Lots of women don’t regularly check their bra size because they don’t feel that their boobs have changed. One woman told me that she’s been a 38E since she was 16; at 39, two children and a divorce later she was surprised when I told her she was now a 36G. If you’re honest, how often do you check your bra size?
You may feel that your body hasn’t changed much but you’d be surprised at the number of things in life that can affect your bra size. Your body can change shape without you even realizing it and this is often the result of changes in your life.
We’re aware of the changes that occur with dieting or having a baby but there are other things that can affect your size:
1) Emotional Strain and Grief
No one’s life is without sadness at some point and this deep emotional state can have very real physical effects on your body. I have spoken to women after coming through a mourning period, or significant emotional change like divorce, who find that their bodies have changed.
It’s unrealistic to think that you can be vigilant about your bra size when you’re processing emotional trauma, however, when you begin to emerge from the sadness, it’s important to give your body the support it needs.
Weight loss or weight gain through this time may include some muscle change so your boobs can be very different. It will make it easier to resume regular life if your body is supported and comfortable.
It’s worth speaking to a bra expert about appropriate styles if your body shape has changed.
2) Surgery and Illness
You don’t need to have experienced a breast related illness or surgical procedure for it to have an effect on your boobs. Medications and surgery can have a very direct effect on your bra size; some medications cause water retention which can result in a bigger bust size.
The most important thing to remember during these times is that your body needs support to recuperate.
It may be the case that going without a bra for a while is a good idea and when you’re back on your feet you may want a softer bra like the Enell Lite pictured above while your body is still tender. There are post-surgical bras available for you to wear after breast surgery.
These can be worn day and night and give you gentle support while you heal.
As you stop producing as much estrogen, progesterone and prolactin the glandular tissue in your boobs stops swelling and reducing through each menstrual cycle.
Most women find that their boobs become less dense during menopause, and this reduces their overall bust size. However, for about 20% of women the menopause results in an increased bust size as the fatty tissue inside your breasts increases.
Either way, you’ll want to keep an eye on your measurements (our bra size calculator is an easy way to follow your size changes) and buy bras accordingly. The menopause can also make your boobs very tender or even sore. If this happens it can help to wear seam-free bras that reduce irritation but keep you supported.
Your body needs different support depending on the time and events in your life. Finding the right style and size of bra will help you to feel more comfortable physically and emotionally.