Sagging breasts I fear, from not wearing brassiere
Is it o.k. to not wear a bra? I haven't worn one for over a year now and I hope to never again! Is it really healthy to wear one? Will they "sag" quicker if I don't? Please tell me I can burn my old bras!!!
Contrary to popular belief, going braless doesn't mean that your breasts are destined to droop. There's also nothing unhealthy about wearing a bra as long as it fits properly. Bras don’t preserve the shape or perkiness of breasts. Sagging breasts are often the result of a number of factors unrelated to brassiere wearing, such as:
- Breast fat and tissue composition
- Softening of breast ligaments and loss of breast tissue with age
- Enlarged breasts during pregnancy, which causes the skin to stretch and remain
- Smoking habits
- Effects of gravity during the lifetime
But, don't burn your brassieres just yet... Some people feel uncomfortable if they're bra-free when they're out and about. Some people with breasts may feel they receive unwanted attention to their bouncing breasts and noticeable nipples. If you're on the generously endowed side, letting your breasts hang loose may even be physically uncomfortable.
That said, wearing a bra can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Bras can help protect your breasts from trauma. For example, wearing a properly fitted sports bra during workouts can limit jiggling, helping to reduce the possibility of breast soreness and discomfort. Some folks choose to wear a bra to limit friction between sensitive nipples and clothing, helping to prevent possible irritation or soreness. Others bra up to boost what they believe is the appearance of breasts that have gone bust. And, for those whose bustlines have already started to sink, bras can help lift or provide support while they are worn.
If you decide that wearing a bra is the right fit for you, you may want to ensure that you're getting the best support for your breasts by:
- Wearing the right size bra. This can help ensure that if you opt for underwire it's not more pain than it is gain. Wearing the wrong size could result in possible chafing or skin abrasions because of constant pressure and friction.
- Adjusting your bra for the activity. For example, if you're exercising, it's likely that your breasts could benefit from more support than if you’re just on your way to the movies. In that case, a sports bra might help keep things more stable.
- Implementing good hygiene. Wash your bras frequently. Around every two full-day wears is typically a good rule of thumb. This can help ensure that you avoid fungal infections, which are a consequence of too much moisture, friction, and irritation. If you're a particularly sweat-prone individual, you may consider wearing deodorant under your bra and making sure your breasts are sitting pretty in between.
Ultimately, to wear or not to wear a bra is up to you. If prevention of future fall-out is your biggest concern for wearing a brassiere, you might consider taking a load off and let 'em loose.
Originally published Jun 23, 2000
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