LiveLaughLearn – Mastectomy + Bathing Suit

As someone who loves swimming and beach vacations I found one of the hardest parts of my breast cancer experience was shopping for a bathing suit to fit a breast prosthesis ( a breast form that is intended to simulate a breast) after my mastectomy.  Luckily I found a DIY solution, so for my LiveLaughLearn video I wanted to share the easy how-to!

I was 31 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After mastectomy and chemotherapy I knew I wanted to get breast reconstruction – just not right away. Since I delayed my reconstruction for two years, I found bathing shopping extremely frustrating due to the lack of styles available at malls and boutiques. Cost was also an issue since my medical coverage from work didn’t cover specialty swimwear to hold a prosthesis.  But most depressing of all was that there was nothing cute, sassy or sexy available – all I saw were dowdy styles that not even my grandmother would want to wear!

I decided the solution was to look for regular bathing suits I liked that would have enough coverage to have a pocket sewn inside to accommodate my prosthesis.  And a whole new world of options opened up to me!

If you aren’t handy with a needle and thread, contact a professional who can sew, to help customize the suit for you.

There are a few things to look for that make a bathing suit  ideal for customization:

1. Choose a Suit with Solid Straps – a breast prosthesis is usually heavy so you want to make sure the straps will support the extra weight.

2. Look for Extra Material and Coverage – because you will be adding a pocket inside the suit for the prosthesis, the bathing suit needs to have enough material and coverage, but also hug your body. No loose suits!

3. Water Friendly – Make sure you use a waterproof fabric for the pocket that you sew in, that is strong enough to hold the weight of the breast prosthesis.

4. Snug Fit – The prosthesis needs to fit snugly inside the swimsuit, so make sure the pocket is sewn to the correct size of your prosthesis.

Voila! Now you have a cute bathing suit that you can feel confident in. Happy swimming!

Stacey Oree

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