Updated August 2018
If you had a workout routine before your breast augmentation surgery, you're probably itching to get back into the swing of things. Provided your board-certified plastic surgeon has given you clearance, you can begin to ease into your favorite exercises and sports. But before you do, you will need to protect your breast implants with a post-breast augmentation sports bra.
Eight ingredients for a post-breast augmentation sports bras
After breast augmentation, you'll need a sports bra that supports not only your breast implants but your active lifestyle. So what ingredients make for the best sports bra after breast augmentation? These features work together to provide comfort and support and to safeguard your breast implants during your workout routines.
You don't want your breasts to spring up and down when you're jogging or doing activities that cause bouncing motions, so you may think that a compressive sports bra that renders your breasts immobile is a good option. It's not. When breasts are stuffed and pressed into a sports bra, it can affect their shape and placement over time. The perfect post-breast augmentation sports bra comfortably cups each breast and doesn't wholly restrict their movement. It lays firmly on the rib cage and takes pressure off of your back and chest.
Your sports bra after breast augmentation should preferably have front closures rather than back closures to prevent motions that stretch your chest muscles. Avoid zippers. Closures or clasps will let you adjust the bra so that it suits your particular comfort and support level. One with three or more rows of closures is ideal and will give you the most support.
3. Alterable shoulder straps
Alterable shoulder straps along with front closures will allow you to customize the perfect fit based on your comfort level and the amount of support you need. Straps that are set far apart and rest flat over the shoulders is best. Be sure they do not dig in or pinch the shoulders as this will cause pain and tension on the shoulders, neck, and back. Also, look for straps with minimal stretch to limit up-and-down breast movement.
It can be tempting to select a sports bra that comes in small, medium or large sizes. Surgeons recommend breast augmentation patients choose styles that follow the same size conventions as their regular bra, which has a number for the band and a letter for the cup size. Note that your sports bra size and day-to-day bra size may not be the same. When shopping for a sports bra, start with your usual bra size, then try another one size up and one size down. Go from there. Try on as many as you need until you get the right snugness and comfort.
You will want to choose a sports bra with a wide band that has strong elastic around the entire torso. However, if this is not possible, a wide band across the back can suffice. The band should lay flat against the rib cage and not pinch, dig or purse open. If the band rides up the back, it is either too loose or the straps need to be adjusted. To determine your band size, measure underneath your breasts, around the torso. If the number you get is odd, add 5 inches. If the number is even, add 4 inches.
6. Molded cups
Avoid sports bras with a single compartment that forces the two breasts to share the same space. Instead, when exercising after breast augmentation, you want a sports bra that gives each breast their protected mold. The breasts should keep their natural shape and be cupped snugly within each cup. Also, the cups should come up over the breasts enough to keep them in their shells while performing activities.
Cups that are more forward-facing will be most accommodating as augmented breasts often have more projection than natural breasts. To find your cup size, measure around the fullest part of your breasts. Next, subtract that number from your band size. If the difference is three inches, you will need a C cup. If it's four inches, you will need a D cup.
7. Impact levels
Low-impact sports bras are best for activities that do not involve a lot of bouncing or movement. They may have slightly thinner straps. As a result, making them great for walking, golf, yoga, and gardening. High-impact sports bras have wider straps, allowing the bra to stand up to sudden movements, protect your tissues and lessen the motion your implants face when running or playing volleyball, softball and kickball.
8. Ideal fabric
Cotton blends are breathable and best for low-impact aerobics or activities that will not cause you to sweat a lot. 100% synthetic materials have moisture-wicking, which means they won't hold onto moisture. This fabric is ideal for high-impact sports where you want to stay cool and dry. Look for synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and lycra.
Not sure about your sports bra after breast augmentation?
These eight tips should have helped you find the perfect post-breast augmentation sports bra, but we know some women can have uncertainty about their choices. It's normal to feel this way, especially after you've made such a considerable investment in your breast implants. When you aren't sure, get an expert opinion. Take the sports bras you've chosen to your plastic surgeon and have him weigh in. Don't forget to mention the activities you'd like to perform.