Beauty & the Breast

By Susan Pennel Sebekos on October 19, 2011
Do your boobs hang low? Do they wobble to and fro?

Well, if you’ve had children, chances are that they do. Investing in a properly fitted bra could help most, while other women consider surgery. Having children, and indeed aging, gives a woman a new perspective on ‘the girls’.

“Until I had a baby, I guess I hadn’t thought about my breasts that much,” Joyce*, 35-year-old mother of two-year-old Sarah, explains. “In fact, I only ever saw them as sexual. Now I hate to say, I see them as utilitarian.”

She continues, “After all the nurses and coaches had a poke at them, I began to think about them as milk machines.”

“I’d always been a bit unbalanced… my breasts I mean.” says Joyce. “But after having my daughter, I had one huge breast and one small one.” Joyce had suffered from mastitis in her left breast; the right breast had to do double duty and she’s now left with one breast that seems to have never experienced breastfeeding, and one, stretch-mark scarred breast that sets the cup size for the pair. “I’m stuffing the left and squeezing in the right. What fun.”

Buy a better bra

Many women out there are simply not doing themselves any favours by wearing the wrong bra size. The changes that occur with child bearing and aging means that women need to periodically check their bra size. Women might find that their breast size changes dramatically throughout pregnancy and the first year after their child is born. Some need a larger band size, some change cup sizes, some not at all. Women may need several different sizes of bra throughout their child-rearing years.

Think those aerobics classes can get your boobs to shape up? Better get a properly fitted sports bra. Wearing a regular bra while exercising can result in loss of elasticity and damage to the Cooper’s ligament (the connective tissue in the breast that maintains structure).

But not to worry, properly engineered foundation garments can hide what nature’s sense of humour has wreaked havoc upon. A great bra helps elevate most women’s bosom bugaboos.

The most common signs of a poorly fitting bra include:
  • Band riding up the back
  • Shoulder straps digging into the shoulders
  • Underwire that does not sit flat against the body or poking into the breast tissue
  • Breast coming out of the cup causing visible bulging

A poorly fitting bra can also lead to back pain, aching shoulders, sagging breasts and bad posture. A wellfitting bra helps you to stand up straight. And standing up straight, no matter what your size, makes the ‘girls’ look perky.

What's up Doc?

Dr. William G. Middleton, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, says that many patients commonly refer to their breasts as having become deflated, shriveled or droopy. In addition, he says that women frequently get stretch marks and a darkening of the areola.

Many of his patients are concerned about “feeling sexy and attractive both in and out of clothing. Dresses, bathing suits and tops don’t fit as well or look as good as they once did due to a loss of firmness and fullness.” The result, Dr. Middleton explains, is that many women feel self-conscious. Aging, of course, shows no mercy, and breasts start to lose collagen and elastin and the breast envelope begins to thin, weaken and eventually, sadly, becomes saggy.

Plastic surgery:

  • Costs $7,000 to $9,000
  • You can return to work approximately one week after surgery.
  • Normal activities can be resumed within four to six weeks.
  • Results: permanent.

Bra fittings

  • Visit a store and spend time trying some different styles, or better yet, treat yourself to a professional fitting.
  • Fittings are often free at good lingerie and department stores.
  • Wear a bra during the measurement.
  • Can return to normal life immediately!
  • Results: permanent, but you have to be dressed to see the difference.

By Susan Pennel Sebekos| October 19, 2011

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