The Riskiest Post-Op Move

Ever since Oprah tucked pencils underneath women's breasts on an episode devoted to addressing bra size, the frequently reported fact that 8 out of 10 women are not properly supporting their chest has been haunting fitting rooms everywhere. With the average breast size in American women reaching its peak at 34DD, the phobia of ill-fitting undergarments is gaining popularity, alongside the race to find the perfect bra. For women who have undergone breast augmentation and consequently, have a lot invested in the state of their chest, this search is exaggerated.

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Results Of The Wrong Bra

For women who have undergone breast augmentation require greater support for their breasts. Slapping on any bra, such as those worn pre-surgery, won't cut it, and may leave you vulnerable to the risks that result from wearing the wrong bra size. Multiple physical ailments, including, but not limited to, back pain, restricted breathing, and poor posture have been linked to loose bra straps and overstuffed cups.

What may seem like minor problems can escalate to serious illnesses. For instance, Intertrigo, an odorous skin rash that most commonly forms under the breasts from the chafing of moist skin, is predominantly caused by bras that fail to fit properly.  

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How To Tell If Your Bra Is The Wrong Size

While getting sized by an expert is a surefire way to buy the right size, bra fit can vary greatly from one brand to another. Here are a few ways you can tell that it's time for some new items in your underwear drawer:

  •  Your straps dig into your shoulders. The underband of your bra provides 80% of the support, while the straps supply the other 20%. If the straps are too tight, it may mean that the width of your band is too wide, and the straps are overcompensating for the lack of support.
  •  The band slides up and down during normal activity. To test whether or not your bra is too tight, lift up your arms to see if the band moves. It should fit firmly against the body—not too tight, but secure enough to remain fastened in place as you go about your day.
  •  Cup dimples. You should adequately fill your cups so that all wrinkles and creases are evened out. If not, you need to go down a cup size.
  •  Exaggerated back fat. If your band is digging into the meat of your body, it may look like the amount of back fat you have is double the amount that's actually there (and it is there; a little back fat is normal). Even at the tightest hooks, your band should not be fitting that tightly.
  •  Nipple peeks. Nipples should remain hidden behind the cups. Any sneaky-peeks of nipple means that you may need to go up a cup size.

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Beyond Fit: What Type?

Perhaps an even riskier practice in post-op patients is wearing bras with underwire. According to physicians, avoid bras with underwire for at least three months after going under the knife. Your body will be forming scar tissue during that time, and wearing bras with underwire can permanently damage and disfigure your breasts—a look no one is after. 

Even after the three month healing period, underwire bras should be limited to prevent indentation.