Sarah Swainson, the owner of Sarah Elizabeth Lingerie, says that she often does bra fittings for women who were too embarrassed to go for  fittings when they were in their teens. Many had mothers who had, unknowingly,  embarrassed them to the core when it came to having to do a bra fitting.

Sarah remembers one Mum saying in front of her daughter: “They are just so massive. Is there anything you can do for her?”  Says Sarah “I felt extremely sorry for this young woman standing in front of me. You could see these words hurt.”

Sarah’s advice is that Mum’s need to be gentle with their daughters during the time when they develop their breasts. “I see many young ladies for fittings at various stages of development. It is a time of adjustment and most are just figuring their way through the teenage years. At Sarah Elizabeth, we believe that girls should learn to be proud of their bodies and have the opportunity to grow into confident women. The thoughts and feelings that they experience during this time often cement how they see and feel about their bodies going forward.”

“The changes they are going through are normal and natural, and nothing they should be scared or ashamed of.  Moms, please remember that your daughter might be developing at a different rate to when you developed. They also may have larger breasts than you have or expected them to have. This is nothing to be ashamed of. This is a transition period from girlhood to womanhood and we need to encourage them to be proud of their bodies.”

Sarah Elizabeth’s top tips to for Mum’s:

1. Don’t get fixated on size; rather focus on getting your daughter a supportive bra that she feels confident in, especially for sport.

2. Be aware. If she suddenly is not wanting to participate in sports or finding sport hard this might be that she feels inhibited due to the size of her breasts or breast movement.  It is very common for women to feel inhibited from participating in sport because of their breasts. There are many challenges that women face but this should not be one of them.

3. Their friends might be developing at a different rate to them, so this might lead to insecurities on their side. Encourage them during this time to be proud of their unique bodies. Be aware of the language you use. You will be shocked at how many women I see in the fitting room that carry around the baggage of a passing comment made in their teenage years.

4. The average age to start wearing a bra is roughly eleven. This might be sooner that you remembered. Regardless some girls may have a need for one from as young as 9, while others may not need one until much later. We strongly suggest that you start encouraging discussions about training bras, periods and body changes prior to puberty.