Signs Of Breast Development
The breasts will continue to grow as the girl’s body fat increases during puberty. They become rounder and fuller. The areola (the area around the nipple) may get darker and larger and the nipple may become erect, or stick out.
It’s common for one breast to develop faster than the other. Over time it should even out, however many adult women find their breasts differ very slightly in size. This is completely normal.
Female Breast Developmental Stages
Stage 2 – Buds appear, and breast and nipple are raised. The dark area of skin around the nipple (the areola) gets larger.
Stage 3 – Breasts are slightly larger, with glandular breast tissue present.
Stage 4 – The areola and nipple become raised and form a second mound above the rest of the breast.
Stage 5 – Mature adult breast. The breast becomes rounded and only the nipple is raised.
Breasts During Pregnancy and Milk Production
By the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy, the breasts are fully capable of producing milk. As in puberty, estrogen controls the growth of the ducts, and progesterone controls the growth of the glandular buds. Many other hormones also play vital roles in milk production. These include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, oxytocin, and human placental lactogen (HPL).
Other physical changes happen as well. These include the blood vessels in the breast becoming more visible and the areola getting larger and darker. All of these changes are in preparation for breastfeeding the baby after birth.