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Why do I have breasts?

Breasts perform different functions. Glands inside the breasts produce milk for breastfeeding a baby. This can provide the baby’s first source of nutrition if a mother chooses to breastfeed. Breasts also are part of someone’s sexuality; they can be sensitive and can provide pleasure during sexual activity.

Breasts come in all different shapes, sizes and colors—all unique in their own way. Many people worry that their breasts are too big or small or not shaped perfectly, but each person’s differences are what make them unique and special.

The light pink to dark brown circle in the center of each breast is called the areola. Some people also have smaller bumps in the areola, like goose bumps, and some have hair growing out of the areola—all of this is normal. Some people have very large areolas while some are very small. Areolas can be different sizes. Each person is different.

The raised up area at the center of the areola is the nipple. Some people have nipples that stick out, and others have ones that are inverted (stick in). Nipples can get erect (hard) if a person is cold, excited or sexually aroused. No one has control over when their nipples become erect.

It’s also common for people to have one breast that’s bigger than the other.

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