Ok, so let’s park what’s going on inside your body for a sec and think about the changes you’re noticing on the outside. The most obvious might be changes to your chest, a sign that you are growing up and becoming a fabulous young woman, and just so you know, those changes? They’re totally normal and all part of the process!
What changes is your body undergoing and what do your need to know about them? Every girl develops at different times, some notice breasts starting to appear as early as 7 years old, while others might be in their late teens. Every single one of you is unique, so first tip; be kind to yourself and second tip: try not to compare yourself with your friends! To help demystify those budding boobs, we’ve put together this handy guide to tell you everything you need to know.
Developing breast buds is one of the first signs of puberty and it’s completely normal to feel awkward and confused about it. They’re basically small raised lumps behind the nipple area.
Boobs, breasts, boobies — we all have different names for them. You may notice them starting to develop two years before your period arrives. They’re made of milk glands, tissue, fat, and muscle and it’s completely normal for one to grow before the other — it can take a few months before the second starts to develop. They can feel tender, especially if they’re accidentally knocked, but that’s normal as your breasts develop over the next few years.
If you feel conscious your breasts are showing through your clothes or they jiggle about when you’re doing P.E perhaps it’s time for a first bra or crop top. But don’t dread it, there’s a huge selection of bra designs and colours to choose from so getting fitted for your first bra might even be fun!
It can be a confusing time though, so don’t be afraid to talk to someone, perhaps a parent, sister or guardian who will understand how you’re feeling. We get that it might be awkward talking to a close relative so you could speak to a friend who’s going through the same thing, they probably feel the same as you.
You’re bound to have loads of questions, so here’s just a few we get asked all the time by people just like you…
Breast buds are the first sign something’s going on …but what the heck is a breast bud?
Breast development, or to give it its technical name ‘thelarche’, starts with a small lump the size of a 10p coin, noticeable under the skin, behind the nipple.
Breast development can start as early as 7 years old, or as late as 15, with the average being around 9-13, so please don’t worry if your friends start developing or wearing bras before you, we’re all different and we all develop at our own pace. It’s not a race!
It’s super common for breasts to grow in spurts and even remain at the same stage of development for a while, from a couple of months to a couple of years. It won’t have any impact on the final size of your breasts, so be patient!
No, breasts can continue to grow for a number of years after your first period’s arrived.
First, take a tape measure and take it around the top of your bust and make a note it of in centimetres (cm). Next, measure on your bust (the fullest part) and then directly under your bust and write them down. There are a few calculators online that you can use to give you a measurement or you could go into a shop’s lingerie department and give them your measurements or even be measured. You don’t have to be naked to do this and you get to shop for a bra straight away!
Because you carry the same genes as your parents, your final breast size will most likely be similar to the female members of your family; mothers, sisters, grandparents or aunts on either side of your family. As breasts contain a large proportion of fatty tissue, your overall body weight will affect your breast size too.
In a word, ‘No’.
Trust us, there’s nothing you can eat or drink that will change your natural breast size. Our best advice? Love your breasts just the way they are! You are truly unique, so embrace what you have!
Absolutely not, no size is better than any other. Your boob size is partly down to genetics, so you’re likely to take after your mum or dad’s side (weird right!) but it’s also true that no two breasts are exactly the same, they might differ in shape and size from one another, even when fully grown.
There are certain times in your life when your breasts will change in shape, for example during pregnancy, when they become fuller. Also, some forms of contraception can have an impact on breast size — it’s a hormone thing.
Not all boys feel this way, but unfortunately the media (magazines, newspapers, movies or TV) have in the past, and sometimes still do, shown fuller breasts as something females should have to be more attractive to males. Of course, we know it’s not true, but for young, impressionable boys who view these images and want to fit in, they often believe this is how they’re meant to feel about breasts, even if they don’t actually care what size someone’s breasts are!
That’s your choice, bras won’t help in the growth or development of your breasts, but they might make you feel more comfortable and less self-conscious in certain situations. Either helping to conceal the breasts, so they’re less visible through your clothes, or reducing the amount of jiggling around when you’re being active.
Most store assistants will understand if you prefer to keep your clothes on when finding the right bra size, they might even suggest your size just by looking at you. They’ll pick out some choices of bra for you to try on, but they’ll want to make sure the bra is the correct fit for your comfort, so will ask to check the under band and cups sit correctly. Don’t worry this will be done in private. They appreciate it’s a daunting shopping trip for teens, so they’ll be discreet.
Most tampons are made from a cotton like material, which is compressed into a small cylinder shape. Tampons are worn inside your vagina to absorb menstrual fluid. There are two different types of tampon, known as applicator and non-applicator and these give you a choice about how you insert them.
Menstrual blood is not the same as the blood you see when you cut yourself elsewhere on the body. Menstrual fluid lines the walls of your uterus and is called endometrium; this is a mixture of blood, tissue cells and natural secretions from the vagina and cervix and is not toxic or harmful in any way.
On average you can menstruate for up to 40 years, with 13 periods each year, that’s a whopping 520 periods in a lifetime! So now you can see why it’s important to understand your menstrual cycle and use the correct products for your flow.
It can look like there is an awful lot of blood being lost but don't worry! You’ll be surprised to learn that for people with an average menstrual flow, no more than 2.5 tablespoons or an egg cup full of blood is released each month.
Menstrual fluid is not always red in colour – it can vary from very light brown to dark red (almost black) and this is perfectly normal. Your period may be lighter in colour at the start or you may only experience a lighter colour on the last couple of days... It all depends on your individual flow!
You may have heard the rumour that periods stop in water due to water pressure, or depending on how cold the water is and therefore you don’t need to use any protection at all. This is NOT TRUE, menstrual fluid is released when the muscles surrounding your uterus contract and they can do this anywhere and anytime, even in water. So make sure you're always protected - a tampon is the best option because it's worn internally.
Don’t flush your used tampon down the loo! Instead roll it up in tissue and pop it in a bin in the toilets or with other household waste.
Breast development can start from the age of 7 -15 with the average being around 9-13, so don’t worry if your friends start developing or wearing bras before you, we are all different and it’s not a competition!
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