If you are pregnant and have rib pain, it might be because of your bra.
Studies have found that most people are wearing the wrong bra size, especially during pregnancy when your body is going through so many changes. Most people end up wearing a bra that’s too small. A bra that is too tight can put pressure on the muscles, joints, nerves, and blood vessels around your shoulders and ribcage.
A good bra should be comfortable and supportive. Without proper support for your breasts, good posture becomes difficult. Posture affects the position of your ribcage and pelvis, which can cause or further contribute to pain. You’ll want to find a style that gives you support and fits in all the right places.
Is yours is the wrong size?
- Indentations in your skin
- Gapping in the cups
- Spilling out over the top
- Sliding out underneath
- The band rides up in the back
How to find the right bra for you?
- Try it on in the store
- Get a fitting! Communicate what you are looking for (this may not the time for a push-up)
- Be open to a different cup or band size depending on brand, or even different styles of the same brand
- Look for materials that are soft and comfortable for you
- A thicker band is less likely to dig into your skin, especially the shoulder straps.
- Band should be loose enough to comfortably fit 2 fingers underneath
- Consider trying a wireless
- Grab an extender. They’re cheap, under $5 and literally give you wiggle room
- Know the store’s return policy, so you can return it if you later decide that you don’t like it
Once you have a bra you like, make sure you care for it well. Adjust the straps as needed so they continue to provide the right amount of support. You will likely use this for a while postpartum as well so remember – changes in weight or even menstrual cycle can affect how your bra fits. Continue to assess how your bra makes you feel. Most of us need a new one long for way too long!
Still having pain?
See a pelvic health Physical Therapist. We understand the changes the body makes during and after pregnancy. Postpartum pain is common with positions for breast or bottle feeding. We can look at posture, lifting techniques, movements, and more. Treatment is safe and comfortable and we can work on joints, muscle, strengthening, breath, and whatever you need to comfortably support yourself and your baby.
If you are pregnant, and you have persistent pain that is not relieved by changing positions, you should visit with your doctor.