Sleep is essential for the body to heal properly. While our eyes are closed, our body begins to repair the areas where it is most needed. Following your breast cancer surgery, you’ll need to make sure you’re comfortable as you sleep, especially if you are wearing breast forms.
You may be hesitant to sleep in your forms or want to but are unsure if you can. There are a few factors to consider based on the type and size of your forms, how they adhere to your chest, the length of time you will be wearing them, and how you sleep during the night.
Undergoing breast cancer surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery is a traumatic experience for your body, and sleeping in your breast forms can help or hinder your recovery. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider before crawling under the covers while wearing them.
Breast Form Types
Do: Do sleep in foam, non-silicone (Pals) gel, or specialist breast forms.
Don’t: Don’t sleep in traditional silicone breast forms.
Whether you’ve had a mastectomy or breast augmentation surgery, before deciding whether to sleep in your forms, understand what type they are. For example, silicone forms come with manufacturer’s instructions saying to avoid wearing them in bed. This is because the forms are affected by applied weight or pressure, heat, and cold.
As you sleep, you may move around a lot, transferring your weight at times to one or the other silicone breast form. If too much weight is placed on the breast form, it can result in pinching or bursting and leakage.
Other types of breast forms are better for sleeping. These include the nearly indestructible foam options, non-silicone (Pals) gel forms, and specialist forms. Also, consider working with a certified fitter at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe for a custom-made breast form.
ABC Seamless Microbead Forms are a mid-weight compromise, ideal for using while you sleep. The outer fabric is ultra-soft and features a soft foam tip and a microbead core that conforms to your body, preventing discomfort during the night.
Breast Form Sizes
Do: Do consider wearing a smaller breast form size while you sleep.
Don’t: Don’t wear your larger daytime size breast forms while you sleep.
During the day, you may choose to wear larger size forms. This is fine for your daily activities and can help build your confidence following a mastectomy. With them on, try laying on your side, back, and stomach to see how they might be uncomfortable at night as you sleep.
Larger size forms, such as D or DD, can interrupt your sleep and even affect your posture. Being comfortable at night can help you sleep better. Avoid waking up because a shift in sleeping position makes your larger size forms uncomfortable or restricts your movement. Instead, consider keeping a smaller pair of forms for nighttime wear.
Ways of Wearing Your Breast Forms While Sleeping
Do: Do let the skin on your chest rest and leave it uncovered whenever possible.
Don’t: Don’t use a skin adhesive with your breast forms at night, and avoid wearing your breast forms for more than eight hours at a time.
Your skin needs to breathe. Lack of air circulation can contribute to excess perspiration, skin irritation, and infection. Incision sites and the surrounding areas also need air to heal more quickly. To facilitate this, lessen the time you wear a bra and your forms whenever possible.
While you may prefer to wear your forms all day and night, consider the health of your skin underneath. If you use an adhesive to adhere the breast forms to your chest, avoid using it at night to give your skin time to recover.
Instead of an adhesive at night, find a comfortable mastectomy bra with pockets to hold your forms. You can also find specialty sleepwear that includes soft pockets. This allows you to wear your forms without irritating the skin underneath.
The Dawn Post-Surgical Bra by Wear Ease® is made from fine, no-pill combed cotton and has a step-in design meaning there are no hooks, clips, or adjusters to dig into you during the night. The wide underbust band won’t roll up, no matter how much you toss and turn, and also helps keep soft foam forms secure all night long.
Your Sleeping Positions
Do: Do consider how you like to sleep (back, sides, stomach) to determine whether to wear your breast forms at night.
Don’t: Don’t wear traditional silicone breast forms if you sleep on your side or stomach, as undue pressure may damage the form.
Whether to sleep in your forms while you sleep depends a lot on what position you prefer at night. If sleeping prone on your back is common for you, you’ll have little trouble sleeping with them.
If you sleep in other positions, like on your sides or stomach, you may find the breast forms uncomfortable or distracting as you sleep. Also, putting pressure on the forms in these sleep positions can cause damage to their shape and composition.
There are many benefits to wearing breast forms, from matching up with a natural breast, uplifting a sagging breast after weight loss, or providing a protective breast implants layer for augmentation patients. The healing process following your surgery is essential, and there are many ways breast forms can help. Talk with your doctor, plastic surgeon, or certified fitter to obtain the advice you need.
Contact A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe
Following breast cancer surgery, you need healing time, which means you need a good night’s sleep. Choose whether to sleep in your forms or not, depending on what is best for you and your body. For help choosing the best breast forms for night or day, contact the certified fitters with A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe at 954-978-8287 for an in-person or virtual consultation.