One of the most common reasons for breast discomfort and pain is wearing a bra that doesn't fit well. Wearing a bra that is the wrong size can also contribute to back, shoulder, chest, and neck pain. For a bra to give good support and help lessen or prevent breast pain, it needs to fit properly.
To make sure your bra fits well and provides good support, make sure:
Before measuring your cup size, lean forward and let your breasts fall into the bra cups before you fasten it at the back. Then:
The difference between the 2 measurements helps you find your cup size:
If your breasts aren’t the same size, always choose the cup size that fits the larger breast, so you have enough room and support. You can use a bra insert in the cup of the smaller breast. You can find bra inserts in most bra stores.
If you still need help to find your cup size, you can go to a store that specializes in fitting bras.
Measure your cup size once a year or when your weight changes, you are pregnant, or you are breastfeeding.
When your measurement changes, it is time to get a new bra.
You might have less pain wearing a bra without underwire or a sports bra.
If breast pain wakes you at night, try wearing a sports bra to bed.
Replace sports bras once they start to lose their elasticity and support.
Current as of: September 12, 2023
Author: Women’s Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.