What to Expect When Your Breasts Bud

Growing breasts is just a normal part of being a girl, but for something so normal, breast development can raise a lot of questions. 

“When will they grow?” 

“When will they stop growing?” 

“Are mine normal?”

From all the questions that girls ask us about breast development, it’s obvious that this part of growing up can be exciting, worrisome, and even annoying – all at the same time! It’s exciting because growing breasts means you are growing up and your body is doing what it is supposed to do. The worrisome parts can be made a lot better by understanding what’s normal and what to expect.  And the annoying part? Well, having breasts takes a little getting used to, but there are some things you can do to make them less bothersome.

 How they start

When your breasts begin to grow, you might not SEE the growth as much as you FEEL it.  Your nipples can be sore or tender to touch.  Often, it’s just one side.  That means things are starting!  

If you notice pain in or behind your nipple, you might also be able to feel a firm bump underneath it. The bump is called a breast bud and it can be as small as a blueberry or a little bigger.  The bump under your nipple will make the dark skin that surrounds the nipple (called the areola, uh REE oh la), look puffy or bigger.  The combination of your nipple, areola and the bump underneath it is called a breast bud. That’s how it all begins – with a bud.


It’s perfectly normal for one or both buds to hurt or feel tender. Once the budding begins, your breasts will go through growth spurts just like the rest of your body does.  As your breasts go through those growth spurts, you will probably have pain or tenderness again. Just like you can have growing pains in your legs, your breasts will have some growing pains too.

If your nipples feel sensitive or raw, make sure you wear soft fabrics over them. Sometimes, even t-shirts can feel too rough against sore nipples.  If your breasts hurt when you run or move, a regular bra can help, but a sports bra can do a better job of holding your breasts snuggly to your body so they don’t jiggle when you’re active. And if they still hurt, it can help to place a warm (not hot!) heating pad or cloth over them.

Even when your breasts have been growing for a couple of years, you might still get some “growing pains.”  And just like you need bigger clothes as your body grows, you need bigger bras as your breasts grow.  A well-fitting bra is important for your comfort, so make sure you get help finding the right fit. Believe it or not, there are actually expert bra fitters in some department stores and stores that specialize in underwear and bras.


It’s also perfectly normal to have a bud on just one side.  Sometimes both of your breasts will “bud” together, but usually, one side starts first, then the other side starts a few weeks to a few months later and catches up in size.  Don’t be surprised if one breast stays a little larger than the other.  That’s normal. Our bodies aren’t exactly the same on each side.  Just like one foot is usually a tiny big bigger than the other, one breast is usually a little different than the other.  Once your breasts are finished growing, they will be pretty close to the same size.

Bumps and Lumps?

When breasts buds form, some girls worry that the knot or lump under the nipple is a sign of breast cancer.  It’s important to know how your breasts grow so you don’t worry.  Breast buds are not cancer, and breast cancer doesn’t happen when you are a pre-teen or teen. In fact, it is very very rare for breast cancer to happen to anyone under the age of 30.

There are other breast lumps and bumps that you might notice as you develop. Some girls will grow small bumps (a little bigger than a pimple) on the areola.  These are glands that make oils to keep your nipples soft.  They are normal, but not all girls have them. 

There may also be smaller bumps (the size of goosebumps) with thick, curly hairs growing out of them.  Some girls, especially those with darker hair, will grow hairs around the areola.  The bumps that the hairs grow out of are called hair follicles, and they are normal, too. Some girls have them, some don’t.

Once your breasts have grown beyond buds, you may find that your breast tissue feels lumpy all over.  And guess what? Don’t worry.  Normal breasts have tiny lumps everywhere. They are made of glands that are tiny, but you can feel them.  You know how cottage cheese has little lumps throughout?  Normal breast tissue is kind of like that – little, soft lumps all over that you can’t see through the skin, but you can barely feel. 

Stretch Marks

During puberty, you will do some pretty fast growing.  Sometimes your body grows so fast that your skin has trouble stretching fast enough to keep up. When that happens, you might see “stretch marks.”  Stretch marks start as red to purple lines on the skin, and eventually fade to a more natural skin color.  They are most common on breasts and hips.  You can’t totally stop stretch marks, but a bra that fits well can help prevent them from being worse. 

Early and Late blooming

It’s normal for breasts to start growing as young as eight years old or as late at twelve. If you’re on the young side, it can seem like they are growing too fast, too soon.  Just because you develop early doesn’t mean your breasts will keep growing and be giant.  And if you are the last one of your friends to grow breasts, it doesn’t mean they will be small.  Breast size is determined by what you inherit from your mom’s family and your dad’s family, not by your age. The timing of your development also depends on your ancestors. Either way, being the one of the first or last to develop can feel awkward.  

With all this growing and changing, it’s important to remember that your body knows what to do and will do it at the right time for you.  Throughout your preteen and teen years, you will continue to grow and change shape.  Remember that you will grow on your own schedule and you will have your own unique look and shape. Do your best to trust your body and take care of it so it can help you accomplish lots of great things. 


Nura Friday, 17 May 2013

hey, I'm 17 turning 18 and I got my period when I was 15(almost turning 16) I've got some hard bumps around my nipples and it really hurts when you touch it. Is it normal as my breasts are still growing?

tiana Friday, 15 August 2014

I get the same thing but I'm 10

linmarie Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Yes me too

Nura Friday, 17 May 2013

oh, and you can't see it but feel it.

DrHolmes Friday, 24 May 2013

Hi, Nura. Small bumps around your nipples can be something normal, like Montgomery glands or hair follicles (mentioned above), but those shouldn't be painful. If a bump is painful, it could also be an infected or irritated hair follicle or gland, a pimple, or a cyst. If it hasn't gone away in a few days, and it is painful, you should check in with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.

Aimee Saturday, 15 June 2013

hi , I'm 14 and have already had breast buds , I believe recently my left bud has spurted and the breast is starting to grow , but in my right I can't feel the bud any more . I am worried now that because it was there and now isn't that it might not come back and won't grow ? I haven't got my period yet , do I need to see a doctor? HELP!

DrHolmes Thursday, 20 June 2013

Once your breasts start to grow, the hard knot (which is the "bud") will disappear, but your breasts will continue to grow probably through your mid to late teens (depending on when they started and the size breasts you are "dealt" by your genetics (ancestors).Just like one bud can show up before the other. One can disappear before the other.

Alex Sunday, 23 June 2013

I'm 12 and i had the same problem :/ First I had one and then the other bud was like devolping and then a few weeks later both were gone! I got real scared. All my friends had boobs and i was plain flat chested. But dont worry both breast buds will come back soon . Before i was so worried about not having them and now i have.them and dont want them. Oh gosh. Now im getting cramps and back pains (I dont have my period) and all i know now is im gonna be a big girl. I'm not excited.

cathyn Saturday, 14 March 2015

me too

Sarah Friday, 24 May 2013

My mom doesn't notice my nipples showing through clothes, what should I do? I checked other places, too.

DrHolmes Thursday, 20 June 2013

Hi Sarah, Your mom might just be waiting to see if you are bothered by your nipples showing through your clothes. Sometimes, Moms don't know whether to say anything or not. They don't want to mention something that might make you self-conscious (especially if it doesn't bother YOU). It might be a good idea to mention it to her. You can ask her if she's noticed. Let her know YOU'VE noticed and would like to get a bra. I bet she'll be happy to help.

Crazy girl Thursday, 17 April 2014

I let my mom know and she freaked out my best advice is to show her this website and explain what's happening with your body

joolya Wednesday, 25 February 2015

tell her that

anonymus Tuesday, 28 May 2013

thank god for this! I have buds they are quite big and I get a lot of growing pains almost every night but they don't grow I am at one of the smallest bra sizes and im 16 next month do you think they will grow?

Tori Saturday, 21 June 2014

yes I think you just got to give them some time. :) you just got to be patient. it takes time.

Deborah Saturday, 01 June 2013

I live with my dad and i dont really want to ask him But How long will it be that when I touch or bump my nipples that they hurt? They're fine when I'm just laying down or walking but they also hurt when I run.
Thank you for your help. Oh. I'm 13 and my buds are like the size of kind of flattened golf balls. I have only had them about three weeks. They were like pea size about six months ago.

DrHolmes Friday, 21 June 2013

The good news about breast buds is that the pain goes away usually after a few months. It may come back from time to time, but it's definitely the worst during the early "budding" phase. For now, you can definitely help them feel more comfortable when you are active or running by wearing a snug fitting bra, like a sports bra. It's fine to wear a sports bra every day until they are feeling better. And, I know it's awkward to ask your Dad about "girl stuff," but Dads know more than you think - even about girl things, and if they don't know the answer, they're usually pretty good at finding someone who does. Hope this helps!

Angel Tuesday, 18 June 2013

I just found a lump the size of a golf ball under my 10 year old left nipple she said it had been there for a couple months and there's nothing on the other side how do I know if its breast cancer

DrHolmes Friday, 21 June 2013

Hi Angel, if it's her breast bud, the bud on her other side should show up within a few months of the first one. It's quite common for one side to bud before the other. However, having one breast bud the size of a golf-ball with nothing on the other side can be worrisome - for you and for your daughter. Your best bet is to see your doctor for an examination. Breast cancer is not likely (in fact it's extremely rare before the age of 25), but it's always best to see your healthcare provider when something doesn't seem right to you.

Amy Saturday, 21 June 2014

Ive been wondering the same thing!! my 10 yr old has the same exact thing!! I talked to her doctor
and made her a apt. he said its just budding. its very uncommon for 10 yr preteens or teens to
get breast cancer, actually he said its uncommon for people under the age of 30 to get cancer.
I hope this helps!! -Amy

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