The development of your breasts is normally one of the first stages of puberty. It can also be one of the most difficult to deal with as it is a physical sign generally obvious to the world and not something you can hide or keep private. Understanding what’s going on and wearing a good bra will help you to feel more confident about your changing shape.

Before puberty, you will have a flat chest with two small, darker-coloured circles on either side of your chest; these may be coloured anywhere from pale pink to dark brown. Although they are generally called nipples, they are in fact made up of two parts; the nipple is the slightly raised part in the centre of the areola.

At puberty, a breast bud will start to grow; it will feel like a little lump, and can sometimes be a little sore or tender, even itchy. This is normal. It is also normal for the breast buds to be different sizes as they are growing. As the breast buds continue to grow, they will make your nipple and areola rise up; the nipple and areola will begin to look a bit puffy and gradually the whole area will begin to swell. When your breasts first begin to grow, they grow forwards. As they continue to grow, they will gradually widen sideways into a more adult shape.

Breast development – like everything else – varies. On average, it takes four years for breasts to reach their full adult size; it can be less and it can take up to eight years. The process is not necessarily continuous and can stop and start. It is also quite common for your two breasts to be different sizes or shapes. Most women are not symmetrical.

Breast size, shape and appearance varies considerably between girls as you are growing, and just as much between women once you are adult.


Buying your first bra can a significant moment in your life; some girls really look forward to it but you may find the whole process utterly embarrassing. (more…)