Tired of not knowing how to choose the right mastectomy bra for you? Mastectomy bras help you regain your pre-mastectomy appearance while at the same time provide comfort, support and coverage to your chest. These could be customized to provide for your special needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider in custom-designing your mastectomy bra:
- Prosthetics or breast forms. How would you like your bra to be fitted with these? Some mastectomy bras come with sewn-in pockets where you could insert the breast form inside. Others come with built-in breast forms. Also, specify where the breast form would be placed, whether to the left cup, right cup or both.
- Size. Mastectomy bras are available in different cup and band sizes. Be sure to measure your breast before choosing your bra because breast sizes are usually altered after a mastectomy. Make sure that the bra can accommodate the size of your prosthetic breast or breast form, and that the cup where the prosthetic is located would be the same size as your normal breast.
- Coverage. Experiment if your mastectomy bra covers your chest adequately by looking at yourself in the mirror and doing different activities such as raising your arms, moving your arms in a circle, and bending over. See if your bra will gape, and if it does, you could add stretch lace on the neckline of the bra to make it stick close to your chest. Make sure to match the lace with the rest of the bra and to place it over both cups. You could also try cutting stretchy fabric from old panties, pantyhose, tights or other materials and sew these on. To make sure that the mastectomy bra stays in place and not rise up or fall down, place stretchy fabric across the underside of the bra. You could also alter how high or low under your arm your bra would be; consider coverage, support and comfort in doing so.
- Support. Check whether the mastectomy bra offers you the support you need for your breasts. A prosthetic breast may be made to match the normal breast size and weight but they may also be lighter. If they differ in weight, they may not look equal under the bra so make the necessary adjustments.
- Material. Skin is more sensitive after mastectomy so choose material that is comfortable for you. As much as possible stay away from synthetic fabric because this can make you sweat and irritate your sensitive skin. Choose material that is breathable and allows for movement. Look for bras made from cotton and micro fiber. Thin materials allow for comfort and movement while displaying a neat appearance and minimizing the occurrence of lumps.
- Straps. In choosing a mastectomy bra, also check whether the straps are comfortable enough for you. Try your bra on and see whether the straps are not too tight or too loose; whether the straps can be adjusted and if it has pads to minimize discomfort against your skin.
The right mastectomy bra can make you feel more confident and attractive in your post-mastectomy self. The next time you are looking for one, keep these factors in mind and make buying a mastectomy bra become a better experience.