Ask Dr. Marla: What do I do with my 12-year-old asking for a bra?
By Dr. Marla Shapiro
on June 13, 2013
daughter is asking
me for a bra. I’m
not sure what to
do. Please help.
This is a question that really
speaks to your daughter’s self-esteem. Age 12 is
a typical time for a girl to ask for a bra and for
me, if she is asking, then the answer is yes. It
is terrific she feels comfortable talking to you
about her changing body and needs. So-called
training bras are available in most stores
where underwear is sold. Go with her to try
some on and make a day of it.
While the rate of breast development will
vary from girl to girl, typically it happens over
three to five years with some girls starting as
early as age eight or as late as 13.
Here are the expected rates of breast
development, as described in the medical
literature as Tanner classification of five
Stage one - Preadolescence. Breasts are flat
and only the tip of the nipple is raised.
Stage two - Breast buds appear, breast and
nipple are raised, fat tissue begins to form
and the areola enlarges.
Stages three and four. Further growth and
development of a darker areola.
Stage five. The mature adult breast, which is
rounded and only the nipple is raised.