Monday 23 September 2019

Marla Ahlgrimm: To Bra or Not To Bra?

Marla Ahlgrimm
Bras are an uncomfortable reality for most women. But, are the supportive paraphernalia really necessary? Marla Ahlgrimm says yes and no.

Q: Is it dangerous to go without wearing a bra?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Not necessarily. Back in the 1960s, there was a concern that the Cooper’s ligaments, ligaments that help keep the breast in place, would stretch and droop in women who decided to let the girls be free. However, that thinking has fallen out of favor. A woman likely will not experience any sort of breast disfigurement, but she may find that her back aches more often if her breasts are not supported.

Q: What causes backaches in large-breasted women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The human body is meant to be fairly symmetrical. When a woman’s chest is considerably out of proportion, this can put a strain on her upper back. When the breasts are supported, it can help to restore her center of balance, and she will likely not compensate as much for the excess weight on her chest.

Q: If stretching ligaments don’t cause sagging breasts, what does?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Stretched ligaments couple with volume loss is the primary cause, but not wearing a bra won’t harm the ligaments. Most research points to the number of pregnancies a woman has experienced as the reason that her breast will succumb to gravity as she ages. With each pregnancy, the breast automatically become engorged and then shrink back down to size. This continuous change is likely the reason for the tissue breakdown.

Q: What should determine if a woman wears a bra or not?

Marla Ahlgrimm: First, comfort. Then fashion and public decency. Many places will restrict access if a women’s breasts are showing. This can be circumvented by wearing thicker materials that do not allow the breasts to show through. Also, women who are breastfeeding might want to consider wearing a nursing sports bra and nursing pads for comfort and to prevent visible milk leakage. It should be noted that breastfeeding is a protected activity. Women who are nursing their babies are not breaking any rules by doing so, even if the breasts are exposed.


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