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Does Sleeping With A Bra On Prevent Sagging Of Breasts?

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Does Sleeping With A Bra On Prevent Sagging Of Breasts?

Sagging breasts or ptosis is a problem women deal with after childbirth, weight gain, and aging. Wearing a supportive bra can help the twins defy gravity when you’re up and about, but wearing one to sleep may not be as critical. Circumstances like surgery may need you to wear a comfortable supportive bra, but otherwise it's a choice that’s purely personal and not a means to guarantee your breasts won’t sag.

There are certain times when a girl needs some extra support that can keep your breasts in the right place. And wearing a bra when you are working out, or rushing about on your commute, or trying to look neat and well groomed at work, can do just that. But how about when you are trying to relax at the end of the day? Will wearing your trusty bra to bed help prevent your breasts from sagging?

What Causes Sagging Of Breasts?

There are multiple reasons for breasts to sag. Among them is age-related sagging as muscles that support the breasts weaken, causing them to droop. Another reason for breast ptosis is pregnancy. When you have a baby on board, physiological and physical changes cause women to go up a size or two, breasts included. Once the baby arrives, the breasts fill up and swell with milk. After you stop nursing your baby, milk production stops. Add to that the weight loss most women strive for (losing the pregnancy weight), and often breasts return to a smaller size like before. This sudden increase in size during pregnancy, and the drop in size and weight after, may cause the skin and muscle around your breasts to sag.

In fact, in one study, 85 percent all women contacted said they had experienced an adverse change in their breast shape post pregnancy, which includes things like sagging.1 Do keep in mind, though, it is not the act of breast feeding that causes the ptosis, but the extra breast tissue weight that causes the drooping.2

Not everyone is equally likely to have sagging breasts. There are certain things that increase your risk of developing breast ptosis. This includes, but may not be limited to3:

  • Age of the woman, the older a woman the higher the chances of ptosis.
  • Higher BMI (body mass index)
  • Having a larger bra cup size
  • Being a smoker
  • Weight loss of over 50 lbs
  • Having a higher number of pregnancies

Of these, your age, breast tissue weight, number of pregnancies, and BMI are the most critical.4

Will Wearing A Bra To Bed Help?

There is not enough scientific evidence to back up claims that bras in bed can help prevent breasts from sagging. However, there is a view that doing so could help offset some of the load gravity puts on the ligaments and skin that support your breasts. This might help prevent drooping. However, this remains conjecture at best.

Larger breasted women might find it comfortable to wear a bra to bed just for increased comfort and support. It has been suggested that supporting the breasts can prevent them from stretching the skin and causing stretch marks when you lie down and the breasts fall to the side. Again, this needs to be backed up with proper research.

If you do wear a bra to bed, it is important to pick the right kind. A hard underwired one or a push up bra is not ideal. This can limit circulation and be quite uncomfortable and sweaty. Instead, pick something soft and comfortable. Try and stick to soft cotton, a breathable fabric which will prevent you from getting too hot and interfering with your sleep.

Preventing Or Slowing Down Sagging

There is not much you can do to prevent aging. You can, however, prevent the pace at which your breasts start sagging or delay the onset of ptosis by some simple measures. Again, this is not a miracle solution but can improve your odds.

  • If you are losing weight, pace it out. Try not to lose huge amounts of weight in one go, as this can increase your risk of ptosis. Give your body time to build up muscle tone in the areas where you have lost weight before you lose more. Weight loss of over 50 lb in one go can result in higher risk of sagging.
  • If you smoke, try and quit. Besides helping reduce ptosis risk it will do your body a world of good in more ways than one, including cutting your risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular problems.
  • If you are overweight or obese try and lose some weight. Having very large breasts can cause your breasts to sag more than other people.
  • Use the right size of bra that offers you adequate support during the day. If you feel the need for added support at night, wear a comfortable flexible yet supportive bra to sleep.
  • While not studied scientifically for breast ptosis in particular, exercise should help keep up overall muscle tone including that of your chest.
  • Some very large breasted women might take to surgery to have a breast reduction to reduce breast tissue weight, but this is a double-edged sword, because it comes with the added risks and possible complications from surgery including scarring. The same applies to those who try and halt the effects of aging with breast implants or lifts.

References   [ + ]

1, 3. Rinker, Brian, Melissa Veneracion, and Catherine P. Walsh. “Breast ptosis: causes and cure.” Annals of plastic surgery 64, no. 5 (2010): 579-584.
2, 4. Park, Si Hyun, Min Sung Tak, Sang Gue Kang, Chul Han Kim, and Seong Eun Cho. “What Is the Most Important Factor of Breast Ptosis? Considerations for Breast Reconstruction Studied with Mastectomy Patients.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery–Global Open 4, no. 9S (2016): 223.