Products for Women after Mastectomy & DIEP Flap
I frequently find out about new products through social media connections. A sports bra was introduced to me by a DiepCjourney member, Kimberly Jewett. We chatted at length on the phone about the Empower Bra from Athleta. Connections with other athletic women is real feeling of empowerment, especially in the breast cancer and breast reconstruction community. Feeling fit is an on-going goal for many strong women. It becomes even more of a priority after the assault of a breast cancer diagnosis and the aftermath of treatment and surgeries.
I learned about Athleta through a mutual friend and board-certified microsurgeon, Dr. Fawn Hogan. Fawn is the epitome of fitness and I frequently refer to her as my #swolemate. Fawn told me about how much she uses the Athleta brand in her workouts. I ordered a pair of Athleta pants and they are now my go to pair when I’m headed to the gym.
When Kimberly told me about Athleta’s Empower Bra, a product for women after mastectomy and DIEP flap, she had my undivided attention. I do not own the bra but hope to try it soon as a post mastectomy DIEP flap breast reconstruction patient. Kimberly’s input on the design of the bra as a two-time breast cancer survivor is summed up in a statement from the Chi Blog here.
The Empower Bra is made with softer fabrics and a front-zip for easier on-and-off around sensitive scar tissue. We also built in expandable pockets designed to fit most sizes of prosthetics. The straps are adjustable, a must-have, since after surgery, breast size can vary dramatically.
Kimberly and I spoke about the adjustable feature of the bra to accommodate both reconstructed and non-reconstructed breast cancer patients. She particularly likes the pocket feature to accommodate fills for non-reconstructed breast cancer women. I listened intently.
I shared with her my own frustration wearing a heavy prosthesis in the pocket of my bra during my seven months post mastectomy recovery while researching a microsurgeon to perform my DIEP flap. The prosthesis was heavy, hot, and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to go to the gym with no form or shape so that was the only alternative I knew about at the time. I am glad there are products available for women after mastectomy & DIEP flap breast reconstruction.
Kim has the advantage, like many of us, to share her story through the lived experience. When companies like Athleta are willing to have breast cancer patients sit at the table to give feedback to optimize comfort, beauty, and function for post mastectomy patients that is a winning combination.
I look forward to giving this bra a try after the success and comfort of the workout pants I ordered from Athleta. Have you heard about or tried this bra? I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for introducing me to the Athleta Empower Bra, Kimberly!