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Breaking the Myth: Small Breasts, Big Risks

Let’s shed light on a common misconception that often goes unnoticed but can have profound consequences for young girls and women: the belief that only developed breasts require protection.

Many women and parents subscribe to the notion that breast protection is necessary only when a girl’s breasts have fully developed. The assumption is that larger breasts need safeguarding, while those who are still in the early stages of breast development or have smaller breasts are exempt from the need for protection.

In challenging this myth, let’s consider the words often echoed by many: “If I had bigger boobs, I would definitely wear/need protection.” Parents of young girls may also express, “When she gets boobs, she’ll need it; what a great idea.”

Moreover, as we contemplate breast health, let’s also reflect on the sports that young girls are playing at the grassroots level, such as soccer, AFL, basketball, netball, and more. In these sports, where elbows, balls, and various elements can cause injury to the breasts of those yet to develop or in the process of development, the need for protection becomes even more apparent.

Recent research, exemplified by a study in the Breast Journal, presents compelling cases of young girls who suffered significant injuries to their breast buds during premenarchal years, leading to long-term asymmetry and, in some cases, the need for surgical intervention.

Case 1 tells the story of A.E., who sustained an injury to her chest at the age of 10 while performing on the uneven parallel bars. Despite the severity of the injury, permanent damage was not immediately apparent. However, over the next three years, the asymmetry worsened, ultimately requiring unilateral breast reduction surgery.

In Case 2, S.S., a 19-year-old gymnast, injured her left breast at the age of 11. Despite the hope that the asymmetry would improve with the onset of menarche, it persisted, causing physical discomfort and the need for corrective surgery.

These cases highlight the importance of recognising that significant breast asymmetries can occur in young women who have experienced trauma during the critical years of early breast development. The myth that only fully developed breasts need protection is debunked by these real-life scenarios.

It is crucial to acknowledge that younger girls are often ignored when it comes to breast protection, and some of the most devastating injuries occur during these formative years. As the breast bud develops, the use of protective measures, such as padded bras or other devices, might reduce the severity of injuries.

Let’s break the stereotype and encourage all girls, regardless of breast size or development stage, to take precautions to safeguard their breast health. Prevention is key, and early intervention can make a significant difference in avoiding long-term consequences.

It really makes you think deep & hard. If protection is available why not wear?

Together, let’s raise awareness and ensure the well-being of young girls and women in all stages of breast development.