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Delayed Breast Growth in Children: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

By the time a girl is age 10 or 11, she starts to expect her breasts to grow, just like the older girls in her family and school. But some girls enter their teens and high school and still do not have any breast growth. This can be quite upsetting to a girl, especially as she watches her friends' breasts start to bud out.

As a girl starts to become a woman, her body goes through many changes. Besides breast growth, her hips round and she gets pubic and underarm hair. She may start her period. In most cases, a delay in these body changes is just a sign that she is becoming a woman a little more slowly. Delayed breast growth runs in some families. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and asthma, may cause a delay. Hormone levels also play a role in body changes. If you and your doctor are concerned about the delayed breast growth, your daughter's hormone levels can be tested. If a medical cause is found, your doctor may treat it.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Offer your daughter support and understanding. Let her know that a delay can be normal. This can help her get through the time before her breasts grow.
  • If your child's doctor prescribes medicine, give it as directed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems with your child's medicine.
  • If your daughter is anxious about her body, find a counsellor she likes and trusts. Encourage her to talk openly and honestly about her body image.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child is very concerned or sad about delayed breast growth.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.