Warning in this post I am going to talk about ladies things, notably boobs and bras, so any males out there may want to avert their eyes if they wish. Or if you are a male family member then you probably should go watch the cricket or something.
Living with a chronic illness and chronic pain you can spend a lot of time in your pyjamas. Well unless you've got the sweats and need to change them several times a day. But generally it is just easier/ more comfortable to remain in your pyjamas and save a 'spoon' for something else. Yes I admit that sometimes I have even visited family in my pyjamas but I draw the line at going out in 'public' as in to the shops in them. That's a little too far. Although I have seen many a person do so. Anyhow somewhere back in the dawn of time I remember being told, or heard somewhere that you should never wear a bra to bed, because it's bad for your breasts and can stop them from growing. Well that could explain some things, hehe. Now I have no idea whether this information is true but let's say I followed it anyhow. Plus lets face it wearing bras in bed can be quite uncomfortable and lead to all kinds of weird lines and sweatiness, uch! But obviously when you are in bed quite a lot through illness, as I have been recently you get to debating the whole bra in bed issue. As well as the bra with pyjamas issue. Mostly I have been thinking about whether I should be wearing a bra during waking hours.
On a facebook page that I follow www.facebook.com/largecupbras which is a lingerie company and has reviews and blog posts of different bras etc this week the issue was raised on there too, through an article on Huffington Post. Well mainly concerning whether to wear a bra in bed. They wondered whether actually by not wearing a bra in bed the delicate breast tissues were getting too stretched, especially for busty ladies and ladies that have more bulk on the sides of their boobs (you know when you're pulling them out from under your armpits). There is even a story from Amy Greene, Marilyn Monroe's closest friend that she infact did not just wear Chanel No 5 to bed, but in her words 'a bra like they had in the convents', all because she was told that her breasts would sag if she didn't wear a bra to bed and in turn ruin her career. In the article on Huffington Post as part of their beauty myths series they talked to a professional bra fitter and an associate professor of surgery and director of the Breast Cancer Surgery Multidisciplinary Fellowship at New York University. Of course the big question was 'does wearing a bra at night cause breast cancer?' To which evidence shows that no it cannot contribute but if you are wearing a tight or uncomfortable bra then it COULD give you cysts in the breast tissue. So common sense applies, make sure your puppies are comfortable, supported but that they can breathe and aren't cutting into the breast tissue. This goes for boobs of all sizes and whether you wear a bra at night or not.
But as for whether wearing a bra at night is actually good or bad for us is still up for debate. Yes it won't give you breast cancer so that is a pro. Both the surgeon and bra fitter said that it does all come down to comfort and preferance at the end of the day. As long as your breasts are supported during the day and you wear a properly fitted bra then the 8 hours or so you are asleep shouldn't make too much of a difference or make them sag prematurely. I said 8 hours sleep, meaning for the healthy amongst us obviously. However ensuring we are supporting our breasts during the day is all important. Wearing a well fitted bra is essential, honestly I can go on and on about this. Not only can it do wonders for your cleavage and your posture but it can also help reduce back pain and is recommended by chirocpractors and physiotherapists. I remember going to a physio after a car accident and was mortified that I forgot to take the tag off a new bra as I was 'road testing' it but they actually applauded me on it's good fit and make and then kindly cut the label off for me. Good fitting bras can literally do wonders on your health, figure and self confidence. So make sure you get fitted properly and regularly if you notice any changes in your weight. Also get to know how different brands and types of bra will suit your shape better but it may mean that you need a different size from the different brands and types, so if you can try before you buy. But once you get to know how a bra should look/fit then you can make good choices. For busty ladies I thoroughly reccomend getting a fitting at Bravissimo. I think they really revolutionized lingerie for larger cup sizes and getting there customers to understand their boobs more. It is also the company that the physiotherapist recommended. Thankfully long gone are the days when larger busted ladies had very little choice in styles.
Back to the article though, they did say though never to sleep in an underwired bra, because of the discomfort and added pressure on the breast tissue. The professional bra fitter also said that if you are over a D cup then she would actually recommend sleeping in a bra because of the extra weight and impact of gravity and to keep them in place so you don't end up sleeping on them (the last bit are my own words). But the conclusion is that is all about comfort and preference (and of course who you're sharing a bed with ;-) ).
Of course this discussion was based on healthy women, who get that magic number 8 hours sleep and then get up and get dressed into their bras and whatever else, not those of us with chronic illnesses who's sleep varies, are in bed for a lot more time than they are out of it and most probably if they do get changed it will be into another set of pyjamas. Of course we could always just pop on a bra when we are awake and then take it off before going back to sleep, which I have tried but with finding myself spending more and more time in bed lately I thought I should really give some more thought into this boob dilemma. I should really have thought about it sooner given my vigilence in finding good fitting bras. I did try just sticking to my regular underwired bra all day long but it is uncomfortable, even with a good fitting bra. So I started looking into soft cup bras. Thinking that the only choices would be sports bras or a Granny bra, or that they wouldn't have any in my size. I feared that there may just be ones that were in general Small, Medium or Large sizes, more like a crop top. I didn't want to compromise on the size, because as I said I am a big advocate of a proper fitting bra and that would defeat the purpose of needing a bra for support.
So after some searching on all my usual sites, and trust me there are many the only options that seemed to be available in my size was a sports bra or a maternity/ nursing bra. I decided to try the maternity bra as they were lighter weight. This was a bit strange for me but I thought what the heck I'll give it a go as there isn't much else available, it ticks all the other boxes and I can always give my self a cheeky flash if I get bored haha. Well I could if I could navigate the drop cup clip. So once I knew what I was looking for and average price range I thought I'd try my luck on ebay, well you just don't know your luck and when you are looking at £30 a bra it's always worth looking around. Miraculously I managed to get 2 different bras for under £25.
I have the Freya Dotty one and a Royce one. The Freya one is fantastic, it is so comfortable I can wear it all day and night and there's no marks. I am a fan of Freya lingerie and swimwear already and am equally impressed with this bra. And because it is in my actual size the support is great, especially on the sides of the bra. Hurrah no longer are my boobs typing their own words on my tablet! The Royce one is pretty and supportive but it's a bit tight and therefore uncomfortable so I haven't been wearing it to sleep. It also doesn't give as nice a sillouette but that's not all that important under pyjamas. I'd never even heard of Royce before so don't know whether their sizing in general is slightly smaller. Plus I'm sure it will stretch soon.
So there you have it a comfy solution to lounging around and spending a lot of time in pyjamas. Without the worry of damaging or stretching any tissue because of the length of time that you might not be wearing a bra. Again it all depends on size and comfort though but personally I'm glad that I have found a great solution for night and day (well night and day in ME world, so maybe that should be awake and asleep.) So perhaps if you're in a similar situation then you might want to give it a thought. Who knows it could help with some back pain.
But whatever your situation look after your boobies ladies.
Some of my favourite websites for lingerie and swimwear are: