Getting implants will alter your breasts’ size resulting in a bra size change, as well. For many women, this is far from unwelcome news; the chance to go shopping for new bras can be enticing, and you may even decide to celebrate your new curves by getting your very first professional bra fitting.
Before you make a dash to your favorite lingerie store, we would recommend reviewing just a few guidelines about bra-wearing post-augmentation. Specifically, it is important to know when you may go back to wearing regular bras and when you know that your breasts have settled on their final size.
Wearing a Bra During Your Recovery Period
First and foremost, be advised that you will have some limitations on the kind of bra you can wear immediately after your surgery. Specifically, you will need to wear either a sports bra or the special support bra your surgeon provides. Generally, it is recommended that you wear these bras pretty much around the clock, removing them only long enough to shower. However, if the bra feels too tight, remove it and let the breasts settle for a day or two, then try again. The bra should fit you better. The support it provides can help expedite your recovery and minimize any discomfort you feel.
It is especially important to avoid wearing underwire bras. The reason for this is simple: following your augmentation, your implants will require some time to settle into place. An underwire bra can put undue pressure on the implants and potentially impact the final shape of your new breasts. Also, the underwire may result in “lumps,” which may require surgical intervention.
For optimal results, be sure you wear the kinds of bra your surgeon recommends until you are cleared to go shopping for some nicer undergarments.
Buying Bras Following Breast Augmentation
Once you are cleared to start wearing regular bras again, you will need to ensure you find the right style and size. Most women know perfectly well what it feels like to wear an ill-fitting or incorrectly sized bra, but post-augmentation, you will have a few specific considerations to bear in mind.
Buying a Bra in the Right Size
Start with cup size; this is not the only factor to consider, but it is certainly an essential one. Remember that the results of your breast augmentation surgery will develop gradually, both as your implants settle into place and as your swelling subsides. Because of this, it can be tricky to get the sizing right, as your breast size may fluctuate a bit over the first several weeks.
We often recommend buying bras gradually. Resist the temptation to immediately run out to a super-expensive lingerie store to stockpile bras. Instead, go to a discount clothing or underwear store and buy one or two. See how they fit after a month or so, then purchase one or two more.
Measuring Your Breasts
Remember that if you have any questions about your ideal bra size, you can always head to a department store, where professionals in the lingerie department can take some measurements and help you figure out precisely which cup size you need.
If you do not wish to do this or are unable to get the professional assistance you need, you can also measure your breasts on your own. Here is how.
- Use a tape measure to get both your band and bust size. To measure your band size, wrap the tape around your breasts, extending beneath the breast cups. To get your bust size, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your breasts, where the tape goes over the nipples.
- Then, simply subtract the band size from the bust size. The number you get corresponds with your cup size. Specifically:
- O inch difference – cup size AA
- 1-inch difference – cup size A
- 2-inch difference- cup size B
- 3-inch difference – cup size C
- 4-inch difference- cup size D
- 5-inch difference- cup size DD
- 6-inch difference- cup size DDD, F
- 7-inch difference – cup size G
Based on this information, you should find a bra that is roughly in the right ballpark. For instance, if your band size is 34 and your cup size is D, you will want to try on a bra-sized 34D.
How Do I Know When My Breast Size is Settled?
One of the most common questions that patients ask following augmentation is when their breast size will be “settled.” This occurs when the swelling has gone down, and the implants are in position, making it possible to determine the “final” breast size.
There is no hard and fast rule here. The recovery period can vary from one patient to the next, and some women simply deal with more swelling than others. A good rule of thumb, however, is that swelling usually subsides within six weeks. At this point, you will likely have a fairly good indication of your final breast size.
A Note About Bra Style
Remember that, in addition to size, you will also want to consider the style of your new bras. This is largely a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind our earlier warning against underwires. You will want to avoid any bra with an underwire, as they can impact the final shape of your breasts and also potentially cause irritation to your incision site. Also, they can result in “lumps” in your breasts which may require surgical intervention.
If you have questions about when you may resume wearing underwire bras, reach out to your plastic surgeon directly.
Buying Bras After Breast Implant Surgery
Immediately following breast augmentation, most patients are eager to celebrate their new curves. This is completely understandable, but we urge patience during the initial recovery period. It can take a few weeks or even a couple of months to really see the final outcome of your surgery. In the meantime, be sure you choose your bras according to your surgeon’s instructions.
Are you ready to learn more about enhancing your curves via breast augmentation? If you live in the San Diego, CA area, we invite you to contact the practice of Dr. Susan Kaweski at your next opportunity.
We would love to help you determine whether breast augmentation is right for you.