I’m about to shovel some TMI on you in the form of detailed information about my boobs.
If you’re not into this sort of thing, or think you’ll never look at me the same way, go ahead and click here and go watch cat .gifs instead. I’ll see you next blog post.
Seriously. Cat .gifs. Right here.
Cat pictures vs boobs. If you’re still reading I guess the boobs win.
— this post contains affiliate ads, because why not? —
So, breasts aren’t symmetrical for most women. I know, crazy, right? For some people it’s barely even noticeable, and probably no one other than you will ever notice. But for some of us it’s more drastic. I hear it talked about a lot in breastfeeding groups and mom forums, the overproducer and the weakling boob. Some of us have given them nicknames along the way, though most people tend to refer to them as “righty” and “lefty.” Sometimes I think of my weakling as Nemo’s lucky fin.
What all these nicknames mean is that breasts don’t necessarily make identical quantities of milk. It’s most obvious for me when I pump. And for most of us the lower producer is also smaller. Sometimes a lot smaller. It can be a self-perpetuating cycle, as the baby gets frustrated with the lower flow and volume of the under-producer and only wants to nurse from the overachieving side. The rejected side tends to get less engorged, so I reach for it less often.
I was no stranger to this asymmetry even before the days of lactation, because like most of us they weren’t really the same size to begin with. I also have asymmetrical pectus excavatum: it’s probably connected with my scoliosis. My rib cage curves inward, rather than being fairly flat across, and it does so far more on one side than the other. As a result, the already small side is handicapped even further.
So, once you combine all of these factors you’ve got some pretty lopsided BOobs. Something akin to a C cup vs an A cup, if not more. I have spent hours and hours of my time trying to figure out solutions to this, because while I can embrace it as normal, I like symmetry and I like my shirts to fit correctly.
Here are the things that I have found to be the most useful.
The hunt for the perfect bra
No common bra fitting techniques apply to me. No matter how much people want to argue that underwire is best, it’s just not. The band of my bra will never lie flat on my chest, because my chest has a valley. And the underwire restricts the movement of the bra, which means that when I bend over the small side is visible for all the world to see. I needed something that would conform to my body enough that I can pick up my purse without flashing everyone. It needs to have some sort of lining in it (rather than just one layer of fabric), and that lining needs to be removable so that I can add to it.
For many years I stuffed one side of a Genie Bra with cloth nursing pads in an attempt to even things out. The Genie Bra wasn’t the best bra, but it did the trick and was relatively inexpensive. But it essentially felt more like a sports bra than anything else.
When I was nursing Lorelei I had a Bravado Silk Seamless, and I liked it, but it was a boring beige color that got stained pretty quickly. When Rowan was born I bought a black one. I love this bra overall, and went and bought two more. It’s really the best of all worlds, no underwire, very soft, is an actual bra, and has removable pads.
Bonus: It comes with a conversion kit, so you can make it a regular bra if you’re not nursing.
Her fearful boob symmetry
I stuffed the right side with extra nursing pads. It worked, but never looked particularly natural. Then one day I was going through my clothes that were stored in the top of the closet and I found my silicone bra cutlet thingamajig that I wore in my wedding ten years earlier. This is why I hate throwing things away. I had the thought to put it in my bra. Magic! Sort of. It was kind of heavy, and while it did a good job of evening out the bottom, the top still needed to be fuller to make both sides look even.
For the last six months or so I’ve just dealt with it, but now that summer is here and I am wearing more tank tops that are fairly form fitting, I was trying of constantly adjusting it and still trying to arrange nursing pads to finish the job. Basically, I was still self conscious. So I went back to the internet and scoured Amazon for something that would work. Some items had great reviews, but were way expensive. Some were more for the push-up effect, and righty doesn’t really have a lot to lift in the first place.
I finally decided to order these Braza Liquid Edge 2 pads. They say they are filled with mineral oil. I think they’re filled with magic. They aren’t heavy or hot like silicone, and my boobs look the same. Not the same as before, but the same as each other! I know this sounds like a sponsored post, but this company has no idea who I am. And believe me, I have to really love a product to write a thousand-word post about my boobs. Pinky promise.