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Thursday, November 29, 2012

SMART Youth Answers: 10 Boobie Questions Answered

Breasts, boobs, boobies, tits, tetas, titties, the girls, knockers, melons--whatever you call them!  They are cause for many questions, concerns--and confidence issues.  Talking about breasts can be uncomfortable.  So we've taken the liberty of offering up answers 10 common concerns young women have about their breasts.

Are my breasts too small/big?

Some people have blue eyes, some people have small noses, some people have large lips, some people have curly hair, some people have blonde hair, some people are short, tall, fat, or thin.  My point is, everyone is unique.  So how can we expect people to look different, yet have the same exact breasts?  Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some women have small breasts and some women have large breasts.  That's just life.  If you feel bad about your size, just remember, the grass isn't always greener on the other side!

Are there exercises I can do to make my breasts bigger/smaller?

When I was in school I remember girls talking about hitting their breasts to make them get bigger...yeah...not only does that sound painful, it's entirely ineffective.  There is very little you can do to change your breast size that doesn't include surgery, but there are some exercises you can do that may change your size.  Losing weight might decrease the size of your breasts.  Firming exercises may change the shape of your breasts, firm them, and make them look larger.  The change will probably not be that drastic or noticeable though.

My breasts feel lumpy, is it cancer?

Breasts are not supposed to be like jell-o, they're more like...tapioca pudding.  Within the breast are glands and fat that make breasts feel lumpy.

When pregnant and breastfeeding women begin to lactate, their breasts become firm and engorged because their glands fill with milk.  This may become painful and can be relieved by self expression or pumping.

What isn't normal is a hard lump that you may find while performing a Breast Self-Exam, which the National Breast Cancer Foundation suggests you do at least once a month.  Hard lumps may be a sign of cancer and should be discussed with your doctor.  Other concerns may be any new lumps in the breast, particularly painful ones, any thick areas, sticky or bloody discharge from nipples, and changes in your skin.

My breasts are not the same size! 

Believe it or not, this is common!  Human bodies are not perfectly symmetrical, so don't get too anxious if one of your breasts is slightly larger or smaller than the other.  However, there are some women who have very visibly different breasts (such as one breast is an A cup and the other is a C).  To help with this, you can buy bras that fit the larger breast and pad the other side with foam or silicone-gel inserts.

My breasts are kind of weird shaped...

I think it's important to keep in mind that bras and clothing greatly alter what our bodies really look like.  All breasts are not spherical and bouncy; they come in all shapes and all sizes.  If you are really self conscious there are bras that you can buy that change the shape of your bust.  In the nude, however, you're just going to have to learn to love your body for the unique wonder that it is. 
My breasts feel kind of lumpy, should I be worried?

What colour are my nipples supposed to be?

The colour of you areola is dependent on the colour of your skin.  Paler people will have pink toned areolas, people with darker skin tones with have tan to brown areolas.  The colour can become darker during pregnancy, with age, due to hormonal changes, and because of certain medications--including birth control pills.  

I have little bumps around my this normal?

The tiny bumps (known as Montgomery glands) on your areola are not only NORMAL, they're necessary.  It was previously believed that these little bumps aided in breastfeeding, recent studies now explain why.  These little bumps give off a smell to help infants locate the breast when breastfeeding.  The more little bumps a woman has on her areola, the sooner she will lactate, and the faster her baby will gain weight! 

What if I have hair around my nipples?

Hair growth around your nipples is usually normal and an indicator of a change in hormone levels.  Teenage girls, pregnant women, and women going through menopause are the most likely to find hairs sprouting up around the nipple area as their hormones can be completely unbalanced. If this bothers you, you can trim or shave the hair.  It's best not to pluck the hairs because this can lead to painful ingrown hairs and even infection.

A more serious cause for hair growth around the nipple area could be do to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome--or PCOS.  When a woman has PCOS her ovaries generate large amounts of hormones, including testosterone.  The increase in testosterone causes nipples to become hairy.  Other symptoms of PCOS include hair loss, depression or mood swings, heavy vaginal bleeding, and irregular periods.  If you're worried you have PCOS, talk to your doctor for a diagnosis.   

What makes breasts sag and how can I avoid it?

Sagging is a natural process that happens to all women, except those with fairly small breasts.  Sagging occurs due to gravity; breasts do not have muscles, they have ligaments and connective tissue.  Over time the pull of gravity wears on these ligaments and tissue and stretches them.  Physical activity, such as sports, and a bra that provides insufficient support can also lead to stretching, and even tearing of the ligaments.  Other reasons for sagging can be due to pregnancy, menopause, and recent weight loss. 

To prevent sagging you should wear supportive sports bras during physical activity.  The general wearing of bras doesn't necessarily help with sagging though, in fact, frequent use of bras can actually be counterproductive.  Not breastfeeding to avoid saggy breasts is not very helpful either, since it is the hormones during pregnancy that cause breasts to sag and not breastfeeding.

Really there is not much you can do to avoid sagging breasts, except for maybe surgery.  However, there are bust firming exercises that you can do that will work out the muscles above and below your breasts to make them appear firmer and less saggy. 

My breasts are so...ITCHY!

The itchiness may be due to several things.  First, if you're an adolescent, it could be that your breasts are growing.  Your skin can also be dry.  In either of these cases, keep your breasts moisturized with lotion or oil.  I'd suggest all-natural cocoa butter, hemp lotion, goat's milk lotion, or oat meal lotion.  The cocoa butter or hemp lotion will prevent stretch marks from appearing if your breasts are growing (wish I had known this when I was developing!)  The goat's milk or oat meal lotion will really help reduce the itching and dryness.  Another possibility is you need a better bra.  Make sure the bra size you are buying isn't too small and that the fabric breathes. 

If the itchiness is combined with redness it could be that you are allergic to the soap or detergent you are using.  Try natural, fragrance free, or sensitive skin soaps and detergents.  Try easing with cortisone cream and see if anything improves.  If the red area turns to rough scaly patches, go see a doctor.  It could be possible that you have a skin yeast infection.

If you have a question that isn't listed here, feel free to respond to this post or post on our facebook page!

You can also check out 007 Breasts for more info on your boobies!

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