For Teens: Your Journey Starts Now

When your body starts changing, everything feels a little off. But don’t worry, it’s all natural. The first thing you’ve probably noticed is that you’re starting to get breasts. Welcome to the journey! Let’s get you started.

When should I expect my breasts to start growing?

The timing of breast development varies from girl to girl. Most girls begin getting breasts around 10 or 11, but it’s normal for breast development to start anytime between the ages of 8 and 13. In general, it’ll take 4 to 5 years for your breasts to reach your adult size. Your first menstrual period will usually occur 2 to 2 ½ years after your breasts start to develop.

How does it feel to get breasts?

Sometimes your breasts may feel sore when they are starting to develop. You might first notice a small button-like lump beneath your nipple area. That’s called the breast bud. Your breast bud may be a little tender, but, don’t worry, that’s totally normal.

When you start menstruating, it is also common to have sore or tender breasts due to your changing hormones. Breast swelling and tenderness can also be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Be sure to talk to a parent or doctor right away if you might be pregnant. Also, if you ever notice discharge from one or both breasts, tell a parent and call your doctor right away.

How do I talk to my mom about getting a bra?

It can be tough to get up the courage to raise the subject, but if you’re ready for a bra, be brave and just ask. Try to remember your mom went through the same thing when she was a teenager, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about bringing it up. You might say something like, “Mom, I noticed that I’m starting to develop, so I’d like to get a bra.”

Do bras stop your breasts from growing?

Bras shape and position your breasts, but they don’t make them grow or stop growing. A bra can help you feel more comfortable with your two new body parts. Some girls prefer a tank that has a shelf bra inside, while others like traditional bras. The kind of bra you choose won’t affect your breast size.

Can wearing a bra cause breast cancer?

No, bras do not cause breast cancer. Breast cancer happens when there’s a problem with the way cells grow inside the body—and no one knows exactly why it happens. It is important to know that your risk of breast cancer increases as you get older or if other women in your family have had breast cancer.