Myths about breast size and development
A pediatrician explains breast growth
There are a lot of myths about breast size and development. It can be hard for a young girl to know what to believe and she often has questions that go unanswered about her growing breasts. Breast growth happens over the many years of puberty.
The first sign of breast development can begin as early as 8 years or as late as 14 years. Once breast growth begins it can be expected to continue through all the stages of puberty up to age 19. It is normal for one breast to be larger than the other, for one breast to begin growing before the other and to have mild breast tenderness as the breasts grow.
Breast growth is caused by hormones acting on the breast tissue with growth of milk ducts and fat tissue. Final breast size is influenced by a girls hormones and her genetics. Bras can be worn for comfort as soon as breast development begins, but a bra is not necessary for breast growth. Bras do not affect the final breast size. A "training" bra is just a name there is no active training that the bra does. There is nothing that can speed up or slow down breast growth.
Remember that every girl develops at a different time and rate and that there is no normal for breast development. Questions about puberty and breast development are perfect topics to talk to your pediatrician about at your well-child exams as early as age 8 or 9.
Vanessa Charette, M.D., has been a pediatrician at Cook Children's for 10 years and is located in Fort Worth. Dr. Charette embraces the many components that contribute to health nutrition, physical activity, emotional, psychological stresses and the environment. As your pediatrician she will spend time with you discussing nutrition, child development and take the time to address any concerns you have about your child's health.