Tag Archives: Breast

Keep it on lock down

25 Apr

While on a run yesterday I decided that I really needed to write a post about the really amazing sports bras that I have and all thanks to great advice from  Tanya Kovarsky from Rattle and Mum & Dear Max, who’s been at it for a while now. And I must vehemently state that this is NOT A PAID POST but that in itself is another discussion I’ll have with you soon.

My family gene pool has a mix of big bazookas and not so much bum, hip and thigh on my dad’s side of the family while on my mother’s side, there is little boob with a whole lot of bum, hip and thigh, more than enough actually. Growing up, I always thought that I’d have my mother’s pear-shaped figure but the combined effects of: time or age, child-birth (yes, I still use that excuse) and gravity I now how an hour-glass shape. Mind you round is still a shape let’s not forget! Anyway, the whole point is that I now look like my paternal aunts and that’s not such a bad thing because you can remedy boobs easier with surgery than a pair of AK-49’s for hips.

On this post about Breasteses, which is actually a word from the Urban Dictionary, click here to see. I go on and on about how I want a boob job one day because having this much glandular tissue is not funny by any stretch of the imagination.

There were two very big reasons (pun intended)  that I don’t like any form of exercise involving too much effort on my part that would lead to sweating because of the Harriots (coloured hair problems) and because I didn’t want to be knocked unconscious by my bazookas for boobs. Tanya was kind enough to do a post for Triaction when she “tested” their sports bra. She used to wear two sports bras and when she found “the one”, extra support was no longer an issue. This got me wondering whether the manufacturer of sports bras actually cared enough to make “equipment” for those of us who tip the scales. Visit the Triaction By Triumph Facebook Page, its great and helpful too.

So off I went on a little adventure to find a suitable cage for the girls. Luckily, the first shop I stepped into proved useful, Sportsmans Warehouse. I made a bee-line for the garments in question but when I looked at the bra that Tanya had tried, I was very disappointed!!! That poor little piece of material would hold like a vapor in the wind in comparison to what I was looking for. I needed the Fort Knox of sports bras. Can you say lock down! So I kept on searching among the Triumph range and finally, like a light shone from the heavens, I saw it…. A sports bra for extreme sports and in my size 38 E (the black one in the picture on the far right). Technically I WAS an F cup at the time but thanks to running even the girls have managed to lose a little so now we all fit into a 38 DD but that’s just for sports bras. Anyway, it was a bit more than the one Tanya had paid for but for all the extras I was happy to pay a bit more. The straps were wide and padded. The back-straps were adjustable and the material absorbed sweat fast. Off I went to the change-rooms to do my jumping jacks and sprints-on-the-spot to test the “bounce-ability” of the girls. Let’s just be real here: when research says that you boobs can move up to about 4 cms away from your body during activity, not only is that far but that hurts when they aren’t secure and I don’t have time to sweat and be in unnecessary pain.

The story goes on. So one piece of equipment is not enough, I have to wear two. Instead of breaking the student piggy bank, I opted for a cheaper version and got one for medium impact sports, just two  notches down. I haven’t tried any other brands other than Nike because Triaction is really reasonably priced all round. Nike did not fit at all even in the XL and paying R500 was not an option I had.

On the road or treadmill, I almost forget that I have boobs, seriously. It’s like having a temporary boob job because they are stuck to you. I honestly cannot be more happier so if you ever need some advice, I’ll be happy to share and also the ladies at Sportmans’ Warehouse were quite knowledgeable, the one problem I had was that they don’t often get stock of the bigger sizes so buy it when you see it but they were happy to source that make more me.

Now that I enjoy a short run, the hair story is not such a big deal but I would never consider running if I did not wear my sports bras, they are that important to me. Go out there, don’t let winter hold you back and keep active or you could just have a whole bunch of sex instead!!!

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Are you a regular?

31 Jan

I for one make an effort to go annually and promptly. I have come to realize that time is precious and life is too short! It is not necessarily something that I look forward to but I’ve chosen my specialist with careful scrutiny while I never forget that the responsibility lies solely on me because after all, it’s my body.

Dr Bothner, is my FEMALE gynecologist and she practices in Parklane Hospital. She’s German born and still has the accent to match after all these years of being in sunny South Africa. Ease and confidence make her my number one gynecologist, and yes, I have had a few, some just plain ol’ creepy. And I’m sure I’ll see her until my nether regions malfunction or what ever they do when you get that close to the grave.

Last week was my second check-up since Samuel’s birth and all went well. What actually got me thinking about doing this post was the reaction of one of my friends, she was surprised at how good I was at keeping these appointments but what she didn’t know was that I have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer and that I have no choice but to be on high alert because there are some scary statistics out there!

My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer about six years ago and she had to have a partial mastectomy – in other words they had to take out parts of her breast tissue and some lymph nodes in her armpit because it had spread so far into her system. We were all really sad at the prospect of losing her but thank God, she’s a survivor who makes the trip every six months to stay in the clear. Just three months ago, on a ROUTINE check-up, they discovered another lump which caused much concern yet it was benign.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is also the principle cause of death from cancer among women globally. Despite the high incidence rates, in Western countries, 89% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive 5 years after their diagnosis, which is due to detection and treatment (Parkin, 2008). The map below which countries are impacted by breast cancer (pink being the highest per capita):

A pink ribbon is the most prominent symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, which can be made inexpensively, are sometimes sold as fundraisers, much like poppies on Remembrance Day. They are worn to honor those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The pink ribbon is associated with individual generosity, faith in scientific progress, and a “can-do” attitude.

My female cousin, Larissa Jones, however was not so fortunate. She was fourteen years old when she died, it was excruciatingly heart-breaking to watch someone slip away from a full life ahead of them. Diagnosis came far to late, already at stage three of four, hope seemed dim.

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women (after skin cancer) and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 20,000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed this year, and approximately 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year. Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because its symptoms can be subtle, leading to a delayed diagnosis and poorer outcome. However, if ovarian cancer is detected early, approximately nine out of ten women will live for at least five years with the disease. While the majority of women who develop ovarian cancer have no known risk factors for the disease, researchers have identified a few factors that increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. These factors include advancing age, family history and genetics, early onset of menstruation (before age 12) or late menopause (after age 50), having a first child after age 30 or never having children, or having breast cancer. A personal/family history of breast cancer: Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer because many of the risk factors for breast cancer (including early menstruation, late menopause, delayed childbirth, BRCA gene mutations, etc.) also put women at risk for ovarian cancer.

There is no sure-fire method of preventing ovarian cancer. There is also no foolproof screening test to detect ovarian cancer. The best method of defense against ovarian cancer is a yearly pelvic exam beginning at age 18. Physicians perform pelvic exams to check for abnormalities in the size or shape of the uterus, vagina, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum. Many women mistakenly believe that the Pap smear exam screens for ovarian cancer; however, the Pap smear is a screening exam for cervical cancer. The Pap smear may occasionally detect ovarian cancer but usually only after it has progressed to advanced stages.Genetic testing is available to decide whether women carry mutations of the BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) or BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) genes. Mutations of these genes put women at higher risk of developing both ovarian cancer and breast cancer. The decision to undergo genetic testing is a personal one and should be made carefully with input from physicians and family members. Many women also undergo genetic counseling before the test.

So while in your mind, putting off your annual check-up for another day might not phase you, I urge you and plead with you to take it seriously. It IS better to know and deal with it than find out when it’s too late. It’s a few minutes of your time, ONCE a year that could add many more years to your life to spend with those you love and cherish. Let’s not have any regrets about it and educate ourselves. We have one body and one life to live – let’s do it wisely.

Breastesess….

19 Jan

So this is where I take the liberty of getting a little personal in MY blog and talk about something that’s been bugging me for ages. Sure some dude is going to read this post and not look at me the same but I really don’t care too much about that right now, so here’s it, I’m just going to put it out into cyberspace and take it as it comes.  Breastesess. It is an actual word on urban dictionary, true story! There’s a test (not sure what it’s called) to determine if your boobs are too big (it’s lame, I know but bear with me): if you put a pencil under your breast and it falls then you’re good but what does it mean if you can hide Waltons’ under there??? Seeing that I’m starting varsity soon, maybe that’s one way of getting the stationary I need.

The female breast has many uses and functions: nourishment for off-spring, organs of pleasure, symbols femininity and an object of art and culture since time began, kinda takes multi-tasking to a whole other level wouldn’t you say?

Despite the advances in plastic surgery these days, I for one don’t think there is anything spectacular, great or good-looking about natural big breasts, and by that I refer to sizes E-G, yes and even H! Unless they are filled with silicon, and mounds of it, nobody likes that! They are extra flaps of skin and tissue just like other areas on our body, our arms, tummy and legs that plastic surgery can sort out, constrain, or just plain get rid of. The best breast size, in my opinion is a C, for cute or curvy. D is for Dumb-bells because they get heavy at this point on the scale. DD is for Double Dose of Behemoth. E is for Excessive or Elephantine! F is for Fiercely Oversized. G – Gargantuan. And as for H – Heavy Duty or Heavy-weight! Just think about it, who wants to hold more than one hand-full at a time???

I love me some retail therapy any day! Shops like Le Senza and Temptations will only be visited if I’m buying for a girlfriend, otherwise I steer clear. The biggest size they stocked was a C, you were lucky if you could find a D. Are they trying to say that if I have big boobs then I can’t wear anything racy or sexy in a one-piece??? Then they got a little smart and brought in E cups sizes, the bras were padded to the max, for who? Like big boobs need more volume (they’ve got more than enough, thanks) or was that a way to give them the rounder shape? How about better straps for support dufus. Edgars has a little Diva range and at least they cater for bigger cup sizes in printed, pink-bowed, glittered underwear with matching G-STRINGS!!! There’s one worse than the fitted sheets that they make to restrain and hold all the girls, talk about the useless, big-ass granny panties that come with them as well, makes me want to vomit! I don’t necessarily want my tummy flattened at the same time. Full briefs, I mean gees Louise, those can wait until I’m at LEAST 70. Having a little piece of lace on either side does not equate to sexy! Hello! Who came up with the ridiculous notion that all women with bigger breasts have bigger bums???? Designers have cottoned on (no pun intended) as well, the bras are good-looking, big sizes and awesome support but make no mistake, I would die before I paid R700 for a bra! Firstly, I don’t have that kind of money and secondly, if I did and bought ten of those bras, I’d probably have a quarter of the money I needed to pay for a boob job! I want to get a boob job, and if I haven’t brought my point across enough, I.want.to.get.a.boob.job. Some women are really fortunate to have the money to get their underwear and swimming costumes custom-made, what a blessing. I don’t have exec money at the moment for hand-made-custom-fit-designer goods; it’s a sad state of affairs!

My next problem is clothes! And by that I mean getting the right size to fit my lovely hour-glass curves. My heart breaks when I think about this. I have to buy two dress sizes up to compensate for the sisters, and then the dress will hang on the rest of me. Sometimes I want to be cute and wear a dress, a cute floral summery number with ruffles up the front! But no, no boob-tube, one-shoulder or spaghetti straps for me! I have to go for what’s big, bold and well, supportive I guess. I really like the off the shoulder style but there are no strapless bras in bigger sizes!!!! By big I mean DD (which isn’t really that big anyway) have some much padding as well – what is up with that???

But on a more serious note, they get in the way, all.the.time. Going to sleep on my stomach is akin to a walrus moving on the beach or The Worm (old break dance move for those that can remember it). I start at the bottom of the bed, face down and do the walrus/worm-dance until I reach my pillow. If I don’t do this and just flop straight down, I run the risk of death by chest compression or death by suffocation if they land up at my throat – you laugh, but it’s a scary thing!

I am all for breast-feeding, breast is best but I’m sure if Sam could talk he’d say it was, except for the times where he thought I was going to suffocate him because my boob would cover his nose while in his mouth. There were plenty of times where I would fall asleep while feeding him in bed and I’d wake to a little baby gasping for air – ooops!

Most times, these girls can attract the wrong kind of attention. Many people regard the female human body, of which breasts are an important aspect, to be aesthetically pleasing, as well as erotic. Research conducted at the Victoria University of Wellington showed that breasts are often the first thing men look at, and for a longer time than other body parts. The writers of the study had initially speculated that the reason for this is due to endocrinology with larger breasts indicating higher levels of estrogen and a sign of greater fertility,but the researchers said that “Men may be looking more often at the breasts because they are simply aesthetically pleasing, regardless of the size. “Phrases like: “nice lungs” or “great rack” are really demeaning. It’s really pathetic when a guy greets you but you know he’s not looking into your eyes, very shady. Back in varsity (the first time around), I had a lecturer that we just creepy. On this particular day, the top that I wore was two-tone and the top (darker) part looked was in the shape of a bib. The subject was Radiology (how to read x-rays) so we’re all looking forward at the display and answering his questions and then he looked at me, like really looked at me (he must have had x-rays eyes or wished he did) and had the audacity to ask what’s on my top? Dumbfounded, it took a while to compose myself and I shot back: “what are you looking there for anyway?” My class hosed themselves and then applauded me for putting him in his place.

If you look at the gene pool that is to blame in my case, you will see that my father’s sisters and his mother all suffer the same fate! One of my aunts has serious back pain from carrying around the udders. A thought that I have had every day for the last year or so is getting them cut – I swear I could lose 10 kgs in one fell swoop,  5 kgs a piece and then I’d be halfway to my goal weight just like that! I want to get a boob job, and if I haven’t brought my point across enough, I.want.to.get.a.boob.job. There, I said it.

Thanks for putting up with and reading my random thoughts, complaints and mutterings on part of the female form….
  • Breasts (infinitepirate.wordpress.com)

Bottoms Up!!!

9 Jun

From the moment I had decided to fall pregnant, I knew what kind of birth I wanted to have and how things would be run in terms of Samuel’s care thereafter. My birth plan involved a doula and midwife present at an active birth unit and breastfeeding from the moment Samuel was born! I count myself fortunate enough to have the birth I wanted but the breastfeeding thing totally fell apart!!!

From attending ante-natal classes, I had learned about the infamous “golden hour“. Here’s what a birth doula writes – healthy infants should be placed immediately on the mother’s abdomen or chest when they are born and remain in direct skin-to-skin contact until the first feeding is established. Allowing the new mom and baby to enjoy the first breastfeeding together and experience the intimacy of skin-to-skin contact before anything else is done eases baby’s transition from the womb into the world. It stabilizes baby’s heart rhythm, body temperature and breathing. Spending that first hour enveloped in each other’s presence lets you both know that everything is right with the world. It awakens the mother inside you, bonds the baby to his primary caregiver and sets the stage for the coming hours, days and years. A Dad can also get involved by placing his hands on baby, talking quietly, letting baby gaze at his face and spending time holding baby after the first feeding is done. It is during the first hour of life, a healthy baby shows a high level of alertness and an ability to interact with its parents; an infant recognizes his/her parents’ voices and smells and it is the ideal time for the baby to be introduced to the parents through snuggling and breast-feeding. Picture Perfect. After Samuel was born, he was wiped down gently and placed on my chest. All the necessary tests were done from there but the three of us were given a chance to look into each others eyes and bond. While I was pregnant, I used to sing “You are my sunshine” to him all the time so as soon as he started to cry I thought that was a fitting lullaby to calm him.

While I sang to him, my midwife cleaned me and then came the moment I had anticipated almost as much as giving birth. Ta daa!!!! You must understand that I had even attended a special breastfeeding workshop, that’s how determined I was to do this thing!!! So we tried, and we tried, and we tried and Samuel screamed but we just kept trying… and for six days solid he refused to latch on! This was horrifying for me because he was not following my well executed plan and none of my friends (they all had cesars) had problems breast-feeding. There I was thinking, I had done it the way nature intended and now it’s bitten me in the behind!!! While at Genesis, the midwives on duty helped me hand express every time he needed to feed but we had to call in the big guns or lactation consultants as they are known to help get the show on the road. One whole blessed week of pumping every three hours (yes that includes four in the morning as well), letting someone else feed and bond with my baby and then there was the never-ending chore of sterilizing bottles and my pump!!! If I was a normal human being, I would have given up at this stage. My lactation consultant, Brenda Pierce and my doula, Hailey Fudu finally got Samuel and I on our path of breast-feeding success.

So on to the reason for this post. Other than that first week of his life, Samuel only had to get used to a bottle when I started working again and it was once a day. From what Brenda had told me about breast and bottle feeding, to have success, Samuel had to associate breast with me and bottle with anyone else. With that burned into my mind, I had determined never to give him a bottle myself, in hindsight, a little over the top if you ask me. So yesterday, I had a chance to go home for lunch and Samuel hadn’t been fed yet. I pumped (yes I still do it so that he has bottles of breast milk when I’m not around) before I left work and he was not interested in letting his nanny feed him while I was around.  For the first time in a long time, I was stumped. I know it sounds weird because I should have just picked the bottle up and fed him right? Well when I did that, I certainly didn’t expect him to let me feed him and yet there we were doing it like it was any other normal feeding session.

It was in that moment that I felt a little sad because breast-feeding him had become our thing that no one else could be a part of. It was after midnight feeds that I would catch glimpses of him smiling in his sleep; it was then that my oxytcin-induced love fest began while I watched him sleep; he was my only company while his father snored the night away; he was the reason I could leave unwanted company and it somehow boosted my self-confidence as a mother but let me not leave out the absolute convenience of it all as well.

The World Health Organisation recommends breast-feeding until the age of two. I’m not sure that I would go that far but I do know that when our little love fest comes to an end, it would be bitter-sweet. Don’t get me wrong here, there will be some happiness at the prospect of getting my boobs back but not really sure in what condition they will be in!!! Yikes!The silver lining is that while Mr may have more bottles in time to come, so will I…. and I’ll say, bring on the chardonnay baby yeah!!!

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