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Is This A Normal Part Of Breast Development?

Published: July 19, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
My breasts are developing and sometimes my nipples swell up and get kind of puffy. Is this normal?
Signed: Is This A Normal Part Of Breast Development?

Dear Is This A Normal Part Of Breast Development?,

Nipples will become raised as part of normal breast development. However, if you feel any pain, notice any discharge from your nipples, notice skin that appears very red or irritated, or you just have some questions or concerns, please check in with your doctor.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Johns Hopkins Medicine offer the following information on Normal Breast Development and Changes:

What breast changes happen at puberty?

As a girl approaches adolescence, the first outward signs of breast development begin to appear. When the ovaries start to secrete estrogen, fat in the connective tissue begins to accumulate causing the breasts to enlarge. The duct system also begins to grow. Usually the onset of these breast changes is also accompanied by the appearance of pubic hair and hair under the arms.

Once ovulation and menstruation begin, the maturing of the breasts begins with the formation of secretory glands at the end of the milk ducts. The breasts and duct system continue to grow and mature, with the development of many glands and lobules. The rate at which breasts grow varies greatly and is different for each young woman.

Female breast development stages:

  • Stage 1: (Preadolescent) only the tip of the nipple is raised
  • Stage 2: Buds appear, breast and nipple raised, and the areola (dark area of the skin that surrounds the nipple) enlarges
  • Stage 3: Breasts are slightly larger with glandular breast tissue present
  • Stage 4: The areola and nipple become raised and for a second mound above the rest of the breast
  • Stage 5: Mature adults breast; the breast becomes rounded and only the nipple is raised
Signed: TeenHealthFX

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