Post Mastectomy Bra Guide: Things to know about buying your first bras

We understand how tricky it can be to navigate the world of bras right after a mastectomy or another type of reconstructive breast surgery. First and foremost, it’s essential that you follow the directions of your doctor, especially in the first weeks after the surgery. Bandages and other dressings should always be left on until you’re advised to take them off. However, after you’ve been evaluated by a medical professional, the next step of finding the right bras can make all the difference in being comfortable in your body. 

Below, we’ve made a list of things to keep in mind while shopping around for the best quality bras that will suit your needs. 

Go wirefree 

The nerves around the area can take up to one year to fully recover post-surgery. This means that even the most comfortable wired bras can push into sensitive tissue and contribute to more swelling, pain or numbness. Seamless, stretchy and wireless bras are your best options post-surgery since a snug fit (not tight!) won’t pull on your scars. Of course, it’s always helpful to read reviews to find out if a certain bra is popular with women who have had breast reconstruction surgery. 

Look for post-surgical bras 

Anything labeled “post-surgical” or mastectomy bras are compression bras specifically made to aid the healing process and reduce the risk of infection. Compression bras after surgery are commonly recommended for the first month to three months, depending on the procedure you had and what your physician recommends. These kinds of bras are very easy to put on and rather soft since they’re designed to be worn all day and night while the swelling goes down. Though, many women decide on wearing them way after their initial recovery since they are so breathable and many are great for working out in. 

Find cups with breast form pockets 

Bras with cup pockets give you the option of adding in breast inserts or custom prostheses. Make sure the bra has more secure pockets that are not located on the side so that they won’t easily fall out. Even if you’re not considering adding inserts anytime soon, it’s always nice to have that option available to you. 

Adjustability is important

Many post-mastectomy bras feature longer bands and bands that clasp in the front. Bras that hook in the front can be way easier to put on and adjust, which is ideal since your chest could still be tender and you won’t be able to move your arms much. They also provide a smoother look and come in a wide variety- this means more wardrobe options. Longer bands might be helpful so that you can adjust according to any pain you might experience throughout the day, especially in your armpits. 

Find softer fabrics that won’t irritate

Avoid anything that feels harsh to the touch, this could be anything from cheap lace, to latex or something similar. You’ll want to go for something protective, yet supportive and soft; modal is a great fabric for this. It is semi-synthetic material made from beech trees that is super silky and won’t irritate your skin; it has been a go-to fabric for women post-surgery. Of course, cotton and soft mesh are extremely reliable, but specifically, Supima cotton is high quality and very strong. 

Wherever you are in your recovery journey, consulting with your doctor before buying new bras is the right move to make. They may have their own recommendation according to your breast shape or the type of surgery you had. Whatever the case may be, getting the right support with a new bra can be a huge confidence booster to helping you look and feel good!

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