Bra Binning: One night to Surgery

In the 1960’s the woman’s rights movement was well-known for supposedly burning their bras as a symbol of liberation. This originated on September 7th, 1968 when a group of feminists gathered to protest against the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_America_protest

What grabbed the media’s attention at the protest was the ‘freedom trash can’ into which women symbolically threw ‘instruments of female torture’ including false eyelashes, make-up, girdles and bras.

bra burning

Now I don’t feel like my bras are an ‘instrument of torture’, I think they are an incredibly useful piece of clothing that make your boobs look infinitely better than they do sans-support. However, as I have less than 12 hours left with my current boobs, I am marking the occasion with my own freedom bin and liberation movement from the threat of breast cancer.

We’re all friends here and have already discussed my reluctance to buy nice underwear.  I have nothing against nice underwear, it’s just nice underwear is expensive (especially in Australia) and I really like nice, but cheap clothes. Given the choice between a trendy top from Sports Girl and a lacy intimate from Elle Macpherson, I’ll choose the top every time.

Having known I was going to undergo this surgery for about 6 months has also exacerbated the standard of my bra portfolio.  There’s been no point in buying any new ones, but as a result, my brassieres are about to disintegrate. But, the time has come, and they have treated me well, so before they go in Trisha’s Freedom Bin, I want to pay them a little tribute….

favbra

This is my favourite and most recent bra. I thought I’d only bought it a year ago. Mr F says it’s about two. Whilst it looks nice from a distance, look how fake tan has muddied the colour of the baby pink straps.

WhitebraMy only, kinda white bra whose underwires are about to break through the material. I didn’t even purchase this one and was a hand-me-down from a friend.

 onehook

An old bra from the UK – only one of the hooks still works.

old

My oldest bra, it doesn’t fit and the straps are way too long.

dots

What looks like a teenager’s bra, way too small and my nipples always break-free .

pink

Dingy, used to be pink bra, maybe my first Australian purchase. I’ve been here four years.

So whilst I’m not sad to send my bras to my Freedom Bin, I would like to thank them for their support. Thanks guys, your work here is done…

 

ANSWERED: I’m not going to have any boobs – do I really need a bra?

Some of you may remember my post that asked the question, if I’m getting my boobs lopped off, do I really need a bra? http://www.imgettingmyboobsoff.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/

Despite having done quite a lot of research, at that point I did not have a definitive answer. So as I went to my last pre-op appointment with my plastic surgeon, I was keen to get the answer.

I like my plastic surgeon, as much as anyone needs to like their plastic surgeon. He’s pretty straight up, honest and seems to have my best interests at heart. As a result, I trust him and that’s what’s important for me. However, am I going to invite him and his family over for dinner? It’s unlikely. Does he laugh at any of my ‘I’m a really positive patient’ jokes? No. Not even one.

I arrive at my appointment with my bra questions printed out on a piece of paper and wait for my cue…

Plastic surgeon: “So Trisha, do you have any questions?”

Me: “Yes, do I need to wear a bra after surgery?”

Plastic surgeon: “No”

Me: “Oh, I thought you might give me one?”

Plastic surgeon: “No”

Me: “Oh, I see. I read somewhere that I won’t ever need to wear a bra ever again?”

Plastic surgeon: “No, you don’t.”

Me: “I’m not sure about how I feel about that. I quite like wearing a bra.”

Plastic surgeon: “You can choose to wear a bra, but you don’t need to.”

I probably cracked a bad patient joke here and that was that. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit disappointed. As we have discussed before, whilst I haven’t been the best lingerie buyer to date, I was keen to treat my new boobs a little better. So I left with the answers to my questions, but a little despondent.

That was until I received a call a few days later from one of the breast nurses at the hospital. She was calling to introduce herself and let me know that she’ll be getting me a bra to take home with me from the hospital.  HURRAH!

She explained that whilst you don’t need to wear a bra, lots of women want to, and so they get you a bra for when you’re ready to wear one. What’s more, as I’ll have the chest of a prepubescent girl during the beginning of the filling process, they also give you some soft foam to fill the bras with to give you some shape and confidence until the new boobs come into play.

With the encouragement to go forth and wear a bra, regardless of whether I need one or not, I am ready to go lingerie window shopping again.

Post Surgery Bra Shopping

Before you start, this article is a good checklist for what you need to bear in mind when buying a post-surgical bra. http://breastcancer.about.com/od/lifeduringtreatment/tp/bras-camis.htm. Key points are, focus on comfort and look for wide bands on the shoulders and beneath the breast.  Underwires are a no no until your surgeon says so, avoid seams and choose front fastening, especially for the months immediately following surgery.

Across the pond, the great British institution that is Marks and Spencer, has pulled together a video lingerie guide to post surgery, which is good to watch before you buy anything:  http://www.marksandspencer.com/MS-TV/b/311612031?intid=emtv_2_42_1375671779001

They have quite a good range of bras, very reasonably priced, but their post-surgery ones do look a bit like my grandma would wear. It might be worth looking at some of their non-wired options, which are much prettier, for a bit further down the track.

I like this Carefix Post-Op Bra, Alice that I found on http://www.undiewarehouse.com.au (which has loads of options BTW). It does up at the front, is wireless and recommended for post-operative stage, immediately following surgery.

alice-_front_

Another one from Carefix that I found on Westfield is also pretty cool. Again it does up at the font, holds dressings in place and says it’s great for use in the recovery stage after breast augmentation, reduction, reconstruction, mastopexy, lumpectomy or radiation. Sounds pretty comprehensive to me? http://www.westfield.com.au/au/search?sq=post+surgery+bras

CarefixWestfield

This Berlei wirefree post-surgery cotton bra looks a bit ‘surgical’ and asexual, but I like Berlei and you can trust they’ll probably be good. It has both front and back opening and cotton inner pockets to accommodate prosthesis. http://www.berlei.com.au/bras/shop-by-range/post-surgery/

Berlie

Finally, another great site for Aussies is Zodee http://www.zodee.com.au/search/?w=Post+surgery. They start from just over $25 for a basic wire free bra, and go up to around $60 for something more special.