Breast development is normal when a girl hits puberty, which occurs between the ages of 8 and 13. However, parents are often uncertain when their child starts developing breasts and have no idea how or when they will require a bra.
It is crucial to avoid making your child self-conscious about the development of her breasts. Your little girl may be overwhelmed by the changes at first. To begin, explain to her that breast development is natural for all girls and that she has nothing to be embarrassed about. Be reassuring and help her understand that her breasts will continue to change throughout her life.
It is also important that your daughter understands that every girl’s breast size is different. She may compare with her classmates at school and feel insecure about her differences in size. Let her know that all breast sizes are beautiful, big or small.
Let's look at the three stages of breast development and which bras are best for each stage!
Stage 1: Breast Budding
Breast budding is the first sign of breast development. This is where the milk ducts and fat tissues in the breast begin to rise, causing a small raised bump to appear behind the nipple. The areola also enlarges and gets darker.
Differences at this stage may appear to be little but can cause discomfort and pain in response to gentle touches. This sensitivity is normal and indicates the presence of this stage of budding.
It is most suitable for girls in stage 1 of development to wear a Training Bra.
A training bra is made for young girls who have just started to develop breasts but do not yet fit into women's bra sizes. A training bra may be useful to protect the sensitive growing nipples and prevent chafing during exercise, even if a girl does not require much support when she first begins to develop.
Training bras often come in simple styles and are made with soft, stretchy cotton fibers to allow for further growth of the breasts. They are easy to put on and ideal for a girl's first bra as they will help her adjust to other types of bras in the future!
Not sure where to look? Check out Young Hearts’ Junior Collection and let your little girl pick her very own first bra!
Stage 2: Breast Growth
At this stage, the areolas begin to swell together with the growing of the breasts and puffiness can be seen. Contours of the breasts will become more visible and may initially form a conical shape. Eventually, the breasts will transform into a rounder shape with the further growth of fat tissues.
Stretch marks may appear as pink lines on the breasts and provide additional discomfort but these lines will eventually go away. This is just a result of the skin expanding to fit the developing tissue beneath it. Girls also tend to experience their first menstrual cycle at this stage.
It is most suitable for girls in stage 2 of development to wear a Teen Bra.
Starting to wear a bra now is important to protect the breasts both during and after growth. Bras with good fabric stretchability and padding are more suitable at this stage. Teen bras can offer more coverage as compared to training bras, which helps reduce a teenage girl’s sense of self-consciousness.
Most teen bras come with built-in padding and are wireless for more comfort while breasts are still developing. Teen bras are designed to be comfortable and easy to wear, while offering a more natural look. To allow your girl to modify the length of the straps as she gets older, choose a bra with adjustable straps.
Young Hearts offers a range of teen bras that your girl can choose from!
Stage 3: Breast Maturity
The final stage will take 3 to 5 years, or even 10 years for some women, to develop from the first stage. Your girl is now a young woman. Breasts completely fill and round out by this stage and it is time for her to realise the approximate bra size she will probably keep for the majority of the rest of her life with slight changes due to factors such as weight fluctuations and pregnancy. In addition to being larger in size, mature breasts also begin to recede from the areola, which causes the nipples to protrude or extend above the breast outlines.
It is most suitable for girls in stage 3 of development to wear a Cupped Bra.
It might be time for a cup bra if your daughter feels that her breasts are not sufficiently supported and she experiences discomfort while moving. If she encounters this, it is possible that she won't come to you right away, so be sure to question her about her fit from time to time.
A cupped bra will provide your daughter with the right support she needs. Cupped bras have cup sizes that typically range from AA to E depending on the brand and fit of the bra. They usually come with built-in wire, but wireless options are available too. There is a wide variety of styles that your daughter can choose from our collection!
But before that, you may start by getting your daughter’s measurements. Make sure to try different sizes if they offer a better fit for her regardless of whether they do or do not match the measurements.
Uncertain of your daughter's bra size? See How To Choose The Right Bra to learn how to measure! Alternatively, you may bring your daughter to one of our Young Hearts stores so she can get measured by a professional.
Don’t worry, you’ve got this!
Depending on your daughter’s personality she may desire a bra that looks cute or simply just practical. Let her have fun picking her bras and don't pressure her for anything!
Lastly, remember to be sensitive to her privacy. Your daughter may be proud or embarrassed of her first step to puberty. Do not announce that she is getting her first bra to her siblings or the rest of the family. Keep it between the two of you!
Now that you know which kind of bra to get your daughter, what are you waiting for? Enjoy this one and only experience of buying the first bra with your little girl!
Written By: Yeo Hwee Jun