Everyday Breast CareEveryday Breast Care
Everyday Breast Care
Breasts contain no muscles but only fat cells, milk-ducts and glands held together in a web of soft connective tissue so by exercising you cannot increase your bust size. Neither will exercise directly reduce a heavy bust. This is especially true if your breast are heavy, if however you are over weight, a weight reducing diet combined with regular exercises will help you to reduce your weight as well as your bust size.
Exercising however has several other advantages as well: it tones up the muscles on which the breast tissue lies. So if your bust-line measures less than what you would like then exercises would give you a chest line firmer and more prominent thus making your bust appear larger. Similarly, if a heavy bust were your problem you would lose some of the droop (which can spoil your shape and again a firmer contour though there would be no loss of inches.
Apart from exercises, which we have already mentioned, swimming is a superb exercise for bust shape. It exercises the breast muscles considerably against resistance of the water and this really can do wonders to your shape. In addition swimming will strengthen the back and tone the upper arms.
Bust firming exercises to do at home
Put the hands on the nape of the neck and push elbows backwards, as if trying to make them touch. Repeat 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Put each hand on the opposite biceps muscle at bust level and press inwards 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Bend the elbows at bust level and bring the palms of the hands together, pushing them hard against one another 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Holding arms straight at bust level, repeat a "scissors" movement 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
With the arms held straight out to the sides, move them in small backward circles. Repeat 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Pronounce in an exaggerated manner the letters "O" and "X" 10 consecutive times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Stick out your chin and grimace with teeth clenched. Repeat 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Raise arms in front of you, cross them over to grip the elbows, then push in the opposite direction, repeat 10 times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Posture: You must always be aware of your posture, check that your back is always straight when sitting or standing.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Back strengthening exercises will pull your tummy in and push your bosom up and out.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Wearing the right size Bra
Because breasts have no muscles, and are only held up by the pectoral muscles (the muscles of the chest) they definitely need extra support. You can get this by wearing a good bra. Wearing a bra, which fits well, can make a great difference to both your comfort and to your contour. Most of the support a well fitting bra should give the breast, must come from beneath and not the straps, you can check this by slipping off the straps to see if the bra will stay in place without them.
The back and the sides of a good bra should be in level with the front. If the back piece tends to be high around the shoulder blades, this could mean two things. That you are hauling your breast by either the shoulder straps or the base of the bra does not fit well. Bulging flesh at the back of the bra or at the sides and underarms means that the bra is too small. If the bra cups are increased all over then obviously they are too big for your breast size. To find out the correct size of the bra cups first measure around you rib cage under your breasts. Then measure the fullest part of your bosom at the level of the nipple. The difference between the two measurements will give you the cup size as follows.
10 12 cm: AA
12 14 cm: A
14 16 cm: B
16 18 cm: C
18 20 cm: D
20 22 cm: DD
Does it fit?
When you try on a bra, scrutinize it closely to see if there are any aspects of the fit that could be improved.
If the straps cut into your shoulder, you may need wider straps or under-wiring.msimagelist> msimagelist>
If the breasts bulge along the top of the cups, the cups are to small or too pointed.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Check the outlines side-on for any seams that interfere with the profile.msimagelist> msimagelist>
For a clean cleavage the bra must lift and separate the breasts.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Metal fastenings or adjusters near the shoulder will cut into the skin.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Lace trimmed straps can irritate the shoulders if your breasts are heavy.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Bulges at the armpits mean the bra back size is too small or the side panels too narrow.msimagelist> msimagelist>
If the bra pushes your breasts out to the side it will widen your outline font-on.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Will Breasts sag without bras?
Your breast will eventually sag regardless of whether or not you have worn a bra in the past. This sagging is due to the slackening of the supporting muscles. Going without a bra can somewhat hasten this process where a well fitting bra may delay it for a little while. Only the very small-breasted woman can get away with not wearing a bra into her forties. The breast matures and develops a fuller form from age forty onward and during menopause, very often with the same discomfort that is felt with premenstrual tension. A well fitting bra can give relief to this discomfort, but so often, the mistake is made of wearing the same size bra as when younger. This not only accentuates the discomfort but also gives a bad contour to clothing. In addition, an ill fitting bra will emphasizes the shape of a maturing woman that comes with menopause and growing older that we all try to hide. A well fitting bra can effectively disguise the fact that breast may have lost shape.
Bras should not be tight, the pressure of wire and synthetic or nylon padding causing heat buildup. This heat and pressure leads to chaffing, heat rashes, rubbing and irritation of moles, and tearing of delicate tissue under the breast just to name a few of the skin conditions that may eventuate from bras that are too tight.
I should mention here that it is imperative to remove your bra at night, do not wear a bra to bed. If you do require a bra in bed (and very often large breasted women do) buy a bedroom bra. One of cotton fabric without under-wire or padding and a slightly larger cup size than your day bra.
Sagging Breasts and stretch marks
As we mentioned earlier, breasts eventually sag with age, breasts start loosing their tautness and shape with maturity. Illness, pregnancy, breast-feeding and fluctuations in weight will all take their toll on the delicate breast tissue and its form over a womans lifetime. Stretch marks are the first things noticed after pregnancy or weight loss, this is because the overlying skin has been stretched beyond a limit the elastic fibers in the skin could bear. These marks are worse in some women because the elasticity of the skin varies from person to person, this is intrinsic and for many women the breasts do not return to their previous shape and size. For many, the breasts become slack and pendulous with stretch marks. Some of these conditions could have been reduced with good breast and tissue care during pregnancy or weight loss program. But not completely avoided because of the inherited predisposition (intrinsic) towards elastin loss.
Care of the Large Breast:
It is not until a one has been over weight or pregnant and overweight can one appreciates the difficulties that come with large breasts. Large Breasts cause medical, physical and psychological disorders. Many of you reading this will be nodding in agreement, some of you may have lost the weight or had a breast reduction and still remember the discomfort and torment those large breasts caused you.
Many of the exercises suggested are not suitable for the larger breast, simply because it is impossible to reach across the breast mass to touch elbows or some other similar movement. This is where aqua aerobics comes into play. Exercises done in a water environment cause less impact on the body and increase mobility.
This exercise, called push-ups is an easier one.
Push-ups: kneel on all fours, with your hands shoulder-width apart, beneath you elbows. Stretch your left leg out behind you with your toes pointing back. Bend your elbows to the floor, keeping your shoulders in line with you hands. Repeat this several times, then repeat the whole sequence with your right leg out behind.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Another easy exercise for the larger breast is as follows: stand straight with arms dangling on your sides. Raise each arm above your head and turn round alternately. Repeat 10x times.msimagelist> msimagelist>
When choosing a bra for heavy breast, make sure it has flat well-padded under cup wiring and wide elastic straps that give support to the centre of the breasts. Every decade or weight change, visit an expert in bra fitting and be professionally measured and fitted for your bra. It is important to fit your bra properly to avoid "bra-strap back", a common complaint caused by large breasts and ill-fitting bras. Many large breasted women suffer from pain between the shoulder blades and at the base of the neck, made worse by wearing the wrong bra and poor posture. It is unfortunate that large-breasted women, who have most to gain from wearing a well-fitted bra, are often too self-conscious to have a proper fitting. In addition, that many women are unaware of the wide range of sizes and styles available on the market. Finally, do not be too rigid about your bra size. All clothing sizes can vary between manufacturers, and a 38D in one brand could easily be a 36C in another.
This visit will bring you up to date with the latest fashion in underwear fabrics and there have been some enormous changes there. (Micro fiber) In addition, the straps, catches/clasps and under-wire materials may have also changed. These all make a better garment, to not only wear but also to wash, keeping their shape and colour longer. Bras for larger women are no longer matronly and ugly, they can now be beautiful, feminine and functional. Therefore, if you have not been for a professional fitting in a while I suggest you do. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Breast Self Examination
Breast self-examination (BSE). Every woman should start doing BSE in the teenage years as soon as she develops breasts and keep on doing it until she dies. There should be no time in your life when you stop or interrupt this routine.
A mothers role is to teach her teenage daughter how to do BSE; this should be done at the same time as the daughters first experience of menstruation. Here is an opportunity for mothers to form a closer bond with their daughters who may be suffering with the difficulties of early woman hood and growing up. Early womanhood is an impressionable time. and an ideal opportunity to teach self-responsibility, personal care and self-respect. This is also the ideal opportunity to introduce other preventative health measures such as cervical smears and contraception.
When to do BSE
Most women who examine their breast regularly will never find a lump, let alone a malignant one. When you are starting, examine your breasts at different times of the month because they will change in consistency and texture as you go through your monthly menstrual cycle. This will raise your awareness of these changes and know how your breasts feel to touch.
Once you are familiar with your breast changes, then regularly perform your examination at the same time every month- ideally in the week after your menstrual period so that you have a consistent basis for comparison.
There are two elements to breast self-examination: looking and feeling (palpation).
Looking at the breasts.
Stand or sit in front of a mirror. Look at each breast carefully for changes in appearance, size, or the colour of the nipples. A difference in level between the nipples, patches of eczema or dimpling of the skin. Do not forget to look at the upper part of the breast that leads into the armpit. Check the skin carefully across the dcollet for changes in skin colour and texture.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Raise both your arms above your head. Turn to one side so you can see your breasts in profile, and repeat your observations. Repeat on the other side.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Pace your hands firmly on your hips and press in hard. You should feel your chest muscles tense. Repeat.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Now lean forward. Look again for dimpling or puckering of the skin, a change in outline of the breasts, or retraction of the nipple.msimagelist> msimagelist>
Feeling the Breasts
Lie back in a relaxed position and put your right arm behind your head. This shifts the breast tissue underneath your arm towards the centre of your chest, giving you better access to it and making it easier for you to palpate. If you have a very large breast, you may need to put a pillow under your left shoulder.msimagelist> msimagelist>
With a firm touch, examine your right breast with your left hand. Using the patterns of palpation shown in these diagrams, repeat on the other side.msimagelist>
Check your armpit and along the top of you collarbone for lumps (swollen lymph nodes)msimagelist> msimagelist>
What you are looking for above all is a change in your breasts. You will not be able to recognize change, however, until you have examined your breasts a few times and established what is normal for you. Once you have been practicing BSE long enough to get used to what is normal in your breast, you will need to be on the alert for changes that need a doctors attention.
What to do if you find a lump
First, check the same part of the other breast. If what you have found is symmetrical, its just the way your breasts are made and nothing for you to worry about.
If the lump is asymmetrical, do not panic. Telephone your doctor to make an appointment for a breast examination at the earliest opportunity.