anything wrong with mine? An early onset of breast development can cause some confusion not only for a girl, but her family and friends as her body begins to take on the appearance of someone several years older, an intellectual and emotional maturing must also take place as she prepares to take on new role in life.

It is also common for girls to begin wearing a training bra; this has nothing to do with breast care or health, it is training for a life in bondage. There is no proof that a bra does any good at all, it is simply a social contrivance and something to spend money on.


Photo right; Typical early development and breasts may not increase in size until pregnancy.

Breast growth occurs as the mammary glands grow in size and volume, this growth is a stage of puberty marking a girls transition toward womanhood which most commonly commences between age 10 and 14.

Genetics play a strong role and girls may anticipate how their breasts may develop by knowing details of their mothers development as well as that other women in the family.  Family references may also indicate the final size and appearance of growing breasts.

But due to diet, lifestyle, genetics, pollutants and other sociological factors,  breast growth and development can begin at any age with girls as young as age 6 or 7 developing breasts, a fact attributed to environmental oestrogens and this is increasingly being seen as normal.
There is no rule as to when breasts should or should not develop, but typically girls will develop in a similar way as their mothers (and other women in the family) give or take a year.  Then on average, it's about two years from the time a girl first begins breast development to the time that she has her first period.

Breast growth is determined during prenatal development and for a girl in the breast-development stage of puberty, female sex hormones (principally estrogens) promote the sprouting, growth, and development of the breasts as the mammary glands grow inside.

Photo right; There is no rule or as to how breasts will develop as here the areola develops before the main body of the breasts which later fill out.

But breast growth can be delayed and may not may not occur until the late teens, and rarely a woman may not develop what are considered proper breasts until pregnant.

Developmental stages

Breast growth begins with tender breast buds which are usually seen as the first sign of puberty.  The timing is determined by one's own inner biology as a girl's body starts producing high levels of female hormones.

stretchmarksBreasts go through stages of growth until full maturity is reached, this is often by about age 17 or 18.

  1. The nipples begin to raise out and become more sensitive.
  2. There is often some discomfort and itching as the skin stretches. This can be relieved by regular self massage using good quality massage oils high in vitamin E.
  3. Breast buds begin developing as the first fat, milk glands and breast tissues grow to cause the breast bud to raise the nipple out from the chest. The areola also gets wider.
  4. Developing breasts sometimes are of unequal size, and usually the left breast is slightly larger. This  asymmetry is transitory and statistically normal to female physical and sexual development.
  5. The breasts, areola and nipples become larger taking on a more adult shape, but they are still smaller than they will be when you are an adult.
  6. Stretch marks are common as the skin stretches to accommodate the growing glands inside. This can be helped by regular daily massage with vitamin E oil, or a high quality oil rich in vitamin E and omega 3 essential fatty acids.
  7. The breasts are often “pointy” as the areola and nipples continue to enlarge forming a separate little mound on the breast. Many girls skip this stage.
  8. The adult stage where the breasts are fully developed. Some girls breasts do continue to grow even after they've reached this stage.

These stages are general to many girls, but many will experience a different growth pattern and the final size of a girl's breasts is generally determined by heredity and can range from very small (A) to very full (EE), and some girls have developed to a D cup by age ten or eleven.

Any growth or significant changes beyond this age may be affected by weight gain or loss, pregnancy and lactation, diet, self care and exercise.

Stretch marks

Photo above right; Stretch marks on the breasts can curve brought many reasons, they can occur during puberty when the breasts are growing too rapidly for the skin to expand all they can stretch as the breast is filling with milk prior to lactation.

Photo right; typical larger breasts on a woman age 40, has three children and always wore a bra.
Later changes 

Breasts will continue to change a little with lifestyle and over time most women experience some sagging caused by many factors including pregnancy and lactation, poor posture, weakening of the skin, weakening of the supportive muscles and ligaments, wearing the wrong bra.

Photo below right; typical result - Age thirty four, two children and rarely wear a bra. My boobs were much bigger during pregnancy and lactation.

Excessive breast growth can occur with weight gain and to help prevent sag, perform regular self care massage along with maintaining a good diet, exercising, avoiding wearing a bra as much as possible and avoiding poison skin care products.
A range of possibilities, click for a larger image.

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to be used for any therapeutic purpose, neither is it intended to diagnose,
prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please consult a health care
professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
While attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information,
The Health Information Network does not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.

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