The first sign of summer following my double mastectomy filled me with dread. As happy as I was to say goodbye to winter snow, the thought of mastectomy swimwear made my blood run cold.
I had just gotten used to wearing a mastectomy bra and breast forms and now I had to confront a new wardrobe challenge–the mastectomy swimsuit.
Issues at hand:
Surgical scars that were high and ran across the length of my chest, the need for breast forms that looked natural with my figure and more importantly breast forms that would stay firmly in place and maintain their shape during swimming, relaxing and various poolside activities.
To my relief, hitting the beach or pool in a comfortable, stylish mastectomy swimsuit can be achieved and here are some inside tips on how to get it done.
• Choose bathing suits with a high neckline like a tank suit or one with a boat neck. Details like beading, small ruffling or stripes around the neckline adds glam and draws attention away from the bust line. Ruching is another style that flatters the bust and creates a nice waistline.
• Some companies make breast forms that are specifically designed for swimming that hold up well in chlorine and salt. They are called swim forms.
• Swim bras provide an alternative to buying a mastectomy swimsuit. This bra is designed to be worn with your breast forms under any non-mastectomy swimsuit that will cover it.
• If you have had a single mastectomy, buy a suit that fits and flatters your natural breast first then add the breast form to the pocket to match.
• Always check how your breast form or forms look lying down or when you bend down. Make sure they stay in place.
And after the sun has set and you have headed home, rinse off your swimsuit in cold water, wash off your breast forms and let them dry. This will help them last longer and continue to keep you, in the swim.