Welcome to Meghan Hardin, Bump Life’s FIRST guest blogger!!  Read what she has to say about bras below!

Hey Gals: Want to look 10lbs. lighter, a few years younger, and feel more confident? Hoist ‘em up! Did you know that as many as 8 in 10 women wear the wrong bra size? Wearing an incorrectly sized or old bra can contribute to breast tissue damage (and once it’s damaged, it’s not going to be fixed lest by the hand of a skilled surgeon…), backache, head/neck aches, not to mention the dreadfully dowdy saggy boobs. If you have any of those things, or if there’s bounce in your bust when you walk, chances are it’s time for some new bras. And for the new moms out there, don’t just assume that you’ll go back to your old bras once you’ve finished nursing and/or the pregnancy weight’s gone back off; you’ll likely go through several different sizes throughout the course of maternity/postpartum/nursing.

You can have your measurements taken just about anywhere bras are sold – certainly major retailers like Nordstrom’s, Saks, Gap and Victoria’s Secret. The salesclerks are trained to fit you, so don’t be bashful about asking. You might be surprised to find you’ve been wearing the wrong size (most women go too small in the cup and too big in the band). Not o.k. with another lady sticking a measuring tape around your lady lumps? DIY: 1) Measure your band size by pulling a measuring tape around the top of your chest (under the pits). If the number is even, that’s your band size – odd, add 1” to find your band size. 2) Measure around your chest and across the fullest part of your breast. Subtract your band size from this measurement to find cup size – every inch is a letter (so if your band size is 34” and your second measurement is 38”, then you wear a D cup).

Now that you’ve gotten the right size, try some bras on. A properly-fitting bra should feel right; you shouldn’t feel the cups digging into your breast tissue (cups too small), the band should be level all the way around (if it’s creeping up in the back, go down a band size), and the bra should perfectly form to your breast (if there’s gaping, creasing, pinching, or your cups runneth over, you’ve got the wrong size).

About four years ago, I mustered up the courage to have my measurements taken at Gap. I was shocked to learn that I’d been wearing the wrong size for years! After buying a grip of new bras, I noticed that my shirts looked better, I felt more confident walking around in fitted clothing (no movement there), and the bras just felt good. It’s important to get measured annually for two reasons: 1) Weight and hormone fluctuations regularly cause changes in size, and 2) Elastic doesn’t last forever – you’ve got to replace bras frequently. But really, what girl needs an excuse to shop for new underthings?!

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More about Meghan:

Having recently returned to my home state of Colorado from Marin County, California, my family and I are enjoying a return to John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.” As a full-time working toddler mama and wife, I work to squeeze all of the good stuff into every day (did I mention we’ll have another in early 2012?). It’s hectic but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Through my job with HealthGrades, I work to share my company’s mission of “Guiding Americans to Their Best Health.” By consulting with hospitals nationwide, my goal is to have a firsthand impact on improving the future of healthcare in this country. As a collegiate athlete and now a group fitness instructor, I enjoy the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle and sharing that lifestyle with my family, classes and coworkers.

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