You might think you know all about your breasts, or indeed that there isn't all that much to know. We just take our breasts for granted, and don't really think about them. But there's a lot to learn - these are some of the facts you should know about your breasts …
Get into the habit of checking your breasts every month, so that you learn what is normal for you and can pick up early on any lumps or changes. But it's important to realise that most lumps are not cancer, so don't panic if you do find one. Get to your doctor ASAP to check it out, but in the majority of cases the lump is benign.
A good bra is, of course, essential - especially if you have larger breasts. But did you know that smoking can actually damage the ligaments that support your breasts? Weight loss and hormonal changes can also cause sagging, so try to avoid drastic weight loss (better not to gain weight in the first place) - and don't even be tempted to take up smoking.
You're probably aware that if you get pregnant, your breasts will grow as they prepare for feeding your baby. But this won't just happen later in the pregnancy; in fact, a woman can find that her breasts start expanding long before her belly does. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy can be that your breasts feel tender.
Are you embarrassed by having hairs around your nipples? Don't be. It's totally normal to have nipple hair, and there's no need to worry. Not every woman does, but those who have body hair are more likely to have nipple hair. The simplest way to get rid of them is to use tweezers, but you can also have laser treatment for a more permanent solution.
Do you have unevenly-sized breasts? Like nipple hair, uneven breasts are not uncommon. It does make it a bit awkward finding bras that fit, but it's perfectly normal. You should get it checked out if there's a sudden change in the size of one of your breasts though. And you can't boost your bust size with exercise. Weight gain may make your breasts grow, but otherwise you'll have to look for a booster bra to give the illusion of bigger breasts.
Now, here's an odd statistic about breasts. Have you ever wondered how much they weigh? The average weight for each breasts is between one and two pounds. The largest natural breasts weigh a whopping 100lb - which is pretty much what I weigh … all of me! You've got to sympathise with the poor woman carrying those around!
When's the best time to examine your breasts? 3-5 days after the start of your period, when they won't be experiencing that premenstrual hormonal lumpiness. Check them when you're in different positions - lying down, sitting in a chair, and looking in a mirror.
Remember to always look after your breasts by wearing a well-fitting, supportive bra, especially if you are larger-breasted or do sports. And don't worry if your breasts are too small for your liking; the most important thing is that they're healthy, and you need to be comfortable in your own body. Have you ever been tempted to have breast enhancements, and why?
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