In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re sharing tips and stories all month on breast health and issues related to breast cancer.
For those who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer, who have just come out of treatment, or are survivors of breast cancer, you may have different needs when it comes to buying a bra.
Here are some tips for bra shopping:
Get the right fit.
Did you know that most women are walking around with the wrong bra size, statistically speaking? Many don’t know that their breast sizes have changed since the last time they got themselves fitted, or are not sure what a good fit feels like. It’s good to try on a range of sizes and get the help of a professional lingerie store / bra fitting assistant to see what works for you currently. Don’t be shy – these people have seen it all when it comes to breasts. The important thing is to make your own comfort a priority.
Choose broad and comfortable straps.
Straps that are broad allow for a greater distribution of weight and will not dig into your shoulders. This helps to reduce the risk of Lymphodema, especially important for those who have had mastectomy or lymph nodes removed. Check also for the tightness of the band around your rib cage – are they too tight or digging into your flesh? Getting bra extenders could also help with this issue.
How does the support feel?
Good support means that when you move, walk or even run, your breasts are held firmly without being too restricting or tight. For those who have implants, a supportive bra will help keep your breasts in place and not move around. Without proper support, any physical exercise may cause discomfort and even pain.
Remember, cup size matters too.
The cup should not be too roomy or snug – be open to the fact that the shape and size of your breast would have changed a lot since your surgery, and finding the right fit is a process! Implants aren’t as ‘forgiving’ when it comes to filling up a bra cup, as it’s firmer and more fixed in shape, so find a right cup that can give you the support you need.
You may need pockets.
For those who have chosen not to go through reconstructive surgery, some opt for prosthesis or breast forms that can come in many shapes and sizes. You will need a bra that has pockets to hold these prosthesis in place to prevent them from moving around.
Fabric that’s soft and seamless
Post-surgery and beyond, being gentle on your skin is imperative. Choose a bra with soft and seamless fabric that will not irritate or scratch your skin.
Talk to your doctor about whether a bra with or without an underwire is best for you. But ultimately, it’s your comfort that matters most – so even as long as it doesn’t feel right when you put it on, don’t stop until you can find one that works for you. Everyone is built differently, so don’t despair if you can’t find one immediately!
Not just for breastfeeding or well-endowed women, Annee Matthew bras are now used in one of Singapore’s leading hospital as part of their post-surgery and recovery care for women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. With our soft, buttery fabric, non-underwire, wide straps and seamless design, we are honored to be able to offer support to women courageously battling breast cancer. Check out our range of bras and bra accessories here.