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Part 1: Breast Reconstruction Bra Fitting: a Survivor’s Guide to Looking Great!

This is a tough one – what do you do to look great after you’ve survived breast cancer? Many women who survive breast cancer choose to undergo reconstruction, but it can be difficult to find the right bras to fit you properly after reconstruction. Today, we’re going to look at the challenges that face women who undergo reconstruction. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the types of bras that work best for women who have had reconstruction. And Thursday, we’ll look at our top bra recommendations for breast cancer survivors!

Challenges that Face Breast Cancer Survivors

You know the old credo that every woman’s body is different? That applies to breast cancer survivors, too! Depending on your specific breast cancer, and the reconstruction that you undergo, you may have your own very unique needs. These are a few of the most common problems that women face after mastectomy and reconstruction:

  • Lack of Nipples

It may sound trivial, but the lack of nipples is actually a big problem for breast cancer survivors. Most bras are specifically designed with extra space to fit the nipple. Breast cancer survivors who lack nipples may find that their bras gap or dent at the center. It’s not a flattering look, and it can easily make women feel self-conscious or unfeminine.

  • Implants Equal Wider, Shallower Breasts

One of the biggest fit challenges for women who undergo breast reconstruction with implants is the change in shape of the breasts. Most women who have implants find that they have wider, shallower breast tissue – in other words, it’s wide and flat. To find a bra that fits the width of your breast tissue properly, you may need to go with a larger cup size – but a larger cup size would obviously have unfilled space if your breast tissue only projects a few inches forward.

  • The Need for Lateral Support

Depending on the type of reconstruction, some women really need good lateral support. Some implants tend to want to “drift” toward the armpits. This can be particularly important in workout bras. A bra with good lateral support can help prevent the “drift” and keep you looking beautiful.

  • Separation

Many women complain about issues with the breasts “squishing together” after reconstruction. Many sexy or cleavage bras tend to lift and squish the breasts together to create the cleavage, and this can be problematic for breast reconstructions. The opposite problem is also true – underwires that press out from the center can also make the implants migrate toward the armpits. So you want some degree of separation, without a really wide center gore that could make your implants want to “drift.”

Do any of these problems sound familiar? Well, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Plenty of women who have survived breast cancer and undergone breast reconstruction face these problems every day! Tomorrow, we’re going to look at what types of bras might be best for you, depending on which problems you face. And then we’ll give you some specific bra recommendations to get your shopping started and help you feel beautiful again!

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