Understandably, a breast cancer diagnosis can fill you with anxiety and stress. And if you’re planning to undergo a mastectomy, you need to have a few mastectomy bras ready to be used once you start recovering from the surgery.
A mastectomy bra is designed to be stylish yet comfortable for women who need the appropriate chest support to accommodate their breast form after a mastectomy. These bras feature pockets that will support and hold your breast in place.
Buying a new mastectomy bra may seem like a common chore especially since women have been buying bras for as long as they can remember. But picking the right one is essential as it can help prevent any potential back problems that are common in post-mastectomy patients.
Before you proceed, here are five things you must know first about mastectomy bra fitting.
1. Private Consultation With Your Fitter
In reality, there are plenty of options available out there if you’re shopping for mastectomy bras. Some bras are stylish, feminine, and at the same time functional and comfortable. You can choose whether to have a racerback, seamless, or underwire options for your bra. But before you go ahead and try on different styles of mastectomy bras, you’ll need to have a private consultation with your fitter first.
Make sure your fitter is a certified professional who specializes in bra forms. Most often, it takes at least an hour to get all your fittings. When it comes to mastectomy bras, it will never be a one-size-fits-all approach because every breast surgery is different. This means all fittings done will be special and customized as well.
Your mastectomy fitter will also assist you in fitting and trying on each bra of your choice. For your part, it’s recommended that you’ll be upfront and honest about your preferences, and your fitter will work on them to ensure you get the best size and comfort.
When your fittings are done correctly and accurately, it’ll be easier for you to sleep, swim, and do anything with your custom-fitted bra. Plus, this will also prevent you from experiencing back strains. Moreover, it’s also best to have your size rechecked every year and refit when needed.
2. Cost Will Vary
The prices of mastectomy bras will vary depending on where they’re bought and customized, so you can check each store and see more price options. However, you have the option to go through mastectomy bras insurance since these bras are often covered by your health insurance.
Insurance providers will usually cover about two mastectomy bras every year. If you wish to use your insurance, you’ll have to ask for a prescription first from your doctor. Then, don’t forget to bring this with you during your fitting schedule and consultation.
3. When To Schedule Your First Fitting
To schedule a fitting, you need to wait for your doctor’s all-clear signal before you can schedule an appointment. Doctors would usually allow a fitting to be done around seven to eight weeks after your surgery. This is done to ensure that by the time you’re having your fitting, your incision site won’t be uncomfortable, and it has completely healed.
4. Scheduling Return Fittings
Mastectomy bra fittings are recommended to be done regularly. This is due to weight fluctuations which are common for everyone. In case you lost or gained weight, you’ll need to revisit your fitter to update your measurements and purchase a new bra.
Even if you think you haven’t lost or gain weight in a given year, it’s best to still see your fitter for an updated fitting. It would good to establish a comfortable relationship with your fitter as you’ll have to work with them more often during annual or semiannual fittings.
5. Wearing Your Mastectomy Bra
As you wear your mastectomy bra for the first time, it’s best to try it with your fitter around, so both of you can check together whether necessary adjustments are needed. Make sure that your bra’s band is snug perfectly against your skin without digging in. It’s your band that provides most of the support you need, so they have to be in the proper fit. In other words, it must not be too tight or loose.
The cups must be separated, and your bra’s center must be flat against your chest. The remaining tissue shall fill the breast cup without any spillover. It’s also best to use bras with wide straps and place them in the shoulder center to balance the weight. Additionally, don’t forget to choose a stylish bra because, after all, bras can be both chic and functional.
Now that you know what to expect about your mastectomy bra fitting, it’s time you set an appointment with your fitter if your doctor permits. When choosing a bra, focus on functionality and comfort to ensure that your body and breast will get the support that it needs.