Changes in your body impact your bra needs
One of the reasons that so many women walk around wearing the wrong bra size is because they get a fixed idea in their head of what their bra size is. They attach themselves to a number and letter combination that then doesn’t change, no matter what changes they undergo in their lives. This is an impractical way to look at your bras, ladies! In reality, our breasts are undergoing constant changes, and one study determined that women’s breasts “change shape, size and distribution at least six times during the course of her life.” Our breasts are constantly changing, but there are six main considerations you should look at after puberty when re-evaluating your bra size and bra needs.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnancy and breastfeeding is one of the biggest challenges that your breasts face. The rapid weight gain and weight loss, and subsequent breastfeeding, can cause anything from sagging to volume loss. During pregnancy and nursing, the breast typically engorges and stretches, and then droops and deflates. Wearing good pregnancy and nursing bras can help minimize the damage that this cycle exacts on your body; by getting the support you need, drooping and sagging may be less severe. But after a pregnancy, you may need to change your bra type if you lose volume or experience sagging.
Weight Loss and Weight Gain
Weight loss and weight gain happens to most women at some point in their life, and it affects your breasts. Weight gain not only means you may need a bigger band size, but you’ll also need larger cups. Depending on the gain, you may need a more supportive bra. Weight loss can leave your breasts deflated and sagging, and push-up bras and bra pads can help your breasts retain their full look. And of course, your size will change and you should be re-sized!
With the high number of women who develop breast cancer, most of us know someone who has undergone a mastectomy. We’ve been discussing mastectomy bras and the emotional impact in the past few days, so we won’t spend a lot of time on it here; but suffice it to say that if you undergo a mastectomy, the right bra can still help you feel sexy and confident, or even just comfortable, after your surgery.
Breast Augmentation and Other Surgery
Millions of women undergo breast augmentation or reduction surgeries every year. After surgery, you may need to wear a medical bra for four to six weeks. After that, it’s time to figure out your new bra size and try the fitting process all over again!
Menstrual Cycle, Menopause and Other Hormonal Fluctuations
Hormonal fluctuations affect your breasts. It’s a fact. During menstruation, your breast size can swell up to an entire cup size! Many women keep a full-coverage bra or two, a bra with soft cups to avoid irritating nipples, or a bra in a different size for this time of the month. During menopause, the composition of your breasts change, and this may lead to sagging and the need to find a more supportive, full-coverage bra.
Loss of skin elasticity comes along with aging, and unfortunately, that affects breasts, too! Many women find themselves switching to more full-coverage, supportive bras as they age, to provide the shaping they need and minimize the impact of sagging.
Over the next week, we’ll look at each of these stages in-depth. We’ll examine how they affect your breasts and how you can combat them with bra changes!