Breast Development

Posted on 2013-06-09 22:00:32

Breast development in humans is a critical development during adolescence. Breast in human develop fully even before they are needed to nurse their offspring. Normal breast development in humans occurs in various stages beginning with before birth, at puberty, during pregnancy, lactation, weaning as well as during menopause. Basically, breast development starts during foetus development, which starts with the thickening in the chest area known as mammary ridge. By the time a female baby is born, nipples and the beginning of milk duct system are formed. The breast bud stage follows where the breast and the nipple are slightly raised as fat tissue and milk ducts begin to form. At puberty, breast development takes full course. In the early stages of breast development during puberty, oestrogen is the hormone that facilitates the development, resulting to deposit of fat in the breast, and growth of milk ducts. This is when the breasts grow bigger in size. Do you have a question about your womanhood?Ask one of our gynecologist today. After the first menstrual period, the ovaries start to produce the hormone progesterone, which causes changes. Progesterone influences the development of milk glands at the tips of milk ducts. This development results to less visible growth in size but is very crucial for breast development. The entire process of breast development starting from the bud stage until the pubertal development is over takes approximately 3-5 years or almost 10 years in some girls. Each month every woman experiences variations in hormones that influence menstruation. Oestrogen which is made by the ovaries during the initial stage of menstruation rouses the growth of milk ducts inside the breasts. The increasing oestrogen levels results to ovulation half way through the cycle, before the hormone progesterone takes over the other half of the cycle, stimulating the growth of the milk glands. These hormones are responsible for the cyclical changes including swelling, tenderness and pain experienced by most women before onset of the menstrual cycle. Some women experience texture change especially the feeling of lumpiness. These are basically the enlarged glands in the breast preparing for a potential pregnancy. Breasts increase significantly in size during pregnancy, because of the enhanced growth of milk ducts and milk producing glands. During adolescence, girls’ breasts are mainly fat, but in pregnancy the fat disappears gradually to allow space for the milk producing system. The areola also enlarges and becomes darker making a huge difference with the surrounding skin. During the last months of pregnancy, breasts start producing the early milk (colostrum) and are hence mature and ready for breastfeeding purpose. After giving birth, the baby should start nursing immediately to receive colostrum for the first days. After a few days, ‘mature milk’ is produced and comes in larger amounts that colostrum. At this point, the woman’s breasts are engorged and at their optimal size. After the baby learns to nurse more, the milk supply reduces to match the demand allowing breasts to return to the size they were before birth. With weaning, the milk glands shrink to almost nothing, causing the size of the breast to decrease correspondingly. Nevertheless, as glands wither up, the body begins to deposit some fat back to the breasts. During menopause, the milk ducts and milk glands shrink and are gradually replaced by fat (just as after weaning). In post-menopausal, some women can experience an upsurge in breast size. Having fat in place of milk makes the breast softer. The connective tissue also becomes loose, making the breasts to sag.