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Is Your Bra Toxic? Five Easy Tips for Healthy Boobies

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Don’t worry, this is not an invitation for a bra bonfire party (although we can have one if you want, our boobs might be happier that way).

Following my last post on toxicity in children’s clothing, I started thinking about bras and boobies. Since I’ve been breastfeeding for more than four years non-stop, I want to make sure my boobs are not ‘toxic‘ to myself or my child. Bras are not inherently ‘bad‘, but there are few things we should keep in mind to keep wearing them more safe.

1. Skip the Padding
Padding in bras is made from a petroleum product. The foam in the padding may or may not have been treated with various flame retardants, anti-mold chemicals, anti-bacteral chemicals and so on… there is no way to know what chemicals are in the foam of a bra because manufacturers are not required to provide the consumer with such information! All that wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that breast tissue (which is extremely fatty) is really good at absorbing and retaining toxins that leach through the skin. Also, foam in bras doesn’t allow your skin to breathe properly and can thus can literally ‘heat’ up your boobs. While boobs are ‘hot’, they’re not healthy if they are actually temperature hot, get it?

2. Pass on the Underwire or Change to a Plastic Underwire
Underwire is usually made from metal coated in plastic. The metal and the plastic are not actually leaching toxins into your skin. We’re talking pressure points, reflex points, energy and drainage of the lymphatic system (the body system responsible for moving nutrients, waste and fluids around your body). If you think along the lines of accupressure, and the flow of energy or chi, having metal or hard restrictive pieces of clothing on certain parts of your body, it acts as a sort of energy block to that part of the body. I’ve heard several energy healers speak about this.

My combination knowledge of spirituality/chemistry teacher has also led me to understand, that metal contains ‘positive ions‘ (the not so happy kind), which are not the healthy type of ions you want surrounding certain parts your body. Of course, I haven’t scoured the resources out there to find the proof, but it certainly makes sense to me that having positive ions near any energy spot on your body (like a lymph node) would not be a good thing. Anyway, hard metal underwire is uncomfortable! You can change your metal underwire to plastic here.

3. Proper Fit
Make sure your bra fits snug, but is not too tight! It’s ok if boobs jiggle a little, it’s good for that lymph drainage. Most women around the world don’t even wear bras, it’s our society keeping us thinking that boobs need to be smashed and pushed up to keep from moving! Keep the support low to medium, unless you’re doing some sort of physical exercise and you feel like you need something really supportive. A bra that is too tight reduces the amount of fluid drainage, or makes the lymph nodes in your armpits not able to do their job. Anyway, wearing a bra that is too tight is super uncomfortable and is bound to make you irritable by the end of the day! Some women feel uncomfortable when shopping for bras as they are insecure about their size. If your breasts are causing your confidence to be completely destroyed then you may want to speak to a surgeon like Dr. Shridharani. Surgery may be able to rebuild your inner belief and confidence!

4. Healthy Fabric
Choose bras made from fabrics that are mostly made from cotton or other natural fibres like bamboo. Synthetic fibres, such as polyester, nylon and rayon are treated more heavily with chemicals in their manufacturing. Synthetic fibres also don’t breathe as well as a natural fabric. If you can find an organic cotton bra, GET IT! If it’s not organic, conventional cotton is still treated with chemicals, so just wash wash wash and the chemicals will eventually reduce.

5. Don’t Wear Your Bra to Bed!
Some studies have shown that woman who wear highly supportive bras for 24 hours a day have a much higher risk of getting breast cancer. Woman who reduce the amount of time wearing their bra, also greatly reduce their chance of getting breast cancer. So, give your boobies lots of bra-free time. Even if it’s only when you’re asleep, that’s better than nothing!

But Kate, My Boobs Will Sag and Everyone Will See My Nipples!
Ok, I know some of the big breasted/big nippled girls out there are rolling their eyes because I’ve got average sized boobs and wearing low/medium support is fairly comfortable for me. So… the part about everyone seeing your nipples… well, that can be a tough one depending on how much you CARE if people see your nipples poking through your shirt. I personally don’t give a crap because it’s part of my body and they shouldn’t be looking anyway. If you’re concerned, you can find some two-ply heavy duty bras, without padding, that will hide the nipples better. Also, looser fitting clothing, or a tank top underneath or darker colors on top.

If you really like underwire, you can actually buy plastic underwire, remove the metal underwire and put in plastic instead! There are some other excellent DIY ideas here, for making your bra more healthy. Boobs will sag a little anyway, by the time you’re old and gray. It’s natural and seriously, when you’re 80, will you even care?! I would rather have healthy, slightly soft boobs than squashed up sweaty unhealthy ones! Also, there is a theory out there that you have some ligaments in your breasts that will strengthen over time if you allow them to be ‘exercised‘ by not wearing a bra, or by not wearing so much support. So, give your boobs a chance to ‘work out‘!

I hope this post helps you to have a lifetime of happy boobies! Eat well, smile often… and wear a comfy bra, non-restrictive bra!

Share with any of your friends who have boobies 🙂

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22 Responses »

  1. Cool, I spent my day packing up for the trip and removing the underwire )))

    • Oh yay! haha, I thought maybe nobody read this post 😉 I remember some Art of Living lady saying too once (Bernadette, I think?) that you shouldn’t wear metal framed glasses either…

  2. Best and less used to make the best wire free cotton bra for $10. I have quite the soft and stretchy boob, and they gave me a good shape without being restrictive. Sadly they recently ‘improved the design’ by making it completely synthetic. I should probably write to them and tell them to reimprove.

    • Oh no! Kmart did the same, they had these great cotton ‘sleeper’ bras that I looooved, and then they stopped making them and made some other kind with padding! I think I have the best and less one and looked, but like you said, didn’t find it again!

  3. i’ve not worn underwire for ages now -hardly ever- because of comfort mainly, 🙂 & I often go bra-less around home… Now that my boobs are so much fuller getting ready to be milking machines, i’ve found i feel the need for a bra more, cos i’m getting, like chafing, under my boob!!? is that normal? ugh! ouch! but yeah really sensitive to the type of bra at the mo & a lot of mine are synthetic, they don’t feel that good… i’ve not seen many cotton bra’s…yeah if you find a good source, let us know 🙂

    • Oh yes, Chaquita! The boob chaffing can happen during pregnancy. All that stretching! Just keep eating healthy, take good care of your liver… etc. There is an okayish one that I get from Target, it’s actually not made from cotton, by it’s very comfy and has no padding or anything. They come in a pack of 2 for $25… I figured I had to compromise between padding and natural fibre… I chose the natural fibre to the padding! Get ready little milking machine 🙂

  4. My mom use to say with humor, “Friends may forsake you, but a good brassiere will never let you down.” Haha😀

  5. agree with all but some of us NEED underwire. a bra without it would be useless (and uncomfortable for me.) I am SOOOO sick of foam bras. That’s all stores carry anymore! (THey look like little helmets) I hate that all mfrs just jumped on the foam wagon and now it is so hard to find a simple cotton bra

  6. I just wear my nursing tank tops… And I think that’s all I will continue to wear after I’m done nursing! Unless it’s a fancy night out (haha yeah right!) these girls are free and I could really care less what other people think!

  7. This is very good information!!!

  8. I’m 18 years old !! Is wearing wirebra ( plastic) stop my boobs to grow bigger ???

  9. it has been scientifically proven that wearing bra causes more sagging. Trying to support any body part by taking over its functionality, for example, external support to lift the breasts up, causes opposite effect, breast stops putting any effort to do themselves. I don’t know why there is this belief anyway?? There has been never any proof that bra corrects sagging? It visually makes it look like when it is there of course if a lady has big saggy boobs already, with wire, tight band etc.. but otherwise, why people created this myth about bra helping to avoid sagginess? It depends on the breasts.. I have very small breasts, I am 38 and nothing is sagging, since it is already small, and has a certain shape, anatomically, it is the type that will not sag. I already removed wires from my bras long time ago, extremely comfy, but padding is tricky since my breast looks flat with clothes on without padding.. also tits..

  10. Idk the date of this article but I so agree. At this date – October 2017 it is nearly impossible to find bras that fit this criteria and that plain and simply fit. Size labels mean nothing as manufacturers jump from making products in Mexico, Vietnam Nam, Cambodia, Santa Domingo etc. while using ever cheaper and unnatural fabrications. I have never in my life had such difficulty finding bras! They are pushed/up, foamy and ill fitting. Even sports bras appear to be made of recycled tires. They are truly horrible.

    • Oh, I now! It’s gotten really hard, almost impossible!!! Time to get out our sewing machines, I think!

    • yes! it is so annoying. I have one bra that is probably about 20 years that I cling to for life. I am afraid I won’t be able to use it much longer. It’s an underwire, but comfortable, lightweight (cotton?), adorable, kind of a demi cut. Also the straps are not made of elastic. What good is that? Again, I LOATHE foam bras, and every store is just a sea of them. If I could go without one I would, but it is just not comfortable. I need some lift. And I have tried bras advertised as “the most comfortable.” Not! So right about the sizing too. I have never been a D in my life, but with one line that is what I have to get.

  11. where to buy healthy bras? thanks.

  12. I started taking out the foam pads from my bras and using the organic pads meant for nursing moms. They are so soft and comfortable.

  13. Do you have recommendations on where to buy cotton or cotton blend (or other natural fibers) wireless bras?


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