As far as undergarments are concerned, bras have a pretty divided following. Some people love wearing gorgeous brassieres, whereas others can't wait to rip those suckers off at the end of the day. But as it turns out, there are a few surprising times you shouldn't wear a bra at all. Even for people who love the things, it's best to take a break every now and then.
As it turns out, spending too much time in a bra, especially one that's ill-fitting or too tight, can do a lot to ruin your day. Crappy bras are not only uncomfortable, but they can also make some health conditions worse. And really, no one needs a literal headache from their bra. If these discomforts are happening regularly, then watch out for the signs you're wearing the wrong bra, according to Bustle. A few adjustments could make the time you do spend in a bra more comfortable.
But for the most part, there's no need to wear a bra all the time, and on some occasions you can definitely go without the thing entirely. Of course, every body is different, and plenty of people do prefer the support of a bra most of the time. But for those who view them as annoying boob binders, here's the times you can (and should) ditch the bra.
1. You're Sleeping
Let the girls go free each night, because bras aren't doing anything when you're horizontal. "When you're lying down flat, the effect of gravity pushes the breast tissue back towards your chest, instead of down towards your toes," said Dr. Seth Rankin in Cosmopolitan. "So wearing a bra (the purpose of which is ultimately to support breasts from below) is essentially redundant in bed, as breasts naturally compress back down onto the chest." Take a break from the bra at bedtime.
2. You Want To Take Deep Breaths
I once had a sports bra that squeezed my ribs so tightly, taking a deep breath was impossible. It made working out even more difficult than necessary, so that thing did not last long in my wardrobe. But even non-sports bras can restrict your breathing too. "There is the opinion that bras that are too tight can restrict the movement of the ribs," said physical therapist and osteopath Tim Allardyce in British Telecommunications. "Although this won’t cause any noticeable change in breathing rate or shortness of breath, it does impact on the breathing mechanics and makes it more likely you will be a shallow rib breather." So pop off that bra before your home meditation practice, or anytime you want to breathe freely.
3. You Have Stomach Issues
Loose clothing is your friend any time the stomach is uncomfortable, and this goes for bras as well. In fact, a poor-fitting bra might do more harm than good. "The weight of the breasts combined with poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle can even exacerbate digestive problems, such as heartburn and IBS," said physiotherapist Sammy Margo in Daily Mail. Slip off that uncomfortable bra if your stomach is acting up, and see whether you feel better.
4. You Have A Headache
Is your poorly fitting bra a headache in the literal sense? A crappy bra may one source of the pain. "Because of a lack of support, your upper body muscles work harder," as Nicola Rodney-Crook, CEO of GetBras.com, told Bustle. "When your muscles are under strain for longer periods it can cause a form of headache." Ditch the offending bra and see how you feel.
5. You Have Skin Indents
Deep grooves in your shoulders from bra straps may have lasting consequences on your health. When tight bra straps cut into the tissue of the shoulders, it can result in costoclavicular syndrome, which can cause aches and pains in the shoulder, according to Physiopedia. Even if you don't have this syndrome, those indents can hurt on their own. Take a break from the offending bra, and consider getting a fitting for one that isn't so rough.
6. You Have A Skin Issue
Sometimes you just need to let that whole area breathe. As it turns out, the inflammatory skin condition intertrigo tends to develop in moist, warm environments that don't get enough air circulation, according to WebMD. Basically, the inside of a bra fits that definition to a T, and the breasts are a common area affected by this condition. So let your boobs air out as often as possible.
7. You Don't Feel Like It
You don't need a specific reason to go without a bra. Just snap that thing off any time and enjoy the freedom.
After a very frustrating first birth experience, this Deaf mother wanted a change. Will the help of two Deaf doulas give the quality communication and birth experience this mom wants and deserves? Watch Episode Four of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below, and visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes.