What age should my daughter start to wear a Sports Bra?

We are often asked by our Mum customers: ‘At what age should my daughter start wearing a sports bra?’. The earlier we start talking about breasts with young females. The better.

Where do young females learn about their breasts?

There is little education in schools on breast development and the care for our breasts. So where do young females learn about their breasts? Most likely from friends and scrolling the internet, both not always reliable sources. Here is a good place to start. We have sports bra fitting and breast health education for females of all ages.

Quite often, the earliest physical change of puberty in girls is breast development. According to breastcancernow.org, girls will begin to develop breasts around the ages of 8 – 11. With it is completely normal to start developing earlier or later than this as well. Breasts grow at different rates and it is common for one breast to start growing before the other.

Breasts develop once ovaries start creating oestrogen, resulting in breast tissue absorbing fat. Around this time the milk ducts will also grow. When ovulation and a menstrual cycle begin, the milk ducts form the secretory glands. Sometimes, the breasts can grow too fast for the skin, which can leads to stretch marks in the chest area. This is very common and can occur on other parts of the body such as the thighs.

Here’s how to tell when breasts are developing:

  1. Experiencing itchiness around the nipples and chest area
  2. Feeling tender or sore in the chest area
  3. Unexplained backaches
  4. The appearance of small firm lumps under the nipples

Half of UK secondary school girls may be avoiding physical exercise.

It may seem obvious why we need to wear a sports bra, but. A study by Portsmouth University found that around half of UK secondary school girls may be avoiding physical exercise. This was due to embarrassment and pain caused by their breasts. This effects a staggering amount of young girls, whom are our future athletes. Not to mention the impact on mental health, physical health and school experience.

Here are the benefits of young girls wearing a sports bra:

  1. Reduce breast pain during the development stage, menstrual cycle and the impact of movement during exercise.
  2. Prevent pain in the back, neck and shoulders that often take the strain from the weight of the breasts.
  3. Better performance through less distraction from breast bounce and a better posture.
  4. Reduced breast bounce reduces embarrassment, increases confidence and creates a more enjoyable experience.
  5. Prevent damage to the breast tissue and the skin surrounding it. Sports bras reduce movement, thus reducing the chance of damage.
  6. Creates good habits early on. Knowing how to look after breasts for the future and encouraging physical exercise.

Going through puberty can be a very sensitive time for girls. It is important that her breasts have support as soon as you or your daughter notice their breasts developing. If she’s asking about getting a bra then it is time to also get her a sports bra.

Finding the right sports bra and size can be confusing. We’ve put together our top tips on how you can help all young girls find the perfect sports bra for them:

  1. Get her measured. You can do this yourself following our guide here, or book her in for a free zoom call and we can help with the measuring.
  2. Measure before her period starts a new cycle, this is when her breasts are at their fullest. But otherwise any time of the month is fine and if she hasn’t started her period yet.
  3. It is normal for one breast to be bigger than the other, always measure to the bigger breast.
  4. Know the activities she is doing and ensure she has a sports bra that is suitable. Example: High impact sports bra for cross country running and a low impact sports bra for yoga.
  5. Once her shiny new sports bra arrives, make sure to check the fit!
  6. If she is participating in sports on a regular basis, she should have a few sports bras. As a general rule – One on the body, one in the wash and one ready to go.
  7. As she continues to develop, so will her body. Keep on top of measuring and checking the fit and update her sports bra when needed.
  8. Comfort is key. Check that she feels comfortable in it or she won’t wear it.

There is not an exact age when someone should start wearing a sports bra. But, as soon as puberty begins and her breasts are developing, that is when it’s time to get your daughter fitted.

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