For many of us, wearing a bra was only important when we were stepping out of the house and now thanks to the pandemic, we may not have worn one for months.
Most of us are trying to do the best for our communities by staying home during the pandemic, and meanwhile spending so much time inside has changed our daily routines too. For starters, we don't need to get up early and get ready to go out to work. Most of us who work are still doing so from home. For women, one of the benefits of that has been being able to dress as we want. If we want to spend the day in our jammies, we have been able to do so.
Dressing as we want has also made many of us abandon our bras for months. Unless we are going out, most of us are not bothering to put those tight contraptions on. Now, there are some benefits to that. We will be busting some myths about bras in this article. For starters, most of us are probably wearing an ill-fitting one. Our bras might be too tight or too loose for us. Larger cup sizes, something we can't really do much about, can also cause a change in posture and musculoskeletal pain, according to the Institute of Osteopathy.
So here are a few things you need to know about going braless for extended periods of time as you spend more time at home.
This depends on the size of the breast. University of Franche-Comté professor Jean-Denis Rouillon conducted a 15-year study into how bras affect breasts and found that "medically, physiologically, and anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity", according to the Telegraph UK. The study found that women who didn't wear bras had perkier breasts. Their nipples were lifted 7mm higher on average than women who wore bras. However, there are critics of the study. Dr. Anuradha Seshadri, an internist at UCLA Health tells Bustle, "If your breast size is larger, then wearing a bra may slow down the process of sagging."
Breast cysts are caused by fluid accumulation inside the glandular tissues of the breast. These occur due to hormonal fluctuations, which has nothing to do with underwires. These could occur solo or in multiples in one or both breasts. It could be too small to feel initially and may be detected only after imaging. They could also be large enough to be felt as a lump, as per Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand.
Robin Lansman, osteopath and media spokesperson for the Institute of Osteopathy told Elle that back pain from wearing a bra depends on the kind of bra we are wearing and our build. There are many reasons that can cause back pain including self-esteem. For instance, women who are less comfortable with their bodies may slump or arch their shoulders which has a big effect on back muscles. The pain in our back and breasts is not just as a result of their size and bra.
The purpose of wearing bras is not a cosmetic one. They support the weight and structure of our breasts. Tight bras can cause pain and discomfort in the rib, back, or neck area. Getting ourselves fitted might not be an option right now and so if we choose to skip the bra there should be other ways to strengthen our neck and back muscles to avoid pain. We can do stretching exercises and perform activities that can warm up relevant muscles without putting undue pressure. For instance, floor-based breathing exercises and using resistance bands can activate the muscles instead of stressing them, according to Elle. We could also get better pillows and apply heat to the muscles that are part of our posture.
There are many people who wear bras 24X7 but that's not recommended. Dr. Seshadri told Bustle, "You may feel less restricted at night" if you removed it before laying down. Many prefer not wearing a bra at night but it all comes down to personal preference. However, it is recommended that we wear a non-wired bra in bed since it does provide support without restricting.