A Young Girl's Guide to Breast Development

 By: Dr. Jenny Hobson
The development of the breasts is a very important part of human life. Human females develop full breasts long before they are required to nurse their offspring. In a woman's life, her breasts goes through many changes like changes at puberty, changes during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and during menopause. These changes happen in accordance with her age. Mainly the breast development procedure is a three-phase procedure- lobule development, glandular development and shrinkage of the milk ducts. Between the ages of 10 and 25, lobule development, between ages 13 to 45, glandular development and from age 35 onwards shrinkage of milk ducts takes place.

Breast Development - A Basic Outline

Beginning of breast development

The first development of the breasts begins at about six weeks of fetal development and by the time female infant is born, a nipple and the milk duct system is already formed.

Breast development at puberty

When a girl comes close to adolescence, the outward signs of breast development begin to appear. The secretion of estrogen in the ovaries causes this enlargement in the breasts. Along with this the pubic hair and hair under the arms also appear. The breasts and milk ducts continue to grow and mature with each passing menstruation cycle. There are various changes in the hormones in each and every month. Many of the women experience swelling, pain and tenderness of breasts just before the menstruation. The rate of growth of breasts is not same in all women.

Breast development during pregnancy and lactation

Breast changes are the first signs of pregnancy. In pregnancy the breasts starts swelling, nipples become sore and the areolas become darker in color. By the sixth month of pregnancy breasts become ready to produce milk.

Breast development at menopause

By the age of 40 to 50, the estrogen and progesterone levels start decreasing. Due to this the breasts start losing their shape and appear dehydrated and inelastic. This results in sagging of the breasts.

Early or late breast development

There is no any fix way for breast development and the development of breasts is not in a same manner in all women. In some women breasts start developing at an early age while in some the breast development happens late. Sometimes, even girls of age 7 or 8 years start developing their breasts, while in others it may start only after the age of 12 or 13 years.

Breast Development - A Bit of Advice

Breast development in every girl follows a different pattern. There is no need to feel sad if your breasts have not started developing even at the age of 11-12 years. You can share your feeling with your mother or sisters. You will need to consult a health care provider only in case you have no breast development by the time you become 13 years. When you start growing from a child to an adult, the transition is named as puberty. Your body will go through several changes in this period. The hormone levels in your body will cause the development of breasts and also the menstruation cycle will start in this period itself. The age of puberty is also different in women and it generally depends upon heredity and nutrition.
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