YOUTH

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.

Pain?

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.

Lopsided?

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 arenormal, 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.  

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Tags: 
breast development, breast bud, breast size, breast pain, breast growth

Comments (168)

  • anon

    This really helped me not worry about my breast size I didn't start growing breast buds until 5 mo this ago

    Jan 30, 2016
  • anon

    Yeah I was so worried but now I feel better

    Jun 04, 2016
  • anon

    OMG MY BREAST HURT WHEN it HIT THEM BY MISTAKE AMD THEY WOULD HURT SO I WAS LIKE, OMG SOMTHING IS WRONG WITH MY BREAST!!!!!

    Jun 28, 2016
  • anon

    im 8. this is a big help because i didn't know what it was until now

    Aug 02, 2016
  • anon

    This helped me too and I'm 9

    Nov 10, 2016
  • anon

    im 10. This helps so much as i am going through puberty

    Nov 30, 2016
  • anon

    Same thing I'm 10 and during September I started getting bumps inside of my boobs. Thanks for the talk.

    Dec 07, 2016
  • anon

    I'm 9 years old, my breasts are budding but, not like that fully budded I'm already wearing some bras because I'm a little cautious about them like just um... POPPING OUT. This really helped me.

    Mar 17, 2017
  • anon

    Me too! I am eight and a half and i found a bump on my nipple in the middle of the night and asked my mom what it was and she sent a email for this website!

    Mar 30, 2017
  • anon

    I'm 9 and just before my birthday I felt and got really worried but when I saw this it helped me calm down.

    May 03, 2018
  • anon

    I'm ten in two days and im glad this is normal because I was worried.

    Jul 02, 2018
  • anon

    thank you so much. I'm 13 years old and I was begging to worrie I had breast cancer because my "buds" were hurting, but now I know it's just part of growth!❤️ tysm

    Aug 20, 2016
  • anon

    Same Hannah I'm 13 too and I go to my mom "I think I have breast cancer" talk about embarrassing

    Oct 12, 2016
  • anon

    This has helped me lots ! I'm twelve years old my breasts started growing when I was about 10 and I was starting to really worry that I had breast cancer because of the bids! But thank you so so much for this it has helped me stop worrying about the buds in my breast and aswell I though that it was weird to only have buds in one breast like I have but now I know it's perfectly normal xxxxx

    Oct 23, 2016
  • anon

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. My buds were hurting and I didn't want to tell my mom because i didn't want to worry her if I had breast cancer. I feel a lot better now that I know my breasts are just having another growth spurt.

    Dec 23, 2016
  • anon

    thank you so much. I'm 13 years old and I was begging to worrie I had breast cancer because my "buds" were hurting, but now I know it's just part of growth!❤️ tysm

    Aug 20, 2016
  • anon

    Yeah, me too! Last night i was putting on my pjs and while taking off my tank top i had noticed one lump. I started to worry i had breast cancer! This heled so much!

    Jan 28, 2017
  • anon

    This helped me so much!! I was worryingly that I had breast cancer because I had a bud and it started to hurt! This was so so so so helpful ;)

    Nov 13, 2017
  • anon

    I'm 10 Mine just started to bud and they hurt I thought this was unusual but all girls go through it so I'm not the only one this was a big help thx

    Sep 15, 2016
  • anon

    I'm 19 to I was worried about it to but now I'm relieved this text really helped me THNX

    Jan 11, 2017
  • anon

    I am ten too, I also thought mine were cancer. This helped me a lot. I am glad it is just a normal part of growth, but it hurts!

    May 04, 2017
  • anon

    I'm 13, and my breasts have not developed like the other girls I know. But this has helped me not to worry too much.

    Oct 02, 2016
  • anon

    Mine haven't grown yet and I'm 12, I I'm the only person in my class who hasn't grown breasts yet, I have the bud but they won't grow its been 3 months now someone help.

    Nov 09, 2016
  • anon

    Same here! but Don't worry, everybody develops at a different time and plus your only 12! you've got at least 4 years until you really need to worry.

    Jun 01, 2018
  • anon

    Same

    Nov 24, 2016
  • anon

    Same...I’m 13 and my breasts haven’t started developing yet and I’m the only one that’s “flat” out of all my friends so this helped a bit

    Dec 04, 2017
  • anon

    Same here.I am 12 and i started budding last december.Until now my breasts have not grown.

    Dec 08, 2017
  • anon

    To any late bloomer out there u will be fine. I am petit and 14. Haven't even had my period yet. I have been poked and tested. Sometimes it's hereditary and sometimes it's not. Everyone is different and will develops differently over time. No need to be self concious or worried it will all work out !!

    Oct 28, 2016
  • anon

    Yay! I'm not the only late bloomer. I'm 14 I'm not petite( 145 lbs and 5' 10" with perfect BMI ) and I haven't had my period, so the Doc. has poked me and given me a million tests ( including some embarrassing ones) ;)and acted vary worried until she found out that my mom had her period at 18! any way I'm supposed to be 6' 1" when i'm 16!! but I'm glad i'm not the only late bloomer

    May 10, 2017
  • anon

    I agree with you. I thought I had breast cancer but I don't thankfully.To me this was a HUGE help ive had breast buds for the past 2 or 3 months.im 11 years old.People call me flat I HATE IT.

    Jan 30, 2017
  • anon

    Thnx so much I am 12 and i started growin Brest when I was 11 and so I woke up this morning vary sore and it hurt when I touched it and there was lumps so I showed my twin sis who started growing brests a little latter then me what is going on and she just laughed and it was so ackward so I was starting to get a little sacred if it was like cancer because my grandma had it so then I thought it can't start the young but once I got to my bed at night I started to look up why it hurts so much and I found out not to werie and it is normal thank you from a 12 year old girl laying in my bed hurting lol

    Jun 05, 2017
  • anon

    it helped me to i hit puberty at 8 i'm 11 know and my breast have grown a lot like they are the size of water balloons know talking to my mom is really helping as i am going through it but this site really helped also girls or boys if you bloom late or early it does not matter if you have bumps lumps don't worry its normal! just feel good about your self ! everyday all day annndd follow your dreams

    Nov 18, 2018
  • anon

    This website helped because I thought that the knot in my breast was very dangerous

    Feb 11, 2016
  • anon

    I seriously thought that it was cancer! I'm so relieved.

    Mar 07, 2016
  • anon

    OMG THAT HELPED SO MUCH I LITTERLY THOUGHT IT WAS SOMETHINF ELSE!!! Thanks you God!!!!!!

    Apr 18, 2016
  • anon

    Yeah same! As I was reading I was relating to everything the text had said!!!

    Sep 25, 2016
  • anon

    same with me!!

    May 04, 2016
  • anon

    I thought the same too! I was so worried but then I looked online. I was so relieved.

    Jun 24, 2016
  • anon

    I can't believe I wasn't the only one! I'm so relieved know that I know what it is.

    Aug 17, 2016
  • anon

    yeah same :) its relieving. this is first time ive shared with ppl. it feels nice that people dont know you so it cant become mockery in front of bullies at school or whatever, and be made in to a big public scene

    Nov 27, 2016
  • anon

    I was FREAKING OUT! Phew! Thank you website!

    Jul 24, 2016
  • anon

    I was FREAKING out and I'm sooooooooooooooo relieved now. Thank you!

    Jul 24, 2016
  • anon

    Ikr!! I was terrified

    Aug 06, 2016
  • anon

    I thought so too but this helps. The bid in my breast is bigger than a blueberry though but now I'm not worried about it they hurt a lot though

    Apr 18, 2016
  • anon

    Same i was so relieved

    Jul 08, 2016
  • anon

    Same for me! I was so worried about breast cancer, but now that I've read this, I feel kind of silly. I was worrying too much. This really helped!

    Jul 15, 2016
  • anon

    My breasts started to bud in October, and I am 12 years old. I was the last one of my friends and I was wondering if it was ever going to happen! When it did I had a chat with my mum and for Christmas I got 2 training bras! Yay. I was just wondering... Can I ask for more because at school I never have enough because they need washing xx Lea

    Feb 22, 2016
  • anon

    Hi leah so yes you can ask for more bras and it is normal to grow out of them or to need more of them i recommend at least to have 5 for school each day and wash them

    Apr 13, 2016
  • anon

    I would ask her. It is never bad to have to many bras than too little. Target sells very inexpensive sports and training bras with very good support. But make sure to take the pads out of sports bras when you wash them, because they will be mangled and ruined. Also, make sure you read the care and washing instructions so you don't ruin any bra you buy. Hope that helped!

    May 03, 2016
  • anon

    This might sound strange but is they're a way to stop them growing any larger perminataly as its hard finding the right bra as it is.

    Feb 24, 2016

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