When was the last time you got a bra fitting? Last month? Last year?.....Never?
It’s surprising how common it is for us not to view getting measured as a priority. In fact, many of us prefer to opt for the ‘well my last bra was this size, so I'll just get that again and see how it feels’ route, rather than going to see a professional. Often meaning we will continue to buy the wrong size bra. Moral of the story- if you can't remember the last time you went and got your bra fitted/have never been, you are not alone.
80% of us wear the wrong size bra! Not only can the wrong-size bra be uncomfortable but it can also cause neck and back pain, affect your posture and lead to chafing. We don’t want you to have sad boobs so let's all make a 2023 effort to be part of that correct-size-bra 20%
How often should we get fitted?
Studies show that we should pop into that bra shop every 6 - 8 months (so basically twice a year) to get measured. If that hasn't convinced you, here are some reasons why this is so important.
Body and boob change
Let us be the first to tell you (if you haven't heard it before) that no one's natural boobs are symmetrical. You'll always have one that is slightly bigger than the other. The difference between them in both shape and size could also change over your lifetime.
For example, if you lose or gain weight, the size and shape of them will change. As will both your cup and underband size - this is where sister sizing comes in (but that's a whole other future blog post).
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Did you know during pregnancy your boobs can go up several sizes, sometimes increasing two to three times in size during breastfeeding?
Your band size will probably increase too during pregnancy, as your ribcage expands to make room for your baby…. women's bodies really are incredible.
Once your pregnancy is over and/or you've stopped breastfeeding, some boobs will go back to the size they were before. Some will stay larger and some will shrink. This is an ideal time to think about heading for a fitting, as your cup might have stayed the same but your underband is a slightly bigger size.
Hormonal changes and ageing
We’re all destined for hormonal changes and ageing, which are two important factors when it comes to changes in our boobs.
Your breasts have no muscles inside them, so all that is holding them up is a system of ligaments that encase each boob (called cooper's ligaments) and your skin. As the wisdom that comes with age increases, the collagen that affects skin elasticity decreases, which will cause the natural boob sag we all experience.
Both the skin and the ligaments in your boobs will also be further stretched by wearing a bra that is either a) not the right support level or b) not the right size. So, again, it's important to make sure you're getting fitted regularly. And wearing the right bra for the activity level you are doing.
As far as hormonal changes go, if you get a period, you might have noticed that your boobs get slightly bigger as you go through your menstrual cycle. As you progress through your cycle your hormone (oestrogen and progesterone) levels start to rise. This causes the glands within your breasts to swell (simulating what would happen to them if you were pregnant and about to start breast feeding). When you then reach the end of your menstrual cycle and go on to have your next period, your hormone levels drop and your boobs will return to their normal size.
When going through the menopause, your breasts can actually get smaller over time. As oestrogen levels start to decrease the tissue in your breasts gets dehydrated and isn't as elastic as it used to be. This can lead to a loss of volume, meaning your breasts can shrink as much as a cup size.
When it comes to implants determining the changes can be a bit more tricky. The actual implant will stay the same, but the tissue and skin around it can still change.
As you get older the implants can sag with the deterioration of collagen in the skin around them. Sometimes sagging more than a natural breast, due to the extra weight of the implant. Although, there is a rumour that this can be prevented with a good-fitting bra - and we’re all here for it. Definitely, time to get fitted again!
With pregnancy and breastfeeding, implant boobs will also increase in size, just like natural breasts. The implant is generally placed underneath the breast gland so they do not disrupt the milk ducts. After pregnancy, most breast implants will return to how they looked pre-pregnancy.
Although, weight gain or loss (unless excessive) will not affect breast implants quite as much as natural boobs so we’ll let you off if you sway a little on our 6-month recommendation.
Checking your boobs regularly
Although your boobs size and shape will fluctuate throughout your lifetime, it's about getting to know and growing to love yours.
Unfortunately, we can't have an article about boob change without mentioning breast cancer. If there is ever anything that doesn't feel or look right when it comes to your boobs then it is worthwhile booking an appointment with your GP to get it looked at.
To help you get in the habit of checking regularly, we've created a 3 step guide.
Remember, it's all about knowing what is normal for you and monitoring any changes.
The 2 absolute best things you can do for your boobs are:
1. Get yourself fitted for a bra regularly, most shops offer free fittings and we at BXM are hoping to offer virtual fittings very soon (watch this space!).
2. Get to know and love your boobs, notice when they are a bit bigger or a bit smaller. Knowing what is normal for you is the most important thing. Don't be afraid to ask a health professional to take a look at anything you're unsure of.