As your daughter approaches 8-10 years old, she will begin to notice a change in her breasts. This is a great time to teach her about the mammary gland that is forming in her breast.
Use this anatomy figure to illustrates a few key points to her.
- The mammary gland that forms the breast looks a lot like a clump of grapes. The grapes are the gland part and the larger stems that hold the clumps of grapes are the ducts.
- Notice that the ducts become larger and larger as they join together. They eventually all end at the nipple.
- The structure of the ducts near the nipple looks like the face of a clock. Each duct has its own opening into the nipple.
- In the next year or so, she will notice tiny lumps under her nipple. These are called breast buds and they let her know that her mammary gland is forming. Breast buds can show up in both breasts at the same time or in one side first and later in the other side. Both are normal.
- In her breasts, the little glands are very tiny and will stay that way for many years. The change in the shape of her breasts as she matures during puberty is because of fat that collects around the glands.
After your daughter starts having menstrual periods, you can refer back to this anatomy figure to teach her how to do a breast exam each month.