Being a large breasted woman
Many are the teenagers and women in this country that wish to have large breasts — and interestingly enough, women's breast size in these modern times seems to be on the increase. Large breasts are seen as the ideal because that is what the media promotes as desirable and sexy. However, what many don't realize is that women who do have big breasts - DD, DDD (also labeled E and F), G, H, J, K, or L cup size - can experience problems with their large bust.
For some, being large-breasted means back pains, and breasts being on the way when you reach for things. Often women get unwanted attention from the opposite sex, or find they are not taken seriously. (This really shouldn't happen; it shows clearly how the culture views breasts as greatly sexually oriented.)
Another common problem is finding fitting clothing or clothing that looks good. Many women get painful grooves from bra straps on their shoulders.
"I'm 35 years old, and I wear a 12E bra size. I find it very painful to wear a bra for more than 4 hours. My breast can be very sore, lumpy and I suffer from back and neck pain. I've been seriously considering getting a breast reduction and have been researching the internet looking for images."
"I'm 23, I've been pregnant once and am currently breastfeeding my (amazing, beautiful, healthy, happy!) 8 month-old son, with no plans to stop until he decides it's time. I'm about 155 lbs, I've always been between 150 and 170, with little change in my 38DDD size. I don't have an eating disorder or anything; I've contemplated a breast reduction but I plan to have at least one more baby and nursing is so much more important to me than what my boobs look like! (Why risk the health of your precious baby to have "cute" breasts?? I don't get it.)"
"Age: 26. For a while I was pretty self-conscious about sagging and areola size, but after seeing what normal breasts look like (from your website) I feel more confident about the size and shape of my breasts. During my teens I suffered from severe acne problems around the top of my chest area, and still have some dark spots from it."
We hope that you can be happy with your breasts, whether big or small! Feeling critical of your breast size is understandable in this superficial body-focused culture, but you CAN feel good about your breast size even if it isn't B or C cup-size! Please see our gallery pages and read other women's comments there.
However, we also realize that very large breasts can bring problems, so on this page we have gathered some tips for easier life with heavy breasts. But first we need to answer a question...
Can I make my breasts smaller?
Not really. There are only three ways to do this:
- Losing weight. Usually, when you lose weight, fat disappears from all parts of your body, including breasts. Warning (especially for teens): Do NOT try lose weight if you are already normal weight or skinny, because being underweight can cause health problems too. Also, dieting during puberty puts you at risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies, which may affect your brain and your intelligence! If you want to lose weight, you'd better study nutrition so as to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs even while dieting.
- Breast reduction surgery. For very large-breasted women breast reduction surgery can be like a lifesaver.
- Breast reduction by liposuction. This technique can be used only for minor reductions.
- So-called "minimizer bras" make the breasts appear smaller. They squash the breasts somewhat against the chest wall, and thus are not good for your breast health. It is best not to wear them for many hours at a time.
22-year old, always had an average build (5'6", 130lbs).
"Some stretch marks remain from the sudden growth of my breasts when I was 16 or so. Two things I know now that I wish I'd known earlier:
1) My breasts are perfectly normal and perfectly attractive.
2) How to properly measure bra size. I went years wearing basically slings for my breasts until I happened upon a different way of measuring (on Oprah's website of all places). I'm so psyched about the support I'm now getting with my new size (34D, formerly wearing a 36C) that I want to tell every woman I meet about it!
"I'm 19 years old and have never been pregnant. I'm slightly on the overweight side and my breasts started to develop quite early (about 10) so they've never been perky because they are quite large. My left breast is a little smaller than my right. I'm happy with my breasts and their size and shape because they are mine and they are unique to me and girls everywhere should be proud of their breasts and their differences."
"A 35-year old female. Has birthed two children, and breastfed one for 3 years. "...I have always been self-conscious of my breasts, as they've not only never been "perky," but seemed to have grown in pointing very "down." I'm so happy to see that I'm really NOT abnormal; nor have I ever been - in fact, I've been more "normal" than anything I've ever seen in the movies or in magazines! (I really wish I had access to a website, or other information like this, in the past, because my primary "body image" issue during my anorexic phase was my breasts, and how big and floppy they were getting.)"
Tips for large breasted women
- Do maintain good posture. If you try to hide your bust by hunching, that alone can cause back pains.
- Bras. Many women with heavy breasts find they need to wear a bra. For example, if they run or do other active things without wearing a good (super-supportive) sports bra, their breasts can hurt and develop broken capillaries. However, wearing or not wearing a bra (especially outside of sports) is still an individual thing; you yourself will have to decide which feels best to you: with bras or without.
- Check out into Equipoised — a bra attachment that balances the weight of breasts using a counterweight, correcting posture at the same time.
- Longline bra is like a corset / bra in one. This prevents the bra from riding up in the back - and relieves the weight from the front. It can help large-breasted women to maintain better posture and to stand up straighter.
- Minimizer bras can help with clothing issues for special occasions; but be careful not to wear this kind of bra on a regular basis as it is so constrictive.
- If you feel you need to, you can dress so as to de-emphasize the bust:
- Don't draw attention to the chest area with your clothing. Don't wear blouses with pockets or shirts with large patterns at the bust. Don't wear clingy tops, clingy t-shirts or high waisted pants that draw attention to the bust line. Don't wear tops with horizontal stripes.
- Also avoid tight pants, tight jeans, pencil skirts, because small and tight bottom in turn emphasizes the top.
- V-necks and open collars as necklines draw attention to your face and away from chest - but choose such that are 'modest' enough to not show any cleavage.
- Draw the eye away from your top by wearing skirts and pants with patterns and prints. Try short skirts, and light colored or 'nude' hosiery to draw attention to legs. Try also A-line skirts.
- Healthy breast tissue concentrates iodine (it contains more of it than the surrounding tissues). In fact, breast tissue has the second highest concentration of iodine in the body (the thyroid has the highest). The larger your breasts are, the more iodine you need to keep your breast tissue healthy and free of cysts and lumps. Lack of iodine is one reason for the fibrocystic breast condition.
- Some scientists propose xenoextrogens (foreign estrogens) as the reason for women's expanding breast sizes in these days. This would imply that we'd be better off avoiding certain things in the environment and food supply, such as BPA, pesticides, and some other chemicals.
"Bra size 36J (not been pregnant). Thank you so much for your site. I have always been self-conscious about my body and my breasts - thinking that they were too large and usually having erect nipples. I used to wear minimizers, body shapers and anything that I could get my hands on to make my breasts appear smaller. It has only been within the last 6 months that I have even been able to look at my body without clothes on."
A comment from the same lady one year later:
"19 years old, size 44DD. They decreased in cup size but increased on the band size. They actually look the same believe it or not. Though I have developed strecth marks on the top and sides of my breasts and they are not as full. I have stopped wearing minimizers or anything else to make my breasts appear small. But I am still self-conscious about them, I think they are sometimes ugly and saggy. What makes me think this is when I see other girls my age, they have tiny perfect boobs that dont move and stay in the center of their chest and their nipples actually point north. But I am working on mindset of them and hopefully I will come to love my breasts fully and completely."
"I am a 26-year old. I started growing breasts in the 4th grade and feel like they haven't stopped since! I was in a D cup by 7th grade and DDD by the time I graduated from high school. I took birth control from age 19-23 which propelled me to the size I am now, a 38H. ... I don't have too many breast complaints. I am of a hardy stock and only have back aches occasionally. The biggest issue is bra shopping which can be like finding a needle in a haystack and can get expensive.
When I was younger and my body was maturing faster than other girls, I was embarrased by my breasts. ... As I got older I learned to love and appreciate my body. My breasts are a part of me. I'm curvy and beautiful and the twins are part of what make me the woman that I am."
A 36-year old, size 44J, with two children; the older is nursing at age 3.5. "I started developing breasts at age 9, and was teased mercilessly through grade school and middle school. I was constantly humiliated at the size of my breasts. I have terrible posture as a result of a lifetime of hunching over to hide them. They are now a huge weight and cause me daily pain in my back and ribs. Finding clothes that fit is a nightmare. Buying a bra is a major expense, as they run around $45 each, and I have never had one that fits right. But I am grateful for them, nonetheless, b/c they are a source of food and comfort for my babies. :-)"