For those looking for post-surgery bras…

I am no longer a Bra Lady, having decided to devote my time to my full-time role and studying for a qualification related to that role. However, I still have an interest in the welfare and comfort of others. So with that in mind..
Here is a selection of bras and accessories that are available from Bras4All

Visit http://www.bras4all.co.uk

If you use the code YO11JSP you will receive your order post free and I will receive a small commission as a thank you for directing you to the site.

Nicola Jane Lace Pocketed Vest Top

Anita 5523 Sport Bra

Royce Chloe Modal

Anita 5523 Sport Bra

Anita Alicia

Nicola Jane Pocketed Vest Top - V007 purple

Bra Extender

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Bra fitting tips for asthmatics

As an asthmatic I didn’t think that wearing a bra would be any different for me than anyone else.
Then I had a bad attack and had to loosen all tight clothing!
Anyone who has had a proper bra fitting knows that a good fitting bra needs to be tight!
What if you’ve got a brand new bra that fits really snug and you have an asthma attack then?
There is a simple solution…
Make sure that you keep a bra extender in your bag or purse. It doesn’t really matter what colour (but they do come in black, skin and white), as long as you have one to hand to extend the length of your bra band during your attack. It is a cheap and effective modesty protector!

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Check out your lumps!

Even after reconstruction such as I’ve had, you need to keep checking your breast for anything that is not normal for you.
My normal has been a bit off kelter recently, but when I found a lump the size of a pea I knew that was not my norm!
Although I had been discharged by my plastic surgeon’s team, I didn’t bother going to my doctor, I phoned my plastic surgeon’s secretary for guidance. She spoke with my surgeon and I was given the choice of travelling through to her hospital or a local appointment. I opted for a local appointment (as when I first ever found a lump, I was still convinced it was nothing to worry about).
My appointment was 0930 on Valentine’s Day and I had made my work aware of my appointment of indeterminate length. My appointment was almost on time, but when I explained my reason for being there I was told I was in the wrong clinic – the follow-up clinic. I needed to be at the new investigations clinic (that’s not what it was called – but I went into stressed-out mode which means I forget everything)! A new appointment was made for me at 1430. Not a good thing when you haven’t told your husband and he is expecting you home for the afternoon!
I had to go home and tell him!
He was fantastic! Scolded me for not telling him in the first place and took me in for my afternoon appointment.
It’s a lot different than it was 11 years ago. It took 6 weeks to find out the results back then! I had a lot of gratitude in me for the swiftness of the feedback, regardless of the result! Which, to save alot of waiting and details here, was benign cycsts (plural). I have to keep an eye on them for any change, but other than that I’m off the hook!
Such a relief! It had taken several hours and OH had had to go home, but all was well.
I walked the few miles into town to clear my head and acknowledge the gratitude of the results. Then caught a bus from town to home and the love it held within.

A dramatic day

A dramatic start to the day today! I’m working at the local theatre for two mornings this week. Over one hundred of the school’s students will be performing “The Wedding Singer” from 8 to 11 February in the local theatre “in the round”. To comply with health and safety, the students are all chaperoned by adults during their week in the theatre.
As one of those chaperones I don’t get to see much of the performance, but they all look fabulous in their costumes and sound fantastic. It’s a tribute to the hours of work put in by all the students and staff during the period from auditions at the beginning of the academic year to this final week, the performance.
The parents, staff and friends of the school who volunteer to chaperone during the week are so vital to the Performing Arts department during this week as the production couldn’t go on without them. Having their support means that students can move about the theatre safely and the theatre staff are satisfied that the students are appropriately supervised.
The students benefit by experiencing what it is like to perform in a real theatre environment. They receive the same Health and Safety briefing that professional theatre companies receive, from the theatre’s Stage Manager; they are also expected to behave like professional actors.
Each year the students have received high praise in the local press for their performances,with tickets usually being a sell-out for each performance.
I wish them all the greatest success for this years performance.

Bra fitting Q&A

Bra fitting Q&A
These are questions that have either been asked of me, or occurred to me in the past…
If you have any questions that you think are missing, message me and I’ll add them in.

Q: What happens at a bra fitting?
A: I’ve answered this question in a lot of detail in what to expect for your bra fitting

Q: Will I have to get undressed in front of the bra fitter?
A: Not necessarily, again, see what to expect from your bra fitting

Q: I have a large/small bust, what is the chance of me finding a bra to fit?
A: There are a wide range of bras available that come in a good range of sizes. Anita and Royce offer sizes from ___ to ___.

Q: I have mobility problems and cannot fasten a bra behind me, what other options are there for me?
A: A front fastening bra may well be the best option for you. These come in a range of styles and sizes. Fastening may be by hook and eye, press-stud/popper, or by button. A selection of styles can be seen in front fastening bras

Q: I am very tender under my arms where I have had surgery, won’t a bra chafe me?
A: It is worth you trying a variety of styles to see where they fit to under your arms. A bra in one style may rub on tender areas where another style may cover it completely and be comfortable. Speak to your bra fitter about your concerns, so that they know to look out for this when fitting you.

Q: I have had surgery on my left hand side, so I will only need one cup in my bra pocketing. How will this work for me?
A: Some manufacturers produce bras that are bilaterally pocketed, others may come with either a left or right pocket option. If you desire a bra which does not usually come pocketed, it is always possible to have a pocket added, sometimes by the manufacturer, sometimes by adding a pocket yourself or by getting someone to do it for you. Bras4All will also put a pocket into a bra for you for a small fee.

Q: What if I buy a bra and then find it isn’t comfy for me?
A: Bras4All will exchange a bra as many times as necessary to ensure that you are comfortable with your bra, as long as the bra has not been worn and is returned in the original packaging and is in a condition fit to sell.

Q: I’m worried about the cost, aren’t mastectomy bras more expensive?
A: If you have had a mastectomy or a lumpectomy and you are buying a bra specifically made for ladies who have surgery, you are entitled to receive your bras free of VAT. This is covered under relief from VAT under Group 12 of Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

Q: How much does a fitting cost?
A: This is something that does not have a specific answer as it really does depend on how far your bra fitter has to travel to get to you to do the fitting. Speak to your bra fitter in advance to agree a price that you are both happy with. Also look out for events and special offers where discounted or free fittings may be offered.

Q: How often should I have a fitting?
A: Generally speaking, it’s advisable to get fitted about every 6 months. Also don’t forget that your body fluctuates daily, so you may benefit from a bra extender for the days when your body is a bit fuller!

Q: I have had an LD (latissimus dorsi) flap reconstruction and have a scar on my back. Will the bra strap cover this?
A: Bras vary in style, so you should be able to find something to suit your needs.

Q: I’m waiting to have a reconstruction, is it worth even buying a bra now?
A: Yes, it is always a good idea to get a fitting beforehand to find a bra that you will be comfy with after surgery. You probably won’t feel much like going bra fitting just after surgery!

Q: I’m going in to have my mastectomy/lumpectomy soon, when should I be fitted for a bra?
A: Again, much the same answer as to the previous question, if you get a fitting before your surgery it saves you a lot of effort afterwards. Also, there are post-surgery bras available specifically for the period straight after surgery. These offer gentle support and some also have silver incorporated into the fabric which gives an antibacterial effect and silver also promotes healing. Also, if you want an idea of what to take into hospital with you, you might find what to take into hospital with you interesting

Q: Aren’t mastectomy bras ugly?
A: I don’t think so! There are some really pretty fashion bras available now that come with pockets. And don’t forget, any bra can be pocketed for you, or you can buy pockets to sew in yourself. A very small selection of mastectomy (and lumpectomy/partial mastectomy) bras and clothing can be viewed at mastectomy bras

Q: Where can I have my fitting?
A: You can choose where you have your fitting. Many ladies have theirs at home, but it is not uncommon for some ladies to be fitted at the hospital. You may also decide to have a fitting at an event where your bra lady is doing fittings and showing her bras. Or if you like you can arrange your own bra party and invite some friends along. For a taster take a look at my blot about a bra party

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions?
A: That depends on your question. If you want to know more about your treatment or cancer, it is best to speak to your Breast-care Nurse or Oncology specialist. If it is about bras then feel free to speak to your bra fitter.

Q: Who do I contact if I want a bra fitting?
A: Well, if you live in East or North Yorkshire you can contact me. But if you live in other areas of the country try looking at bralady.co.uk to find a bra fitter nearby. If you can’t find someone nearby on the website contact T-J to see what other assistance or solutions can be offered.

Sport bras

These are some of the bras you can buy to provide you with differing levels of support while exercising:

You need to make sure that you match the level of support provided by the bra to the activities you will be doing when wearing it.

All are available to order, some may not be on bras4all – however they can still be ordered – contact your BraLady.

Any of these bras can be pocketed, for a prosthesis, if they do not have them already, at a small additional cost.

Anita Sports bra – 5521

Light & firm
Seamless cups, breathable, lightweight microfibre and the soft microfibre underbust band ensure maximum comfort. The adjustable comfort straps feature additional reinforcement on the shoulder.

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Sizes: 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 32F, 32G, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 34F, 34G, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 36F, 36G, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 38F, 38G, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 44A, 44B, 44C

Anita Sports bra – 5523

A sports and recreation bra which features seamless cups of lightweight microfibre.
The softly-lined front-fastener makes dressing and undressing simpler and quicker.
The wide straps with Velcro-type fasteners can also be easily adjusted as required during training.


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Sizes: 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 44A, 44B, 44C

Anita Sports bra – 5524

Unrestricted movement: This lightweight sports and leisure bra is made of breathable, antibacterial functional fabric and features net panels at the back. The diagonally sectioned cups are cut high at the neckline for firm support. The back fastener has four positions for maximum flexibility depending on the sporting intensity.

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Sizes: 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E

Anita Sports bra – 5527

Sporty style, extreme shaping function: High-support piqué fabric and net panels at the back regulate the moisture level and ensure that the skin remains dry. The side support function enhances the shape of the breast. The ergonomically tailored relief straps provide firm support. The seamless inner cup of microfibre towelling provides chafe-free support.

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Sizes: 30B, 30C, 30D, 30E, 30F, 30G, 30H, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 32F, 32G, 32H, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 34F, 34G, 34H, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 36F, 36G, 36H, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 38F, 38G, 38H, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 40H, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 42F, 42G, 42H, 44B, 44C, 44D, 44E, 44F, 44G, 46B, 46C, 44D,46E

Anita Sports bra – 5529

Maximum support with ultimate comfort: The breathable high-tech fabric ensures that the skin milieu is regulated, helping you improve your performance. This sports bra also minimises the movement of the breast and provides maximum support through to the large cup sizes.
The new, extremely flat seams and towelling-soft seamless cups pamper the body. Another advantage – the fully padded and adjustable support straps relieve strain on the neck.

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Sizes: 30B, 30C, 30D, 30E, 30F, 30G, 30H, 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 32F, 32G, 32H, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 34F, 34G, 34H, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 36F, 36G, 36H, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 38F, 38G, 38H, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 42F, 42G, 44A, 44B, 44C, 44D, 44E, 44F, 46B, 46C, 44D, 46E

Royce Impact Free S826

Maximum support sports bra
You can feel confident and comfortable with this Impact Free sports bra. Suitable for all sports and activities, this maximum support sports bra will help to reduce the bounce. Now available up to K cup.
Impact Free provides the base for your prefect workout kit. Featuring a wide underband for anchorage and a high neckline for added support. The Impact Free has a high cotton content, which helps to wick away perspiration, and has extra-strong padded straps for an ultra comfortable workout. It can even be worn as outerwear if you prefer. Fantastic support and comfort up to a K cup.
81% Polyester, 19% cotton

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Sizes: 28D, 28DD, 28E, 28F, 28FF, 28G, 28GG, 28H, 28HH, 28J, 30D, 30DD, 30E, 30F, 30FF, 30G, 30GG, 30H, 30HH, 30J, 30JJ, 30K, 32D, 32DD, 32E, 32F, 32FF, 32G, 32GG, 32H, 32HH, 32J, 32JJ, 32K, 34D, 34DD, 34E, 34F, 34FF, 34G, 34GG, 34H, 34HH, 34J, 34JJ, 34K, 36D, 36DD, 36E, 36F, 36FF, 36G, 36GG, 36H, 36HH, 36J, 36JJ, 36K, 38D, 38DD, 38E, 38F, 38FF, 38G, 38GG, 38H, 38HH, 38J, 38JJ, 40D, 40DD, 40E, 40F, 40FF, 40G, 40GG, 40H, 40HH, 40J

Royce Impact Free S925

Maximum support sports bra
You can feel confident and comfortable with this Impact Free sports bra. Suitable for all sports and activities, this maximum support sports bra will help to reduce the bounce. Now available up to K cup.
Impact Free provides the base for your perfect workout kit. Featuring a wide underband for anchorage and a high neckline for added support. The Impact Free has a high cotton content, which helps to wick away perspiration, and has extra-strong padded straps for an ultra comfortable workout. It can even be worn as outerwear if you prefer. Fantastic support and comfort up to a K cup.
81% Polyester, 19% cotton

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Sizes: 28D, 28DD, 28E, 28F, 28FF, 28G, 28GG, 28H, 28HH, 28J, 30D, 30DD, 30E, 30F, 30FF, 30G, 30GG, 30H, 30HH, 30J, 30JJ, 30K, 32D, 32DD, 32E, 32F, 32FF, 32G, 32GG, 32H, 32HH, 32J, 32JJ, 32K, 34D, 34DD, 34E, 34F, 34FF, 34G, 34GG, 34H, 34HH, 34J, 34JJ, 34K, 36D, 36DD, 36E, 36F, 36FF, 36G, 36GG, 36H, 36HH, 36J, 36JJ, 36K, 38D, 38DD, 38E, 38F, 38FF, 38G, 38GG, 38H, 38HH, 38J, 38JJ, 40D, 40DD, 40E, 40F, 40FF, 40G, 40GG, 40H, 40HH, 40J

Special Reader Offer: Quote YO11JSP at checkout to receive your online order postage free.

Related articles

Fitting guidelines for individuals who wish they had breasts

Enhancement

Not everyone was born with the look that they want. And some like to enhance or change their appearance from time to time. This post aims to help those who need to know more about choosing a bra to enhance their bust.

Size

Take an underband measurement around the torso at the point where a bra-band sits (approximately mid way between the underarm and the bottom of the ribs). Keep the measure horizontal and very firm while taking this measurement. This is the “starting point” for a bra size. Round up to an even number (if odd) to find the bra size. The cup size will depend on the amount of padding used to fill the cup.

Fit

Try the bra on. Fasten the bra on the loosest eye possible. Ensure that the band is straight across the back and not riding up. To check the fit of the bra start by ensuring that the band/wire is placed directly against the chest wall. Moving to the back check the firmness of the band by putting two fingers under the band and pulling gently. There should be no more than 1cm of movement of the band away from the back. Shoulder straps should be firm, not too tight, not too loose. Side seams should be centered under the armpit, if they are forward you need a larger cup, if they are backward you need a smaller cup. Where the cup sits under the arm, if it is too high choose a smaller cup, likewise if it is too low choose a larger cup.

Comfort

How a bra fits and the style of the bra affect the comfort of the bra. The most common bra styles are:-

Balconette (balcony) –

covers 50-75% of a full cup style bra, the straps are usually wider set on the shoulders, so for those with narrow or sloping shoulders the style won’t be suitable

Full cup –

great for larger, fuller breasts. The cup encloses the entire breast giving all found support. Straps fit above the middle of the breast.

Minimiser –

redistributes the breast across the chest wall, making the breasts flatter.

Moulded –

gives a smooth look under clothing. The seamless cups are moulded into a rigid shape which produces a more symmetrical appearance. They also add a layer of padding to the overall look and size.

Padded –

have padding in the cup to give extra shape. The padding may be across the whole of the breast, or just in selected zones to give extra shaping, e.g. push up effect. Some have removeable padding, so you can choose when to use the extra padding, depending on what you’re wearing and how you want to look.

Plunge –

this is where the bra cups meet at the band of the bra, below the nipple area, rather than higher up. These bras are ideal for wearing with low cut tops, with many styles designed to give maximum cleavage. This style of bra is not designed for maximum support or security.

T-shirt –

these give a smooth shape under t-shirts. They are generally either moulded, or padded, as described above, but are always seamless.

Sport –

these are designed to stop breasts from bouncing during exercise. There are different types of sports bra, some use compression, others use firm fabric and structure to give support.

Soft cup –

these are bras without any wires. They use the structure of the bra, usually with the fabric and where the seams are created, to give the support and shape. There are many excellent soft cup bras, some that are light to medium support and others more supportive and fuller in the cup

Multiway –

these have straps that can be used under all sorts of outfits. Not common in larger cup sizes due to the lack of support for fuller breasts without the shoulder straps and a fuller cup. If you have a favourite bra, it is possible to attach an extra strap to the existing bra band to extend it into a backless bra.

Availability

Take a look at the soft cup and mastectomy bras available at bras4all. Soft cup bras are structured and crafted to support the breast without the use of wires. Mastectomy bras have a lining or pocket built into the bra, into which a breast form or prosthesis can be inserted. The pocket holds the prosthesis in place within the bra so that the wearer doesn’t have to worry about it moving out of place or coming out of the bra. Both of these styles are available from bras4all.

If you use the code YO11JSP you will receive your order post free and I will receive a small commission as a thank you for directing you to the site.

Look

How you look in your bra depends on the style you choose. Different styles give different shapes and will suit some outfits better than others. You may also find some bra accessories helpful in achieving your desired look. You can see what sort of accessories are available in my other post on this blog… Useful accessories for bras

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Teen bras

Working in a school full-time I see young girls of all ages, shapes and sizes. A quick search on the Internet will also tell anyone who wants to know, that young girls are very much affected by the size, shape and development (or not) of their breasts. And as many parents of these young girls do not know how to help them with deciding when to start wearing a bra or how to select an appropriate size and style to ensure health and comfort, they may go through life wearing inappropriate or even unhealthy (for their body) styles or sizes of bra!

Any incidents at this age can affect a young woman for the rest of her life. I have spoken to ladies who have been profoundly affected by comments overheard at the age of 12, who to this day are still living with the memory of how those comment affected them! Such comments can so adversely affect a young woman that her self-esteem can be totally destroyed for life!
It is so important for young women to know that their body is normal and totally unique to them. It doesn’t matter that their friend may be “body beautiful”‘ they too have their own beauty!

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Useful accessories for bras

Bra Extender

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Bra ball or bra saver wash bag (for washing your precious bras)

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Delicate items wash powder

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Did I say bra extender

There will be days when you need a little relief due to your monthly cycle or other natural variations in your size

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Magic clip to get a racing back when you need it

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Comfy straps for tender shoulders

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Lace illusion cover-up for when you need a discreet appearance
Tie the ribbons to your bra straps to create a feminine cover-up

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Breast enhancers for when you need that little bit more

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Silicon petals for discrete nipple cover up

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For those ladies that need them: stick on nipples

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And finally, some ladies may wish to add a pocket to their bras to hold a prosthesis

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Special Reader Offer: Quote YO11JSP at checkout to receive your online order postage free.

Volunteering

As someone who spent over 10 years working in the charity sector I’m a strong advocate for volunteering and the benefits that both parties gain. The volunteer may do their role for many reasons and I have worked with a tremendous number of volunteers in my time. I give you examples such as work experience, social interaction, gratitude for support given, donating time rather than giving financially; and for each person you speak to the reason may be slightly different or vastly different than the person before.
My own volunteering extends back as far as I can remember; I don’t even remember how, when, or why I started! Possibly it stems back to “bob a job” as a Brownie/Guide! showing my age now 🙂 I’ve also done many varied activities in all my volunteering: conservation work of many types (including founding a local group), brailling texts, modifying texts for conversion to large print, sitting on committees, answering surveys, reading books.
The last one on the list is the most recent and current role. I volunteer as a “Cancer Voice”. This is run by Macmillan Cancer but I am not restricted to volunteering solely for Macmillan. I have since I joined in I think it was 2009, enjoyed the following opportunities:-
A. Read and commented on numerous books
B. Watched and commented on DVD’s
C. Taken part in numerous surveys to help development of services and guidance for patients
My most recent review was of a book called Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery. It is available in paperback and as an ebook. When I reviewed it I read it from cover to cover and then submitted my review. However this book will need to be read again as it was more of a workbook to work through than a linear read.
As a Cancer Voice I am not just restricted to reading books, though I tend to find that it is the easiest way for me to volunteer as I work full time and getting free time to attend other activities is not easy for me.
I hope that you have found this interesting enough to consider volunteering yourself. Take some time out to list your skills and abilities, or even areas that you need to develop and that you are willing to invest time in improving, while using your current skills to help others. It’s a good idea to choose an organisation that sits well with your ideals and contact them to see if they have need of your personal skillset or opportunities for you to learn (for example I could type and was taught how to use brailling software).
Do-It

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