Now that you’re not going into the office every day, you may be frequenting your bra drawer a lot less. Maybe this is comfier for you, but maybe not. You may be worried about your breast health and posture as well. How to decide? The decision will vary from woman to woman, but there are a few things you should consider before burning your bra:
While going braless may feel weird at first, especially for those with larger breasts, Lucky Sekhon, MD, an OB/GYN and REI says, “Over time, though, their bodies will adjust and naturally start to support the breast tissue appropriately, without the aid of a bra.” It may take a few weeks or months to build up the chest and back strength to support your breasts sans bra.
If you ditch your bra, will that make your breasts sag? “Women who have gone long periods without wearing a bra often report that this leads their breasts to feel firmer, rounder, and perkier over time,” says Sekhon. So instead of taking it down a notch, a bra-free regimen could give your girls a boost! Sagging is actually caused by age and gravity, says Dr. Dan Mills, which we don’t have a remedy for yet!
If your bra causes you discomfort, like back pain, going in for a proper fitting could make sure you have the most comfortable bra possible. But if that doesn’t work, going braless might be for you. While the sensation might be uncomfortable at first, Dr. Sekhon says that in the long term women report that they become “desensitized, and these feelings are replaced with feeling much more comfortable and free overall.” The added comfort could even help you sleep better. But it depends on how you feel. “Women with large or pendulous breasts may face daily discomfort unless adequately supported,” says Patricia Geraghty MSN, FNP-BC, WHNP.
If you frequently find pimples on your breasts and chests, your bra could be to blame. Bras can trap moisture, dirt, and sweat against your skin, says Dr. Sekhon, leading to clogged pores and skin irritation, especially in women with larger breasts. “The dirt and sweat that build-up underneath [your bra] can lead to skin infections and acne,” says Dr. Anuradha Seshadri, a physician at UCLA Health.
There are rumors that wearing bras can actually be bad for your health, but this doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. “When a bra leaves red marks at pressure points around the ribs or on the shoulders, this indicates an effect on the surface circulation of the skin,” Geraghty explains. “This is not going to cause negative health consequences in an otherwise healthy woman.” And it doesn’t mess with your lymph nodes either. Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CRNA, COI says, “In general, a properly fitted bra shouldn’t interfere with the lymphatic system, nor would going braless improve lymph drainage.”