Breast Development

A female's breasts begin to grow around age of 10-12 and they continue to grow till she is about 16-18 years of age. (Click here to see breasts in different stages of development both the front and side views)

Since breast development is dependent on hormonal levels, fluctuations in hormones can affect breasts.

  1. Hormonal fluctuations before menstruation can cause the breast to swell and become painful or lumpy. After menstruation the swelling and the lumps may disappear.
  2. When a woman becomes pregnant, ducts and glands in her breasts enlarge. To support these enlarged glands, there is even increase in the fatty tissue leading to increase in size.
  3. Once the baby is born, hormones in the mother's blood start the milk production (lactation). Baby's sucking also stimulates milk production.

Male breast do not develop likewise as the female pattern of hormones is not present in males.

Selection of the right bra for yourself/ your daughter


Development of a women’s breast begins during puberty.

The preadolescent breast consists of a small elevated nipple with no elevation of underlying breast tissue.

Around 11 yr of age (b/w 8 and 13) secondary sex characteristics appear and breast buds appear, and further enlargement of breast and areolae follows. Click here for the five stages of breast development.

Sex Maturity in Girls: Breast
Changes in the Breast: Pregnancy
Changes in the breast: Elderly