B.R.A. Day: Celebrating Through Empowerment
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and today we’re recognizing Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (a.k.a. B.R.A. Day) as a continuation of our ongoing mission of making people feel comfortable and confident throughout every stage of life.
What is BRA Day?
As mentioned above, B.R.A. Day stands for Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day and falls on October 18 this year. While a breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t immediately mean breast reconstruction, many who undergo this procedure can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable in their new body.
On this day and every day, we aim to empower those affected by these procedures through their journey and feel confident at every step.
Bra Solutions for Post-Reconstruction
ThirdLove is a proud partner of AnaOno, a post-surgery bra brand, to help patients feel comfortable while they heal – whether cancer-related or not.
“Our goal at AnaOno is to ensure that no matter your chest type – one breast, two breasts, no breasts, or new breasts – you feel just as supported as you did before surgery,” AnaOno’s founder, Dana Donofree told us.
She continued: “Sometimes surgery is a choice, sometimes it is related to a cancer diagnosis … We hope to not only bring comfort back but also encourage and empower them to feel beautiful and embrace their bodies.”
What are Post-Surgery Bras?
As the name suggests, post-surgery bras help patients feel comfortable in the weeks following their procedure. This type of bra commonly features no wire, comfortable compression, and incision-friendly construction. The main purpose of post-surgery bras is to eliminate any strain on stitches, making the healing process as smooth as possible.
ThirdLove offers two of AnaOno’s innovative, adaptive post-surgery bras. Learn more below.
Silky modal fabric is soft on sensitive skin. The convertible-strap, wireless Monica is scar-friendly with high sides and back and a modest neckline.
Features pocketed, inserts, modesty pads, balance forms, and breast prosthetics.
Made entirely of silky, stretchy Modal, the wireless Rora is incision site-friendly with wide arm openings and straps.
Front closure for easy dressing.
Both bras are recommended for those going through procedures such as implant reconstruction, unilateral and bilateral mastectomy, breast augmentation, breast reduction, or au natural comfort for sensitive bodies, especially those that are undergoing radiation treatment.
The Importance of Post-Surgery Bras
Post-surgery bras are only a necessity for breast cancer patients, but anyone going through procedures that involve their breasts. Ultimately, these bras offer inclusive, adaptive options for all.
AnaOno has not only dedicated itself to highlighting the importance of post-surgery bras but continues to work on widening its selection of adaptive options for all chest needs.
“I feel the world is our oyster as there are so many people that need support beyond a traditional 2-cupped underwire bra,” Dana said. “It’s important that retailers & brands, like ThirdLove, strive toward true inclusivity and support all chests, with and without breasts.”
The Impact of Living Beyond Breast Cancer and AnaOno
From the inception of AnaOno, and Dana’s own journey through breast cancer, the non-profit organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) has continued to be a source of valuable information and support.
“I met Living Beyond Breast Cancer very early in my diagnosis,” Dana said. “[They have] supported me ever since.”
After her diagnosis, Dana remembers feeling lost and uncertain about where to go for reliable information surrounding cancer.
“It means a lot to me the hard work and dedication to ensuring information is clear, concise, and accurate when it comes to the complications of understanding one’s diagnosis,” Dana told us.
She added: “My volunteerism and support of LBBC will always be something I am so incredibly proud of because the team works tirelessly to lessen the impact of breast cancer on someone’s life, including my own.”
Early Detection and "Breast Practices"
With the help of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, we hope to shed light on the importance of early detection and overall breast health.
“Cancer is very complicated,” Dana said. “If you can have the information and knowledge about self-awareness and self-advocacy, you can impact your outcomes.”
She added: “Early detection is key in treating breast cancer … so don’t be afraid to perform your self-checks and schedule the doctor’s appointments.”
How to Perform a Self-Exam
Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Then, raise your arms. Look to see if there are any changes that you have not noticed before.
If possible, feel your breasts when lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Press down with your fingers and move them in a circular motion about the size of a quarter (or an inch around).
Learn more at lbbc.org
Navigating a breast cancer diagnosis can be daunting, but here at ThirdLove, with the help of our beloved partners, we are here to help you feel comfortable and confident in your body through every stage.
“There is an army of people out there to support you no matter what [a diagnosis] may bring,” Dana concluded.
Learn more about LBBC, as well as more information involving breast health by clicking here.