Few women understand the connection between breast awareness and their overall health. In fact, practicing breast health is a great way to monitor and increase your holistic health. As a woman, knowing why breast awareness increases overall health can change your life for the better.

What’s “Normal” for Breasts?

Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes, but oftentimes have a few things in common. Breasts can often range in size (usually one is slightly bigger than the other). Tenderness before or during your menstrual cycle is also common. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what “normal” breasts many feel or look like, but if you’re a young woman new to this part of your body, it’s important to mention these common changes.

Your breasts may also experience changes if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Because of the surge of hormones in your body, and the breasts’ role in that process, your breasts are usually impacted. During pregnancy, breasts can become larger and more tender, and the nipples can darken. If you choose to breastfeed, your nipples can become dry or cracked. If they do, chat with your doctor about ways to mitigate this slight agitation.

As menopause begins, the breasts can experience changes once again. Because the breast cancer risk goes up at this age, it is important to get regular breast exams. The American Cancer Society recommends that women should start getting these exams yearly at age 45.

The thing is, breasts are always changing. This is why breast awareness is so critical; having a sense of breast awareness increases overall health.

Why Breast Awareness?

Monitoring breast health actually helps us to monitor overall health. Breasts are full of lymph nodes, ducts, and different types of cell tissue, which means that practicing breast awareness is a great way to track changes in your body.

Monthly, preferably a few days after your latest menstrual cycle ends, conduct a breast exam. Look for swelling, around the breasts, collarbones, and armpits. Also, watch for dryness or reddening around the nipple. Lastly, keep an eye out for any fluid. All of these can be signs of changes happening in your body. In some cases, your immune system may be compromised; maybe you’re coming down with a cold. Milk ducts can also become inflamed or blocked, which can lead to some of these symptoms. Oftentimes, these symptoms can be perfectly harmless, but it’s always important to talk to your doctor about them.

Who knew our breast could tell us so much?

Breast Awareness is Power

Knowing about and actively practicing breast awareness gives you power. The power to know your body, and be able to take action if something isn’t quite right. As our bodies change, our breasts do as well, making it more important than ever to be discussing the relationship between breast health and our overall health. Breast awareness increases overall health, allowing us a peek into the world of our ever-changing bodies.