To bra or not to bra?
After months of work-from-home and more staying at home in general, your go-to grooming habits may look very different. Maybe you’re not wearing much makeup anymore, athleisure is the norm, and, well, you might not be wearing a bra as often. The good news is that going without a bra doesn’t seem to affect your physical wellbeing. “To me, wearing a bra is an elective decision. It’s unlikely to influence breast health,” says Dr Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor in the department of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine.
A quick word about your breasts
It’s helpful to know a little about your breasts and what they’re made of so you can understand the role your bra plays. “Breasts are composed of glandular tissue and fat. The breast gland itself is supported by Cooper’s ligaments – an internal matrix of connective tissue,” explains Dr Alexis Parcells, a board-certified plastic surgeon. Their shape and the way your breasts sit depend on their unique ratio of glandular tissue and fat.
The decision of going braless is a personal one. You don’t have to worry that you’re hurting your breasts or increasing your risk for certain diseases. But, there are specific times when skipping a bra may lead to damage – and when it might be best. Here’s what you need to know about going braless.
You may experience neck pain
It depends on your cup size, but if you have very large breasts, “not wearing a bra could affect back or neck pain,” says Dr Constance M. Chen, a board-certified plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist. In fact, a study published in The Journal of Orthopaedics found a correlation between a large cup size and shoulder and neck pain, as the heaviness of breasts continually pull on the trapezius muscle which runs from the back of the neck to the shoulders and down the upper back. On the other hand, a good, well-fitting bra should help support the weight of the breasts, offloading the work your body has to do.