What to look for when buying post lumpectomy or mastectomy bras and swimsuits
This post was written for Dr. Veronique Desaulniers of BreastCancerConqueror.com
“A good friend is like the perfect bra – comfortable to be around, always provides support, and is close to your heart!”
Besides when your doctor recommends wearing a bra post lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery, I’ll start by saying I always suggest not wearing a bra whenever possible––let yourself be free! You don’t need to be strapped down and restrict your lymph nodes (lymphocytes) as they are the body’s main type of immune cells. This could possibly lead to them not working as well as they should.
While we are on the topic, let’s crush a few more myths. Wearing a bra does not prevent your breasts from sagging, and not wearing one doesn’t cause your breasts to sag. Bras don’t impact the shape of your breasts. In fact, wearing a sweaty bra for too long can cause fungal and yeast infections, rashes, and blisters––so let those ta-tas air out and frolic around! However, I understand that sometimes you need to wear a bra, especially for support. For these times, I suggest choosing a wireless bra that is a blend of cotton and spandex (if possible, buy organic cotton).
Swimsuit and Bra Shopping with Dr. V!
Now, back to breast cancer bra and swimsuit shopping with me! Get your reusable bag ready (no toxic plastic bags for us!), and let’s hit the shops! You have a lot going on right now––figuring out how to heal yourself, navigating your new world, wondering if you should get reconstructive surgery or implants. Not to mention taking your kids to 3 different sports practices, prepping all your ingredients for your healing journey protocol, and taking the time to do your coffee enemas––agghh! We got you and are here to share what is breast for your breast!
Post Lumpectomy or Mastectomy Surgery Swimsuits to Wear
‘Seas’ the day! Post lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery is a perfect reason to jump in the ocean or a pool, (after your incision has healed), splash around, float and bask in the sunshine, and get some laps in! Swimming is a wonderful cardiovascular health exercise that brings joy to your body, mind, and soul!
Here are some things to look for:
Find your right cut. Finding the right cut means something different for every breast cancer conquerer. Find a cut that makes you feel sexy and happy. Some people like to go for higher necklines and armholes as they hide scares and breasts forms.
Peep for prosthesis pockets. If you wear prosthesis post-mastectomy surgery, pocketed swimwear is a great way to keep your breast forms secure. Just make sure your breast forms are safe and non-irritating.
Material as durable as you are! You want this suit to last season after season. Look for a blend of breathable synthetics, including spandex, Lycra®, and nylon. After breast cancer surgery, your skin and surrounding breast area are more sensitive than before, so focus on materials that are quick-drying, irritant-free, breathable, and soft fabrics that are gentle on scar tissue.
Post Lumpectomy or Mastectomy Surgery Bras to Wear
Here are some things to look for:
Post-surgical bra. Right after a mastectomy or reconstructive surgery, you will need a post-surgical bra for compression therapy. This will just last a month or so.
Front-fasten bras. Let’s always look forward dear conqueror, and so should your bra. Bras that fasten at the front are particularly useful soon after surgery when your range of motion may be limited.
The fabric of your life. As I mentioned above, the best material, especially post-breast cancer surgery, is (preferably organic) cotton and a blend of spandex. Go for materials that stretch (like sports bras) and are soft as they feel good on sensitive skin.
Bra pockets. If you choose to wear breast forms, look for bras with pockets. Wearing breast forms is completely up to you and your comfort level, just make sure they are safe and non-irritating. And NEVER use your bra as a cell phone carrier!
This insight, advice, and very strong encouragement is for every single person who wears a bra:
Ditch the wires! Let’s be real – underwired bras were always super uncomfortable––they poked, left red marks, and you were thrilled to rip it off at the end of the day. Ditch them for good as they can dig into your sensitive breasts, and you don’t want to restrict your lymph (lymphocytes) as they are the body’s main type of immune cells. Chinese traditional medicine practitioners advise against underwire bras as the metal impedes the energy flow or chi in the body’s meridians. Underwires can also cause chafing, irritation, stabbing, and infection that can lead to dermatitis. On top of all of the nightmares, I just listed, underwires may attract electromagnetic frequencies and increase your radiation exposure. DITCH THE UNDERWIRES!
Let the boobies breath! But really, you don’t need to stuff your breasts in tight bras. Some women have even felt like they had a heart attacked and went to the ER only to learn their bra was too tight. Start by not wearing a bra at home, and see how you feel. Like I said above, we want the lymph working as best as they possibly can––especially around our breasts––so let them breathe and do their job of giving you a healthy immune system! While on the topic of breathing, make sure you take some deep breathes throughout the day––especially when you are stressed, tired, angry, or just anytime. When you do need to wear a bra, try a cotton bra that is looser fitting.
Trash the toxicity. It is time to trash toxic words, people, jobs, lifestyle choices, and toxic chemicals in your bras (and clothes!) The bra and underwear areas are two of the most porous areas of a woman’s body. Heat, moisture, and sweat can enable the chemicals to seep into your skin––just like a nicotine patch. While Europe has banned over 1,000 chemicals in their clothing products, American intimates are hardly regulated. These chemicals include formaldehyde, chlorine bleach, lead, and heavy metals.
You can still be sexy and feel fantastic––and bra shopping after surgery can be empowering! YES. All true! Gone are the days of unattractive and matronly bras. You are a beautiful breast cancer conqueror––buy yourself some bras and swimsuits that reflect your true self!
Another way to show your breasts some love and healing is to use Healthy Girls Breast Oil. It is a wonderfully scented, essential oil-based moisturizing massage oil that is specifically designed to nourish breast tissue. Recent research at Purdue University and other acclaimed institutions have discovered that the phytonutrients (called “terpenes”) within these particular essential oils are anti-inflammatory and can actually reduce tumor activity! I use it every evening before I put on my PJs to massage my breasts and to move the lymph in that area. Always move the pressure towards your armpit.
Click HERE to learn more about the benefits and healing properties in each of the different oils that make up Healthy Girls Breast Oil.