28 June 2021

The Ultimate Guide to Womanhood

Your womanhood isn't defined by the work you do, your body parts, or the relationships you have — you define your womanhood. Womanhood involves a ton of milestones, most of which are life-changing. From finding the perfect bra to finding out what no one tells you about menopause, here's a quick guide on how to navigate some key milestones in your womanhood.

Know your bra size

If you've ever worn the wrong bra size, you know how uncomfortable it can feel. Worse still are the resulting backaches and occasional breast pain. The solution to this is to find a bra that's the right fit, but this isn't always easy to do. This is because bra sizes vary significantly across lingerie brands. What qualifies as a B-cup at one store can easily be a different size at another store. To avoid this, get measured to find your correct bra size. Most lingerie shops can measure your bust for free, but if you're an avid online shopper and are wondering, "How do I measure bra size?" the first step is to have a measuring tape on hand.

To start, wear a non-padded bra or go braless. Next, grab your measuring tape and guide it around your torso, directly under your bust. Make sure that the measuring tape is level on all sides—standing in front of a mirror can help with this—and that it has a snug hold. Whatever figure you get, round it off to the nearest whole number. If you get an even number, add four inches to this figure, and if you get an odd number, add five to it. Your band size should be the total of this calculation. For example, if you measured 30 inches, your band size is 34, and if you measured 31 inches, your band size is 36.

To get your bust measurement, find the fullest part of your bust and run your measuring tape around it. Whatever figure you get, round this off to the nearest whole number. Finally, to know your bra size, subtract your band size from your bust size, and for every inch count a cup size like this:

  • 1 = A
  • 2 = B
  • 3 = C
  • 4 = D
  • 5 = DD (E)
  • 6 = DDD (F)

For instance, if, from your measurements, your bust is 37 inches, and your band is 34 inches, 37-34=3, so you're a 34C. You don't need to be a pro bra size calculator with this easy bra size method.

Wear the right bra for your needs.

Hormone fluctuations, weight gain, pregnancy, and age can affect your bra size. If you're a new mom, for instance, and you intend to breastfeed, your regular bra may not be the most comfortable fit for you during this time. Luckily, nursing bras and pumping bras offer comfortable bra options to match your body's changing needs.

Most women experience a change in breast size around the time when they are five months postpartum. If you're in this stage, you'll need a comfortable bra that you can easily adjust to support the changes you may be having in your breast size. Simple Wishes' Reversible Sleep Lounge Nursing Bra is a great option for this time because it allows you to easily slip your breast out when nursing or pumping. Their Supermom Bralette is another great alternative because of its drop-down cup feature. Besides being a great nursing bra, their nursing bralette can also double as a t-shirt bra.

Alternatively, you can also try Simple Wishes' Adjustable Hands-Free Pumping Bra. What makes this bra so great is the fact that you can wear it over any nursing bra. Considered their most supportive pumping bra, it's designed to wear only when pumping. As you transition from postpartum to breastfeeding, your main priority when it comes to finding the perfect bra is comfort. Knowing this, allow your body the time it needs to recover and stay away from underwire bras.

Understand your cycles.

In most women, estrogen levels begin to fluctuate once they reach 35. At this time, the effects of these hormonal changes are mild. It isn’t until most of these women reach their 40s that they start to experience symptoms of perimenopause. During perimenopause, your body produces lower levels of estrogen. The average length of perimenopause is two years, after which you enter menopause. Your doctor will confirm that you've reached menopause when you haven’t had a menstrual period for a period of 12 consecutive months.

Going through perimenopause and menopause can result in uncomfortable symptoms such as fatigue, hot flashes, urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, night sweats, mood swings, sleep problems, gut problems, and more. Tracking your perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms is a great way to understand your cycle to help you find relief. Some more severe symptoms may require you to seek medical treatment, and tracking your symptoms can help your doctor understand your symptoms.

Midlife health tracker apps offer the best option when it comes to helping you understand your cycle. This is because they can help you gain a proper understanding of your overall health while offering insight into some questions you may have, like: how long does menopause last?

Please note that the insight offered by menopause health tracker apps shouldn't act as a substitute for any recommended course of treatment suggested by your healthcare provider.

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