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Finding the Right Sports Bra After Breast Implants

Being able to return to exercise is a significant milestone after breast augmentation.  Finding the right sports bra after breast implants isn’t always easy. The Sports Bra you used to wear will not fit properly or provide the level of support you need for your new breasts.

Instead of just wearing any old sports bra, you will want to protect your investment.  You’ll need a high quality, well designed sports bra that offers both support and comfort.

Finding the Right Sports Bra after Breast Implants

When can I wear a sports bra after breast augmentation?

If you’ve made the wonderful choice of going for breast augmentation to feel good, there are some things you have to remember after the procedure. For one, your breasts will feel soft, tender, and painful immediately after your surgery.

You may have heard some people say that wearing any bra with upward support increases the chance of scar tissue formation. But there is no scientific proof to this claim. Currently, the most recommended bra solution is a scar bandage.

What Is a Scar Bandage?

Scar bandages as the name implies, secure your scars and bandages in place. If you have had implants added, these same bandages will protect them and the tissues in and around them from sudden movements, reduce swelling, and provide overall support during recovery.

But just because you have to wear them doesn’t mean you need to stop wearing your favourite and trusted sports bra. However, the changes in your body will require that you make changes as to how you wear your sports bras.

Which Sports Bras Do I Need to Avoid?

You need to remember that while healing, it’s best to leave your breasts alone (except for postsurgical care). Never wear a bra that’s too tight or too loose. Not wearing the right size and shape could cause the implants to shift and lose their shape. As much as possible, do not wear sports bras with underwires. Especially during the first week after surgery.

When Is It Safe to Start Wearing a Sports Bra?

There are a lot of things to consider but the most important thing is to get approval from your doctor. They will give you instruction on how to properly care for your postsurgical site, including when and for how long you need to wear a sports bra.

In general, women are encouraged to wear sports bras full time sometime from 6-8 weeks. Further changes will need to be discussed with your doctor because it will depend on the rate of your recovery.

Finding a good fit with implants

You would have agreed with your doctor on the size you wanted to be, but other factors can influence that actual bra size that will fit properly.  Implants provide a ‘full’ cup and tend to run wider than a natural breast.

Your existing breast tissue prior to surgery also needs to be allowed for.  These factors can often result in you needing a larger cup size than what your doctor originally told you.  Please refer to our ‘determine your size’ guide when looking for the perfect sports bra for implants.

How Tight Should a Sports Bra Be After Breast Augmentation?

Many sports bras are compression style; elastic, stretchy fabric pulled over the head and down over the chest to immobilize the breasts against your chest.  Compression may give the feeling of support as your breasts are pushed tightly together against the chest, but immobilization is not support.  They do not fully support the ligaments and other connective tissues that hold the breast in position.   Compression bras also don’t allow any extra room and can be uncomfortable for ladies with implants.

For ladies with breast implants we highly recommend an encapsulation style sports bra, or one that uses both compression and encapsulation.  These compression or encapsulation sports bras have deeper, shaped, or moulded cups.  They support each breast separately and hold them snugly in place.

An encapsulation style sports bra will protect your implants from being squeezed unnecessarily.  They will also take the burden off the delicate breast ligaments and tendons.  It is best to avoid S-M-L sizing and looks for sports bras that have specific back and cup sizes like traditional everyday bras.  This provides more sizing options to allow for your fuller breast implants.

What Are the Most Ideal Shoulder Straps?

Adjustable shoulder straps allow greater customisation to create a better fit and level of support based on your body shape.  Straps that are set widely apart and are wider or padded are more comfortable and prevent your implants being squashed towards your cleavage.

Some racerback styles can pull the breasts closer to the body which may not be as comfortable with implants, but this does depend on the overall design of the sports bra.

How Wide Should the Band Be and What Type of Closure Do You Need?

Approximately 70% of support from a sports bra comes from the band.  It is important that the band fits flat against your torso and does not move around as you move in different directions.  Sports bras with a back closure offer greater customisation of fit and comfort compared to sports bras that are put on over the head and have no closure.

Which Is Better, Wirefree or Underwired?

It is recommended to start with a wirefree sports bra after breast augmentation surgery.  Once you have completely healed and have your surgeons ok you can progress to underwired bras.  However we have found that as implants can be wider than a natural breast, the shaping of the underwire isn’t always a great fit and the non wired sports bras can be more comfortable.

Sports Bra Suggestions

We hope the information above is useful in helping you choose an appropriate sports bras after having breast implants.  However the sports bras you ultimately choose will also vary a lot based on personal preference of style, colour etc.  Use our Sports Bra Finder to help find the perfect post-surgery sports bra for you.

Yours in support.

Amy x

Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

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