Signs of Puberty in Girls

When puberty hits a young girl, it often seems to occur overnight. She looks in the mirror and suddenly, her body has changed. She has bigger breasts, she’s taller, and her body has some curves that weren’t there a few weeks ago. She might suddenly find that she is growing hair in places where she has never had it before. Her emotions are all over the place – sometimes she’s fine, and the next minute she wants to cry for no reason, then she’s angry, and she doesn’t have a reason for that either. She might even start to wonder if she is going to start her period soon, because all her friends are starting theirs.

Fortunately, puberty is an entirely natural process that everyone goes through. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it does mean that you’re not alone! These are some of the signs of puberty in girls that are very common.

Signs of Puberty in Girls

image001Puberty is the process of changing from a child into an adult, and it is all hinged on the maturation of our reproductive system. All of this is triggered by hormones, especially estrogen.

1. Increase in Height and Weight

When you hit puberty, expect to grow taller and gain weight as your body changes. The growth might seem awkward at first, because it usually begins with your arms and legs and then you finally “even out” in a few months or years. Most girls will grow even faster during the six months before they start their first period.

2. Increase in Body Hair

Until now, your body has been smooth, or with baby-fine hair on your legs or under your arms. But when puberty hits, you will suddenly notice hair where there hasn’t been any before. An increase in the hair on your arms and legs, as well as hair under your arms and in your pubic area, are all signs of puberty. In some cultures, women shave their legs and under their arms at the first sign of hair; if this is something that would make you comfortable, speak to your mother or another adult about choosing the right razor.

3. Breast Growth

Until now, your chest has been relatively flat. Puberty changes all that by making the breast tissue grow, and that can quickly lead to an entirely new body shape. This usually happens after the age of nine, and it can seem like your breasts grow overnight.

4. Starting Period

When your breasts begin to develop, that makes it clear that your first period is on its way. It often happens between the ages of 12 and 13, but it might be earlier or later, depending upon your body’s own unique schedule. Menstruation happens to almost every woman on the planet, so an adult female is sure to understand and can answer your questions about what to expect and how to best handle the monthly flow.

5. Mood Swings

One of the hidden signs of puberty in girls is the emotional upheaval. Mood swings are very common for girls going through puberty, and those mood swings can sometimes be severe. Some girls might be irritable, have a lot of anxiety, cry often or feel depressed. This might come and go with your menstrual cycle.

6. Physical Changes

In addition to having breasts, girls will often change their shape throughout puberty. This means that their waist will narrow, their hips will get wider, and they might begin to experience bodily odor that they never worried about before.

7. Emotional Changes

In addition to mood swings, there might be increased interest in romance and the opposite sex, thanks to all those hormones flowing through you! You could also deal with questions about your life, such as how you fit in with your peers or the increased responsibility you might face now that you could become pregnant if you are sexually active.

8. Acne

The bane of every teenager’s existence, acne always appears during the time when it is most embarrassing – during puberty, when your body is changing so fast. Acne might be on your face, but it can also be on your body, especially your back.

watch a video to learn more about what happens in puberty and how you can deal with the process:

How to Support Your Daughter in Puberty

Puberty can be nerve-wrecking for parents, too. How should you handle it when your daughter starts to go through puberty? Fortunately, there are many things parents can do when they see the signs of puberty in girls that will help everyone through the transition.

  • Talk to her. Let her know what is happening with her body. If she has questions you can’t answer, take the time to look up those answers together. This will not only make her feel more confident, but will also reinforce the fact that she can talk to you about anything.
  • Watch for signs of being teased; this is an unfortunate problem for kids who are going through puberty. Stay in touch with teachers who might be able to report on problems at school. Talk to your child about what they are going through, and step in on their behalf if they are being bullied.
  • Give her guidance. Finally, remember that your child is still a child, even if her body is beginning to look more like that of a full-grown woman. Your daughter still needs to have your guidance. With that guidance and some patience, you will all get through puberty together.
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