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A question for moms with large breasts

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
This is really a "parenting my teen" question, but I would like input from moms of any age kids who have large breasts, esp. if you got them young in life.

What can a mom do to help a teen make peace with her body? Anything to avoid?

My DD was a D cup at age 12, and we just had her professional fit today and she's a 36DDD. She's 13. She spent the first year she had breast completely hunched over. I told her that she has big breasts, and some people think that's good thing and some don't, but whatever she thinks, they are here to stay so she might as well stand up straight and breathe. She's standing straighter these days.

I get her professionally fit, which was a little scary for her the first time (I told her she could work it out with a therapist later, but I didn't have a clue what size she should be in and felt that it was important that she was in the right size). Today's fitting went really well. Now that she knows how much better she feels in a bra that fits really well, and that when she tells the fitter what she likes and doesn't like about a bra, the fitter brings back better options, so she sort of enjoys the process.

Her swim suit comes from land's end with a proper, supportive cup in her size.

I'm finding the things that work for her to be very expensive. I can pick up a bra in my size at Target for $14. Her's cost $71. She likes them, feels comfortable in them, and stands up straight in them, so it's worth it.

I don't know what else to do.

I couldn't fill out a B cup until I had kids, so this really isn't an area I have any experience with!
post #2 of 45
Sounds like you're doing all you can. Yes, large bras are horribly expensive. $71 is a pretty good price actually. All I can think of is to make sure not to say anything about the expense in front of her. You probably haven't, anyway, which means you are doing all the right things.
post #3 of 45
I think you are doing fabulous

My mom was resentful toward me and not realistic and only gave me her own bras to wear although hers were a C and I needed a DD I also needed a real sports bra and never had a good one.

Getting a good bra that fits larger sizes is more difficult and more expensive. You are awesome to do that for her, even a professional fitting !

(Ironically I've reached a point of my life when I prefer Hanes sports bras with shirring between the cups and no underwire for everyday - but that's because I got spoiled by the comfort of Bravado nursing bras and now I only like pull-over cotton bras - LOL ! But if I felt a need to look nice I would get a nicer bra again. )

It can take some sensitivity to what types of tops work well - ie I don't wear button down shirts because the button placket gaps, or shirts with any sort of gathering in the chest. Also tops that have a loose shape make me look pregnant all the time because they hang straight down from the end of my breasts. My mom never understood these problems.

I am much more comfortable when I sleep in a bra. I sleep in the Blue Canoe Jane's bras. They last for years as sleep bras if you hang them to dry.

For a real sports bra, I shop at http://www.titlenine.com/ or http://www.x-chrom.com/ . Not feeling like my breasts bounce noticeably around helps me feel much more comfortable being active.
post #4 of 45
Let's see.. at that age Chris J saw my bra tag through a white shirt (36DD) and announced it over the loadspeaker at school....

It's tough out there... for exercizing? A sports bra OVER her good bra is the best bet.. and try Nordstroms Rack for good bras cheap!!

Lisa (who hit 38J while nursing)
post #5 of 45
I second wearing 2 bras. When I was a teen I would wear an underwire and a sports bra or a tank with a shelf bra. I felt the most secure this way.
post #6 of 45
I had a large chest from an early age. Full disclosure: I had a breast reduction when I was 21 because of the physical pain I endured due to my large breasts.

I think it's fantastic that you took her to get a proper bra fitting. I know now, post-surgery, that I was completely wearing the wrong size bra growing up which no doubt added to my pain.

There is a British company called Bravissimo that specializes in large bra sizes and clothing for curvy women. The lingerie may be more adult and sexy than you would want for a young teen and clothes may seem a bit too old for a 13-year-old (I just have a 2-year-old, so I have no idea what teens are wearing these days). They also sell sports bras, however, which could work much better for your DD than what you generally can find.

Yes, inexpensive bras really aren't an option with large breasts, at least if you want to be comfortable. But it makes a significant difference. Even now, post-surgery, I am a 32DDD, so a good-fitting bra is the difference between me having a backache or not.

As far as helping her feel comfortable in her body, that's hard. I endured a lot of unwanted male attention when I was young and a lot of jealous, mean comments from girls my age. I dressed very conservatively as a result. I was ashamed of my body and those feelings no doubt were part of the reason I had a reduction. I think the thing most girls with large breasts struggle with is feeling like their breasts are all people see. I think by treating her breast size as just another physical trait -- such as being short, or tall, or curvy or slim -- not necessarily something that should define her, is a good thing.
post #7 of 45
I second Bravissimo I am a large cup size but v.narrow back (28/30F)- I was bigger than my Mum when I went to get my first bra at 13.
I was fortunate that I grew up in the UK where large cup sizes were more readily available. Living in the US for 10 years and even worse being pregnant and nursing in the US was a nightmare as far as obtaining bras that fit. Mainland europe isn't any better for specialist bras.
Bravissimo styles vary, they have some plain styles that are more suitable for a young teen - when I was young I had no choice over styles as there just wasn't the selection.
The sports bras are great, as is the swimwear. Unfortunately they are still expensive compared to regular size bras.
They are also other online bra retailers that stock larger sizes. http://www.brastop.com often has discounts, is UK based but ships abroad and figleaves.com has sites both in UK and US.
post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for all the great feedback!

As far as price, yesterday I told that she could get whatever bras felt the very best. After she decided, I checked the price and said we could only get 2, but that if she needs more we can wait a few weeks and get more. I don't really think 2 bras is enough, but I'm kinda of spoiled because I have a pile of them. (Mine are cheap and I don't change sizes, though). She said she thought 2 was enough for now.

It's the same thing with swimsuits. Her swim suit cost $98 this year, so she only got one. It seems unfair that her sister has 3 suits (but I spent less total money on her sister's suits). There's really no way to be fair.

The $98 was wroth it because she went to the water park and the community pool and all that. The first summer she had breasts, she refused to leave the house and mostly hid in her bedroom.

I'm glad to hear that what I'm paying is reasonable for what she's getting. It just seems so expensive, so I wondered if there was a less expensive way.

Shopping for clothes can be challenging because besides having large breasts, she's also really short. Last year I bought her a bunch of tank tops in all colors so she could layer them. It gives her modesty and looks trendy.

When we go shopping, just she and I go and I take a book. I like to give her lots of time to figure out what she likes.

We still haven't found a sports bra she likes, so we'll check out the links and suggestions! The Bravissimo site looks GREAT! I'll also pass along the suggestion to double up on bras and may be try sleeping in one.

Yesterday I was surprised at the size she is wearing and wondered what size she'll end up since she isn't fully grown. I could really see her some day wanting a reduction, but I don't think that I should mention it to her. If she comes up with the idea, I'll be very supportive. But in the meantime, I'll just try to keep her comfortable.
post #9 of 45
I am a 36DD women that grew up with an A cup mother.

Please don't make your daughter feel like she has to wear a bra 100% of the time. I have always been comfortable not wearing a bra. Not because of bad fit, but just because. If it were socially acceptable to go bra-less I would.

It was hard always getting the message that my "pendulous breasts" (the phrase my mom liked to use and that still haunts me) were somehow unattractive unless strapped down and cantilevered up.

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes and big boobs just don't look the same as a small ones, or even the way the large fake porn star ones do. (No offense to those that have chosen to get cosmetic surgery.)

I would have felt better about myself if my parents had just accepted me for my shape and not felt the need to constantly fix it with "proper undergarments".

It sounds like you are doing great OP. All we can do as mothers is be supportive of our children through their issues and help them find acceptance of themselves. I think you are doing that well.
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by AbbieB;15768053It sounds like you are doing great OP. All we can do as mothers is be supportive of our children through [I
their [/I]issues and help them find acceptance of themselves. I think you are doing that well.
Thank you. I'm trying, but I kind of feel sorry for her, and I doubt that is helpful to her. I see her breasts as a bit of a burden to her. I would like to feel more positive about her shape. I would like to feel that her body is a blessing to her, is exactly the way she is supposed to be.

I really doubt that any one wants their mother to pity them.
post #11 of 45
I grew up with a Mom who didn't wear a bra- and didn't need/want to because, even after having kids, she was stretching to fill out anything bigger than an A cup.

As a girl who developed very early, I never had any guidance about finding a bra to fit, and it wasn't until well after I should have had a bra that I could get one. Even then, I didn't know what size to get so I made the 'get the bigger band so it fits the breasts' mistake. Even now, I occasionally do that because bras with larger cups ARE expensive!

At any rate- you're handling this really well, and I wish my mom had been so proactive. I would be careful to help her not see her breasts as a burden, but also be real about the fact that sometiimes having very large breasts IS less comfortable, and be open to hearing her if she starts talking about a reduction at some point. (Personally, once this child is weaned I will be going down that path myself. I am not a huge fan of plastic surgery, but the massive weight on my chest is adding to my pain as a result of fibromyalgia.)
post #12 of 45
I'm a 38DD who developed young. Getting well-fitting, comfortable bras is an expensive pain (these days I pretty much alternate between two Blue Canoe bras), but besides that I've always really liked having big boobs! I think they're very attractive and sexy; I wouldn't trade mine in for a B cup for anything.

I've also never found them painful at all--on the contrary, I think having big boobs made breastfeeding a lot easier for me. Since all breasts have about the same number of nerve endings they're more spread out in big breasts, so therefore less sensitive. I only wear a bra out of the house and only then as a social convention. I'm really comfortable going braless. I think if you go braless often enough your body develops the musculature in your back to support your boobs--if you never or hardly ever go braless, you don't, and then it's uncomfortable. (Plus I think that wearing a bra all the time is not healthy for your breasts and may be related to milk supply problems, but that's another post--not something your 13 year old has to worry about!)
post #13 of 45
It sounds like you're doing great.

The other thing to pay attention to is the style of clothing that works well for her. It's going to be very different from the styles of clothing that work well for you. She probably won't ever feel comfortable in spaghetti straps. I look terrible in empire waist tops/dresses because my big breasts make me look pregnant. So, you'll have to pay attention and do some research as to the best styles for her.
post #14 of 45
growing up with large breasts was hard in my family- all the women had smaller breasts and they always acted like I was showing off or something.

everyone would come out for breakfast and my mom would say, "jen, dont you think you should go put a bra on?"

like, I just woke up- you guys arent wearing bras....

also, finding tshirts is so frustrating. if you buy what fits your boobs- it tents all over and looks sloppy... if you buy it to fit your shoulders and waist- its super tight on your boobs.

actually- some of the what not to wear shows on TLC have given me great shopping tips to find clothes that fit large busted women.
post #15 of 45
My bra size ranges from 32E-G. I was a 32 E at your daughters age. My mother also has a huge chest, which is funny because we are not biologically related, so I was always fitted professionaly and we paid about what you are paying for bras. It's impossible to have a pile of bras at that size so a trick I learnt from fitters is to wear your bra in the shower and wash it in ivory soap or plain shampoo.

I think your confidence and attitude to your own body will really influence how she feels about herself as well of how big a deal you make of her chest size. As I got older I grew into my chest an don't look gigantic or busty and because I have always owned good bras I have no back problems. I assumed I would want a reduction one day, and still might, but I personally didn't want to even entertain the thought until I am done having kids because it can interfere with breastfeeding. My mom was the same way through years and years of infertility and actually had to cancel her reduction when she found out she was pregnant.

I would avoid minimizers because they give you an odd shape and push you out to the sides instead of shaping nicely.
I own a sports bra and it is essential for running, it is the ugliest thing you can imagine and it feels like my chest is bound but it works, my mother's sports bra actally has a solid bar of metal through it so it doesn't bend, but it works. You are looking at spending $100 on a sportsbra. I personally would avoid ordering anything online b/c it really needs to fit perfectly. Any bra boutique should have a wide range of sizes and people who are trained at fitting you properly. They often have tailors who can alter a bra to make it fit better. Different people have different preferences for bra companies because even with the same size every style/design fits differently I personally love Chantelle (but serious $$$) and Fantasie.

After years of hating my chest I now know how to dress to complement it and absolutely love how I look. I am a modest dresser (long sleeves, skirts, head covered) so I definitely don't show off my chest but I do think it gives me nice figure. It's also convenient for breastfeeding b/c I can nurse off either side while lying down on my side and I can easily sit while DD stands and nurses. So there are some real pros.
post #16 of 45
It sounds like you are doing great. My mom was small breasted but very supportive. She celebrated my big breasts, told me the kids were jealous of me when I developed early and big, and taught me to be proud of them. She said everyone wants big breasts and I should be proud of them. Even though I was teased at school until junior high I didn't develop a feeling of shame about my breasts. I have always counted them as one of the best parts of me. I plan on doing the same thing with dd whether she is big or small breasted. My mom was very good at celebrating bodies and academic work no matter what and that is what I try to do with my dd now that she is hitting puberty because that is what I remember most about my childhood, not the mistakes but that I was someone good worth celebrating.
post #17 of 45
I don't have much in the way of advice, but for bras that expensive I would definitely make sure that they are being cared for properly to get the maximum use out of them.
post #18 of 45
I'm a 36DD, I've been since age 13, in one summer I went from wanting to stuff my bra to spilling out of every bra I had. I've been a D/DD most all my life. I was professionally fitted at 14, my mom said very frankly that I was large busted and needed support, she was never catty about it, I can't believe that some of the women on here had bad experiences with their mothers due to their busts, how sad

I have some advice on buying bras, I've found for myself that Victoria's secret body by Victoria are my bra of choice. We are low fund, BUT I know when their sales are. VS has 2 semi-annual sales a year, so I buy then and find shipping or coupon codes to get more off. I'll buy 5 bras for the price of 2. I also take really good care of them, use lingerie bags to wash them on gentle cycle.

This year I also got my swimsuits from Lands' End and I got them on a fabulous sale, I did spend about $150, but I got mix and match sets, which enable me to make 6 different combos for suits.

I sign up for e-mails and get the shipping codes and sales sent to me, I also search the web for the discounts.
post #19 of 45
Thread Starter 
Clothing issues:

T-shirts just don't work! And last year it was a bit of an issue at her middle school because they had school T-shirts for PE, matching T-shirts with their homeroom for certain events, matching T-shirts with their field day teams, etc. DD had to wear the biggest size available and it hung to her knees.

She's going to a new school this year, and hopefully there won't be anything like that. Her new school is a combined middle and high school, which I think will be good for her in lots of ways. She looks like a high school or college student, so it will be nice for her to not be the oldest looking/most developed girl in the entire school.

She prefers loose fitting clothes and doesn't care if she looks chubby. She has started wearing more colors and is enjoying her clothes more instead of just using them to hide, though, so that seems positive.

Originally Posted by thyra View Post
I don't have much in the way of advice, but for bras that expensive I would definitely make sure that they are being cared for properly to get the maximum use out of them.
They are being well cared for. I also asked the fitter yesterday to review proper care with her because my DD's bras are so different from mine that I wasn't sure if there was a whole different protocol.

She is out growing them faster than wearing them out at this point. It's a little like trying to keep a toddler in shoes.

(Anything that is in good shape when she is finished with it gets passed to a battered women's shelter because I've heard they have a really hard time providing larger sizes to women)

Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
I can't believe that some of the women on here had bad experiences with their mothers due to their busts, how sad
same here! It also sounds like some moms are envious, which seems beyond twisted to me.

BUT I know when their sales are. VS has 2 semi-annual sales a year,
DD is doing really well at Dillards, but you are right that I should find out how to get good deals on them. They must go on sale at some point!

I'm also a little concerned about this in the future because we can afford to buy these things for her, but I'm sure she'll have a tighter budget when she is first on her own, straight out of college or whatever. I want to help her learn the skills she needs to take good care of herself her whole life.

She and I talked today and I passed on some of the thoughts from this thread, and let her know that it's OK to hang out at home without a bra or to sleep in one, or whatever makes her comfortable. She laughed at the idea of ever being happy about being big busted.
post #20 of 45
OP, I admire how you are handling the situation with your DD. Bloomingdales has a bra club if they happen to sell the bra that suits your daughter best. You get a discount after buying a certain number of bras and then at some point one for free.

I get a lot of my bras (36DD) at Macy's when they are having a buy one, get one free sale. Discounters like Marshall's and Loehmanns also have a great bra selection (depending on the location).
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