The Sports Bra Expert

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - final post> back
October 31, 2011

The Best Sports Bras for Surgical Breast Reconstruction...
Here's the sports bra info you need if you've chosen surgical breast reconstruction to regain the body shape image you're most comfortable with. The fine points of getting the right fit and support in your bra depends on whether you've chosen implants or a 'flap procedure' with your own body tissues.

Flap procedures using your own natural body tissue usually give you a reconstructed breast much more similar in every way to your original ones than an implant, so your fit and support needs should be comfortably similar to what they were pre-surgery. So feel free to grab the sports bra styles you have always known and loved!

Synthetic implants actually bring some surprising benefits to your quest for great breast support during a tough workout! First, they're a little stiffer (think less jiggly) than natural breast tissue, which means that even if your bra size is the same as pre-surgery, your new 'girls' will bounce less during high-impact moves. The latest implants also come in special materials that are lighter for their size than natural breast tissue, which means you can get fuller curves with less weight on your sports bra shoulder straps.

In my sports bra conversations with active breast cancer survivors, the main challenge with implants is often in the fit: Even if your cup size hasn't changed, implants may be broader at the base than your pre-surgery breasts, pushing you up a cupsize to accommodate the shape-shift. It can also make it tougher to find an underwire style that perfectly matches the curve of your implant and lies flat on your chest.

Underwire sports bras can also provoke a pain/sensitivity issue post-surgery. Since implants are often inserted through incisions along the bottom crease between your chest and breast, scar tissue in the area can make underwires ouchy long after the actual incisions have healed.

To work around these fit and comfort challenges, I suggest first trying a wire-free sports bra (which will be a little more forgiving in fit and comfort) for your post-implant workouts. But if you wouldn't dream of heading out for a workout without the familiar anchoring of an underwire sports bra, don't hesitate to sleuth out one that works for you and your new shape. Just make sure the wire is well-cushioned, and that its curve matches yours and rests totally on your chest, not your implant.

Thanks for being with me through this past month of special posts! Breast cancer touches so many of our lives (if not yours personally, then certainly someone you know well). In the middle of all the challenges, that best news is that living an energetic active lifestyle is one of the best (and most fun!) ways to cut our risk. We're talking a huge advantage here—staying active over your lifetime can pull down your risk of getting breast cancer by nearly 25%! And if you do get breast cancer, consistent exercise can cut your risk of it recurring in half!! It really IS that powerful!

So keep kicking it—and living your best life!


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Introducing Champion's Sports Bra Expert - LaJean Lawson

In 1977, Champion Activewear invented the first sports bra, called the Jogbra®, made from two jockstraps sewn together. The realization that women also needed support for their assets was the catalyst for Champion Activewear to apply innovation and technology to become the leader in the sports bra market.

In 1977, runner LaJean Lawson had just finished her first marathon with bleeding sores on her shoulders and chest from a bra that did anything but support. Her search for a solution eventually led to the discovery of her life's passion–sports bras!

Today, Champion Activewear is thrilled to offer Dr. Lawson as a resource to help you solve your sports bra problems. While Dr. Lawson has gained critical knowledge from scientific research, the best education she's had about sports bra needs has come from the thousands of women she has spoken to at races and events, as well as those who help her test Champion products.

Whether it's your shoes or your sports bra, your workout happiness depends on finding the gear that's just right for your size and activity level, and that's exactly why we're here to help!

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