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How I’m saving my boobs with no more underwires

It’s come to a time in my life where I’ve decided for the most part, that I’m ditching my underwire bras. Let me say, I’m not really keen on free flowing it.  I’ve had babies aaand I’ve breastfed.  You do the math.  It’s some type of special algebraic equation that involves stretching and sagging beyond what the mind should ever have to comprehend.  But put that aside, because that’s not my reason for leaving the humble wired bra behind.  For me it’s come to that time where I must put my breast health first.

As a young women I had my fair share of issues with fibrous breast tissue, lumps, bumps, scares and trips to have them checked and triple checked.  They are so fibrous and lumpy I can’t tell a gland from a cyst or otherwise.  I could have a cutlery set in there for all I know (although I’ve never ever had one single operation other than a c-section, so it’s pretty unlikely!).  I’d previously crossed the theory of bras leading to unhealthy breast tissue due to constriction.  It made complete sense to me and I’d tucked the thought away since at the time I was still nursing my children and underwire bras and breastfeeding don’t mix, for the very same reason – constriction and blocking of milk ducts.

I googled and researched and read so many ideas on bras and breast cancer.  It still didn’t sit well with me.  Of course a bra alone can’t cause cancer, but stacking it up against a number of factors – diet, lifestyle, stress, and environment, it began to make sense to me that it could possibly be a contributor. Try googling it and you will find hundreds of articles that insist that underwire bras do not cause cancer.  But like anything that continues to stir my curiosity and keeps me awake at night, I felt there was more for me to understand.  I eventually landed upon some pretty interesting information.  In 1995, the authors Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer followed up on a Harvard University study and published the results in their book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras.  They found that pre-menopausal women who did not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared to their fellow bra wearers. That’s pretty substantial numbers.  They further researched with their own study of over 5000 women and discovered that the breast cancer risk dramatically increased in women who wore bras for 12 hours or more per day.

Of course, we are all built differently and just because I sit here complaining of boulder like lumps within my breast tissue, it doesn’t mean that is an issue for you.  But, what I know is that our lymphatic system (which we all have) requires gentle support and care, and restricting toxins from being processed through the breast and underarm region leads to an accumulation of these same toxins which may increase the risk of cancer.  Unrestricted drainage throughout the lymphatic system allows the body to quickly move our harmful toxins from the body that can otherwise accumulate and become risky.  Many women use toxic deodorants and perfumes especially under the armpits which can contribute since what is applied to the skin goes directly into the blood stream- all local to the area in discussion.  Almost all conventional products contain these harmful chemicals and toxins.

The underwire is also of further concern as it is believed to magnify electro magnetic frequencies (EMF’s). Without going right into the detail, the wires can be seen as stimulants into the body which becomes an issue not only in general but specific to the breast region.  Think of it like intensified and magnified intensity of EMF’s.  Not ideal.  Acupuncture understand this – that is tapping a small metal pin over an acupuncture point generates a much more intense electrical stimulation.  Same theory – over time, excessive stimulation especially where there may be a cyst or growth, is never a good idea. What’s more, as an acupuncturist, I use acupuncture in many instances to decrease or lessen stimulation to an affected area, not intensify it.  Tonifiying (or intensifying) a certain region that shouldn’t be stimulated is only going to make the situation worse.

Rather than running off to have yourself a bra burning ceremony or freak out, because that tends to be knee-jerk response to anything out of the ordinary (all of the fear rather than staying focused on health – we are all fighting little cancers every single day), it’s great to stack all of this information up and make yourself an informed choice.  There is so much you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer, tumors, growths, cysts, lumps, bumps and rocks, but I do believe we can put our best foot forward for the most part to really reduce our risk of nasties emerging.  Let’s also remember, typically cancers occur from an accumulation of factors – genetics, diet, lifestyle, environment, all of which are in the mix.  Living a life where we are always aiming to have our hormones in balance is key (hence why I wrote for you Well & Good) Genes alone typically aren’t enough to cause cancer. It’s how the rest of our day to day life influences our genes that is at play.

So here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of anything sinister growing throughout your breast tissue and armpit.

  • Avoid wearing your bra to bed.
  • Join me!  I’m not going to sit here and say I’m never wearing a wired bra again, but I’m mostly now wearing either sports crop tops and bralettes as featured.  I am in LOVE with them and I have sacrificed nothing at all!
  • Consider reducing the amount of time you wear your bra each day. Take it off once you get in the door.  Let’s be honest – we’re all itching to do this the moment we get inside anyway!
  • Avoid anything that is tight, especially those that make marks or leave your breast dented.  That’s a sure sign it’s too tight and restriction is inevitable.
  • Avoid storing your phone in your bra – the wires and EMF’s will have a field day stimulating you!
  • Consider purchasing bras that have plastic wires instead of traditional underwires.  You can remove them easily too.
  • Be mindful of the types of deodorant, perfumes and body products you use that are injected directly to your blood stream.  This is unlike eating foods (which too can be dangers) where our digestive systems at least get a chance to try and break some of the toxins down. When toxins directly hit the blood stream, it’s a battle field in there as the body tries to gain control and ship out anything harmful.  As for a good deodorant – I love MooGoo, but I hear the black chicken axilla paste is the shiz too.
  • Invest in regular massages, especially those which are focused on the lymph to move out toxins especially if you do have large breasts and find that the only way to wrangle your chesticles is with a wired bra.

I’m not endorsed by any of these companies but here are some of my favourites when it comes to buying sports bras and bralettes.

I am completely obsessed with my Lorna Jane crops and bras.  They all have amazing support and for somebody like me who needs a little oomph, they have padding for a little lift.  I often wear these to work!

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There are some beautiful lace bralettes – check out these from brands like Calvin Klein or websites like the iconic and ASOS.  My absolute favourite bralette to date is my camilla bling-ified number.  I honestly wear these like I would any regular bra and don’t feel like I’m missing out one bit!

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The fact is, I’m off for a little check up to make sure the ‘girls’ are good in the next few weeks with an ultrasound (I’d avoid a mammogram personally).  I had a good chat with my amazing integrative GP, just to get added thoughts on the topic and she agreed (confessed herself to have also move more towards no wired bras), it was the way to go for somebody like me who tends to have issues with lumpy bits.  I’ve been on the no wire bandwagon for long enough now to say – it’s awesome.

Like everything I share here, it’s all about giving food for thought to make informed health choices. Perhaps next time you go to pop your phone in your bra or you purchase your next bra you might stack up what works best for you – remember no two of us are the same but always working out what’s best by following that inner voice can never get you into trouble.  Nobody knows you better than you know yourself.

Have you ditched your bra?  Would you even consider it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  After all, we are so all in this one together ladies!  Want more girl talk like this?  Check out our exclusive membership – a safe place for you to get to the bottom of your health woes!  It’s fun and it gives you access to a whole world of content for as little as $15 per month. Learn more here.

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Leave a Comment

47 Responses to “How I’m saving my boobs with no more underwires”

  1. Kate

    Love this article Nat, thanks for sharing all of these insights. I ditched my underwire bra’s a while ago and mostly wear little braletes like the ones in your article. It’s soooo much more comfortable, and I definitely believe along with using natural deodorants, it’s the reason I no longer get breast tenderness.

    Reply
  2. Rach

    Currently breastfeeding, they are currently 14 GG cup! If I DON’T wear an underwire bra (flexiwire maternity) they are boulders near my belly button… and I don’t want to leave the house like that. When not breastfeeding, hopefully they’ll go back to being a moderate E cup or similar… but again, if they aren’t up high and supported I will not be going out the house!!

    Reply
  3. Liz

    Still breastfeeding here and expecting mine to experience some shrinkage 🙂 after we are finished (hopefully not for a few more months!!). I also love bralettes and sports bras, or built in bras. For my maternity and nursing bras I came across this great shop on Etsy called Tom Girl bras and they have been awesome. Heaps of support, velcro strap in the back and really easy to use. Thanks for this info Nat.

    Reply
  4. Jacque

    This is FANTASTIC Nat! I came to see you a while ago as at 31 I was having biopsies for breast lumps. I got so stressed and overwhelmed with it all. This article is not brilliant. Keep up the amazing work! x

    Reply
    • Nat Kringoudis

      You are CUTE! But you say above ‘this article is not brilliant.’ Hopefully that’s a typo! x

      Reply
      • Helen

        Haha Nat, sorry for the all the comments I’ve been leaving- I was just wondering if fibrocystic breasts is something that yourself or someone at your clinic can help to treat? Particularly around PMS before periods and swelling? Thank you 🙂 xxxxx

      • Nat Kringoudis

        Yes – absolutely! I’d love to help x

    • Helen

      Hey Jacque, did you find that any treatment has helped you? I have tried so many things for fibrocystic breasts and am at my wits end!

      Helen x

      Reply
  5. Katie

    I’ve found underwires uncomfortable for a long while and have been trying to switch, but at my bra size it’s very hard! All the crop tops that fit my chest are too loose under the bust, and so provide no support. Bralets don’t come in large enough cup sizes, sigh. I’ve taken to just wearing maternity bras! I’d really love to find crop tops that I could wear regularly, but the bust to rib cage ratio makes that impossible, as they always end up being too loose around my ribs. If anyone has brand suggestions for girls with large busts but small ribs please share! I’m getting desperate, lol.

    Reply
    • Carly

      I have exactly the same issue Katie!! As a 32E this is a huge challenge for me. While pregnant and breast feeding I wore seam free crop tops from Target, but I’d double layer them and wear 2 at once for extra support (in fact I am still doing this, even though I am no longer breast feeding!). I would be very interested to hear of any other options for those of us on the larger side.

      Reply
      • Nat Kringoudis

        Hopefully some ladies can provide you with their tips. I have the opposite issue. We are all so beautifully unique! I think crop tops is a great option. x

      • Helen

        Hey Carly!

        I have recently been trying to find crop options for a large bust- I’m a 10-12G and I get so jealous when I hear about people going bra-less, it’s just not an option for us bigger busted ladies! (Unless you want all of the unwanted social attention- mainly from women who seem to get offended that you’re not wearing a bra!).

        Anyway, I bought a couple of Oxygen Bras recently from Lululemon and they fit beautifully, with no underwires! I had to go up a few sizes bigger than I normally am to get the fit, but I was pretty happy with the result. I also bought a few really cute wirefree, G cup bras a K-Mart a while ago which don’t provide great support, but definitely better than nothing. I also went and got a few tight camisoles and am going to trial just wearing those (not to work, but when I’m at home or just going out for a bit) to see how they feel!

        These aren’t great tips, but it’s just a little of my journey trying to find wirefree, healthy options for bigger busts! Good luck!! xx

      • Nat Kringoudis

        I’m sure others will find this helpful – thank you for sharing!

  6. Lisa

    Great article Nat. After a breast cancer scare 5 and half years ago, I ditched perfumes, deodorants, moisturisers and cosmetics that had loads of toxic chemicals I didn’t want going into my body. I use the black chicken axilla paste for deodorant, coconut oil for a moisturiser and the essential oil and coconut oil combination perfume by “Indah” (such a beautiful product and Made by a gorgeous Sydney girl, who I actually discovered through your health Tv show!). I’m choosey with my make up brands also. It takes a little investigation but well worth it as the non toxic products are just lovely and I feel comforted that I’m not adding another toxic load of sh**t into my body. I wear a wireless bra and also the sports bra from Intimo and yes Lorna jane has some great options that you speak of. Love your always insightful articles…they have helped me on my journey xx

    Reply
    • Nat Kringoudis

      Thank you Lisa! Sometimes it takes a little scare for us to get things on track – and even then we need to constantly reassess! Toxins are really the devil!

      Reply
  7. Bethany

    I started ditching bras about 6 months ago. I only have a few bralets and no wire bras, my favorites are from cotton on and American apparel, so I do occasionally end up wearing an underwire bra. But I can definitely notice how uncomfortable they are even more now! They dig in in all the wrong spots. You’ve inspired me to go bralet shopping on ASOS 🙂 I also started using natural deodorant but I’m still trailing which ones I like. I’m using Biologika now but keen to try out the axilla paste.

    Reply
  8. Sharon

    Interesting read. I’ve had breast cancer twice. One on left breast, one on the right and both at the exact spot under my arm where an underwire stops. Seriously makes you wonder….

    Reply
    • Nat Kringoudis

      Very interesting Sharon – certainly something to think about. Sending love, well done for taking your health onboard.

      Reply
  9. Amy

    I just recently switched to bralettes and wireless bras just because of the comfort level. But I am glad to know it is healthier too :).

    Reply
  10. Amanda

    Thank you Nat! This is exactly what I’m moving through, in fact to the point where I had mastitis (and have not ever had kids) I am dealing with fibrous tissue and cystic breast as well… and currently braless or wearing gentle hugging bralettes is a movement I am really keen on! So thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  11. Rachel

    Love the Lorna Jane crop with v neck but can’t find it in store or online! Can I ask try style number as can only find round neck in white…..

    Reply
  12. Zoe

    Oh my goodness! As I sit here with aching boobs I am so glad to read this. I thought I was doing myself a great injustice by wearing my LJ instead of a bra sometimes. I’m with you Nat, they really are much more comfortable. And I think it’s catching on. I’m starting to see more stores offer a supportive crop. I think the key is to invest in good quality ones for the same price as most bras.

    Reply
  13. shirley shaw

    I can’t wait to finish work so i can set the “girls” free. I have a couple of bonds tops with support in them. So much more comfortable. Thanks to your input i feel i am doing the right thing.

    Reply
  14. Lorraine Barrett

    Makes sense to me. I still wear underwrites but have been wearing wider cup styled bras.

    Reply
  15. Helen

    Hey Nat! Thank you so much for sharing a little about your personal journey on this. I have felt an immense sense of guilt around my fibrous, cyst-filled breasts. Sometimes, I feel as though I have let them down by perhaps eating the wrong thing, not taking the right supplements or being exposed to the wrong chemicals. But perhaps they are just part of my anatomy and not the result of my lifestyle entirely.
    Is there any chance you could write a little more on fibrocystic breasts in the future? I have been told that it is due to Estrogen Dominance but it would be wonderful if you could shed light on it. It’s a hormonal problem that seems to affect lots of women, although often I have felt quite alone in it.
    Thank you again and much love to you! x

    Reply
    • Elle

      Me too! I always thought I must have been weird or had “lumps of fat” that didn’t stick together like they should and instead floated around or something ridiculous until I found out about what it was!!
      I’d also love to hear more about it please Nat ❤
      Thank you again.

      Reply
      • Nat Kringoudis

        Some of us just have more fibrous breasts than others, we can have cysts and ducts that get blocked from time to time too. The main thing is you get somebody to check them out every now and again just for your own sanity. I know I can’t check my own. I’m terrible at it!

  16. Kylie

    Hi Nat,

    This is a great reminder, when I was 18 I had a large lump (9 cm!!) removed from my left breast and I’ve always just considered it a one off. I have already switched to black chicken and highly recommend it but I can wear my bra even less at home. I love being bra free at home! I just would have assumed sports bras aren’t great either as they hold everything in so tightly?

    Reply
    • Nat Kringoudis

      I don’t find mine are very tight but they do give a little ‘lift’ in the right places. I just love the Lorna Jane ones but I’m sure there are others that work equally as well. x

      Reply
  17. Elle

    This was really interesting, and I’m VERY grateful for reading this one! Thanks Nat! 🙂
    I have often thought about the circulation issue and lymp connection but never thought about it in terms of cancer causing, but just my simple understanding of ‘constriction = bad, need more blood flow’.

    This really made me think more and I’m curious what you think about metal belt buckles? Could there be any interaction with belts and ovaries and other lady bits? I don’t know a lot about EMFs.

    Thank you again.

    Reply
    • Nat Kringoudis

      Hmmm yes this is a very good question!! I would say absolutely yes. I don’t personally wear them but now I think about it – even the button on our jeans can’t be ideal, especially if we put our phones in our pockets!

      Reply
  18. Rachaael

    Such an insightful article Nat and strong food for thought. I use the Black Chicken deodorant and it is really good. My favourite ever that I have found is by Soap Walla. Comes out of Brooklyn but you can find on websites in Australia. Xx

    Reply
  19. Nicole

    Hey Nat My entire “breast life” I have never worn an underwire due to my tiny size! They never ever fit. So I’ve always worn sports bras, seamless wire free bras, crops and bralettes. I spend 99% of my home time bra free and never sleep with a bra on.
    But I’ve always felt like less of a woman for doing this like it wasn’t normal.. I put on enough weight in recent times that I’ve gone up 2 cup sizes and now that I need the support I felt that I should now definitely be wearing a “proper” bra. Couldn’t stand the idea so have continued to wear what I always have. And you know what now I’m glad I did! Thankyou for this article Nat! Knowing that I’ve been helping my ladies to stay healthy is awesome. No more shaming myself, LJ rocks! Will wear it with pride. (:
    See you early May I’m booked in for a follow up.
    Nicole

    Reply
  20. Ginny

    Wow awesome I chose to ditch my underwire bras about 3 months ago and have never looked back. I was getting sore pressure points under my arms where the wire dug in and even a slight bloody discharge which I think was a blocked milk duct. Everything has gone and I am very happy. Pleased to hear you have ultrasounds as well as that is my next thing at 45… 😄

    Reply
  21. albina

    Could the synthetic fabrics that bras are made of be the culprit for breast cancer?

    Reply
  22. Jacque

    Ha ha yes it was a typo Nat! X

    Reply
  23. Louisa

    I’m so stoked to see this article about that not wearing an underwired bra is both ok and good for your breasts!! I’m 31 this year and stopped wearing bras many years ago, opting for the sports bras/bralettes instead. A friend of mine told me that I was ruining my breasts by doing so. Luckily I didn’t take her “advice” on board and years later my breasts are healthy, comfy and haven’t lost their shape 🙂 Aggressive breast cancer runs in my family, so I am so happy that you’re bringing awareness to breast health and the potential risks associated with underwire bras. Thank you Nat!!

    Reply
  24. Mandy

    I’ve tossed up this idea, I get regular checks, massages etc. Nevet stored my phone anywhere near my bra but being a size 18 means I can’t fit into most sports crop tops. I’m only a B cup but yeah it’s a bit tricky :(,

    Reply