WHY A WELL-FITTING BRA IS THE KEY TO BEATING MANY KINDS OF BREAST PAIN
dmg media (UK)
I DOUBT if many of you will be surprised to learn that doctors aren’t taught about bras at medical school. But as a GP, I’ve learnt just how important a wellfitting one can be. Surveys suggest that as many as four in five women are not wearing the right bra for them. And I can concur – I see it all. Bras so small that the straps dig into the shoulders and the breasts bulge out, or so big the cups gape. That’s not to mention the bras that are so old they clearly provide no support – or have worn away so the wire digs mercilessly into the skin. All these things can result in breast pain. And in women with very large breasts, there can also be back, shoulder and neck pain. There are some rules of thumb to look for in a bra. The band, which circles the torso below the breasts, should be level all the way round, not rising up at the back. It should also fit snugly, but not too tight – you should be able to easily slide a finger underneath the band but not more. Straps should be adjustable and adjusted. After all, you could be a foot taller than someone else and have the same size breasts, but the straps will need to be longer for you. The straps should neither dig in nor fall off. Try lifting the strap with a finger – it should give a little but if you can lift the straps up to your ears, they are too loose. The straps will also need readjusting over time as they become looser with age. Also, the centre gore – the part of the bra between the breasts – should lie flat against your breastbone. It should neither float away nor dig into the breast tissue. And, finally, the cups should sit flush to the breast, not wrinkle or sag away, and they shouldn’t dig in, meaning that the breast bulges over the top. If you aren’t sure of your size, Marks & Spencer, Next and many other big department stores offer fitting services. If you can’t face that, you can also do virtual fittings online. And it’s worth trying now as your shape and size changes throughout life, so it might surprise you to discover that you’re not the size you thought you were.