Breast Tissue Composition
|7. is the fatty tissue|
Hytten and Leitch 1971; Niefert et al. 1985 found that breast size relates more to fat than mammary tissue so larger breasts have more fatty tissue to deal with.
Clearly, for larger breasts you're going to have more fatty (adipose) tissue. It also depends on your age. Breasts of younger ladies (especially pre-pregnancy) are firmer and the percentage of fatty tissue is lower. As women age (and especially during menopause) the lobes (3. in the figure on the right) shrink and are replaced by fatty tissue, which means the percentage increases. Just to add to the fun your precentage also changes during your menstrual cycle.
The reason I point this out is because fat can be moulded. Don't believe me? Just ask any lady whose been doing tight lacing for awhile. It's also pretty obvious in an intuitive sense. That's what Spanx and other body shapers do. They squish and squeeze your fatty tissue into a more "desirable" part of the body.
When wearing the wrong bra sizeIn the vast majority of cases when a woman is wearing the wrong bra size she's using a cup that is too small and a band size that is too big. What she's essentially doing is forcing her tissue into a non-natural shape for her breast. Just like if you were to wear a corset or some sort of shaping undergarments the tissue has to go somewhere. In a corset often times it's pushed down into the hips, which creates a more extreme hourglass figure. In the case of an ill-fitting bra you're pushing the fat/breast tissue into your underarms and eventually into your back.
I found this picture on a body building site (I don't want to repost it here, since I don't know this person but go see for yourself), which is a pretty obvious example of an extremely too small cup size on a bikini top. This then creates underarm fat. From the caption it looks like she feels that further weight loss/decrease body fat will help. To some extent, it may, depending on if she loses breast tissue or not. BUT some ladies are very unlikely to lose breast tissue during weight loss. Wearing the correct bra would fix this almost immediately as long as she bent forward and scooped in all of her breast tissue into the cups.
Wearing a too big back exacerbates the problem. For the following reasons
- A too big band allows for movement of the cups throughout the day and breast tissue is more likely to sneak in past the underwires towards your underarm/back
- A too big band can creep up your back throughout the day and ends up of hitting a spot that is less flattering.
|Hot Milk Purple with Vintage Cream on Figleaves|
Ironically this picture is also from Figleaves and it looks like the cups are too small and the back is too big:
|Freya Ada on Figleaves|
Even a smaller issue of not high enough underwires can cause this bra as I discussed here and you can see the difference here.
Bravissimo Alana, which has underwires that are too short underneath the arm on me and the picture on the right is the Curvy Kate Portia, which has higher underwires.
Are you sure that's actually breast tissue?
Yes. If you've complained about underwires hurting your sides that's because it's rubbing on breast tissue instead of just skin, fat, and ribs (unless you're in a very small band size where the pressure on you ribs could be the problem). Another proof for this is that ladies run into problems with clogged milk ducts when wearing the wrong bra size and/or not leaning forward and scooping in their breast tissue into the cups. The La Leche League cites Gubala, Judie and Karen Berg. Recurrent Plugged Ducts and Breast Infections. Conn-Tact, Fall, 1988. but I haven't been able to find this anywhere and have never heard of this journal so if someone knows where to find this reference PLEASE let me know!
I also want to point out that when scientists study breasts that don't look at women standing up but rather they are in the prone position using a proprietary breast coil. Using this manner ensures that the woman's entire breast tissue is measured correctly. So if you want ALL of your breast tissue in the cups of your bras you 1. need to have adequate room in the cups and 2. need to bend over and scoop it all into the cups.
Give it a few months
Let me put a bit of a warning out there about this. The leaning over and scooping method can only do so much when you initially try on bras. If you've been wearing the wrong size for years on end your back and underarm fat might be quite happy hanging out back initially. Over time (and persistently wearing the correct bra size combined with leaning over and scooping ALL of your breast tissue into the cups... even more than once per day), you'll find that you run into a new problem. Breast Tissue Remigration.
It's quite common for women to go up a cup size or two after wearing the correct bra size for awhile. The worse the undearm/back fat, the more she's going to go up in size in the long run. It's not always an immediate effect. I've recently gone up a bit. Currently, I seem to be in the 28JJ/K range at the moment, but I'm not 100% sure how much of that is water weight retention. My weight on the scale is normal so unless my cup size eventually goes down again it looks like I'm dealing with breast tissue remigration here, which makes a good chunk of my bras out of my size, unfortunately!
I wish I could give you a time frame for this but I honestly don't know how long breast tissue remigration takes. I've tried googling around for studies but breast health and research when it comes to bras is so woefully limited that there's not much out there on it. In my own case, it's a bit difference since my band size was changing so often due to weight loss that it might have made the breast tissue remigration take longer.
I'd love to hear from you, my dear readers. Have you experienced breast tissue remigration after wearing the correct bra size? How long did it take to remigrate?