Breast asymmetry & Poland Syndrome
Breast asymmetry & Poland Syndrome
Prostheses, pocketed bras and swimsuits are most commonly worn by women after mastectomy surgery. One of their lesser known uses are for women with congenital asymmetry and other medical conditions, one of these being Poland Syndrome.
Rebecca Butcher is a 20 year old with Poland Syndrome and she has shared her experiences with one of our brands, Amoena. Have a read...
Here are some snippets that really resonated with us:
"I realised that my chest was "different" when I was in high school, looking around and seeing my classmates buying new bikinis and bras while I still had one breast left to grow. For a long time I even believed that for everyone, one breast grows faster than the other. This is mostly because my doctors always told me, "You haven't finished growing yet," despite me having one fully grown breast.
So I waited and waited, sometimes hoping that one morning I might wake up and have a "normal" chest, but obviously that never happened. After years of wondering, I decided enough is enough and I searched online "1 boob". I wouldn't recommend doing this yourself unless you're prepared to see some very strange images, but after some extensive research, what I found was Poland Syndrome. I looked at medical photos and read stories of other women with this deformity and realised that they looked exactly like me (chest-wise). I presented this to my doctors, most of whom hadn't even heard of this before since it's such an uncommon condition with so little known about it. They all did their own research and finally agreed that this is what I have. And eventually, after visiting my doctors and showing them my chest numerous times they finally sent me to the hospital Breast Clinic. This is where I found Amoena.
It was suggested that a "post-mastectomy bra" (which women who have lost breasts to cancer usually wear) would be the most helpful for my issue. The breast doctor measured me and gave me what they called a "breast insert" made by Amoena. This insert looks like a breast, is the same colour and shape, can come in different skin colours and sizes, and can fit into any supportive bra.
I should add that these doctors also tried to convince me to have breast reconstructive surgery (that's a "boob job" to me and you), but I politely declined. Mostly because this is how I was born; it is me. It isn't making me physically ill. The only problems I have are finding comfortable swimwear and lingerie—and managing other people's opinions.
Being a teenager is hard enough, without people and the media telling you how you should look and what's "normal." But getting changed in a room in front of 30 other girls who have all hit puberty, trying to get teenage boys to notice that you exist without having large boobs, and being told by bra-measurers in department stores that "You're too young to wear a post-mastectomy bra, aren't you?" with a very judgmental face is not easy, I can tell you. But my Amoena insert made life a lot easier. I mean A LOT.
Like anyone, girls with Poland Syndrome want to feel sexy and confident and show off some skin every now and then. Well, that's when it becomes difficult. Soon I was turning 18, leaving college, and my Instagram was starting to get more and more notice. I knew that eventually people would pick up on my different size chest and someone was bound to question why I was always wearing a turtleneck shirt. So, I had the idea to post about my Poland Syndrome, and hoped that this might make other young girls who feel body-conscious, feel more confident and less worried that they don't look like the Photoshopped models in the magazines.
To my surprise, my post blew up with lots of likes and supportive comments and even many people finding me via the hashtag #polandsyndrome, telling me that they have it too. A few people who are in the public eye also came forward, and I won't give out anyone's name as it's something for them speak about once they're ready. But this gave me the confidence to buy a new swimsuit and not care that my chest was on full display.
My confidence aside, it was not meant to be... Since my affected side was not pushing against my larger breast to support it, the larger breast was falling out of my swimsuit any time I leant forward. I knew there had to be something better.
I remembered the name Amoena and searched their website to find so many beautiful bras and swimsuits, and pyjamas. I thought that they were just made for people with breast cancer, but I was 100% wrong!
Their pocketed products work perfectly for me, they support my chest, are made from super comfortable materials and give me the chance to swim and wear lingerie without constantly checking and worrying that my boobs might have fallen out.
For me, finding Amoena is one of the most memorable turning points in my life, knowing that I can now live without worrying about my chest or constantly having to be on the hunt for bras that don't support me properly."
To finish off she says: "Growing teenagers should be made to feel confident and happy with themselves and be able to choose what they feel is "normal," and that is why I choose Amoena."
Rebecca, we couldn't agree more!
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