Every mom knows that the landscape of your torso pre-baby is far different than the one you're left with once you retire the nursing bra.
Those once decorative sweater bunnies lose their whimsy after being put through the wringer of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
When I was nursing my kids, I referred to the strangers on my chest as "business boobs." They were consultants, here to do a temporary job. They left, and the office was in shambles.
Two months after I stopped nursing, I realized I didn't have any properly fitting undergarments. I was tired of the nursing tank/sports bra uni-boob. My pre-pregnancy bras were too small, the nursing bras too big. I needed to find my Goldilocks size.
I decided to get the first bra fitting of my life.
Backstory: My mom tried to make me do this when I was about 12, and it was not a success. When the well-meaning woman in the lingerie department at Marshall Field's asked me to remove my shirt and came at me with a cloth tape measure, I reared like a spooked horse. Catholic school had done its job. Toplessness was exclusively for showers, m'lady. Kindly retreat. The whole macabre enterprise ended with me backed into a corner of the dressing room with my hands crossed over my fully-clothed chest while this poor woman kept trying to approach with the tools of her trade. My embarrassed mom finally threw in the towel. We left the store of two minds: My mom, ready for filicide. Me, triumphant. The ill-fitting brassiere was the only constant.
Two decades later, it was time to try again. I went to Intimacy at 900 Shops and told the consultant I was there for a post-baby lift, one of the most common reasons for a fitting it turns out.
-Nearly every woman thinks she is a 34B. Almost none of them are.
-Bra sizing is mysterious and confusing to all but the most highly trained specialists. Don't try to understand. Just surrender.
-Once you've had one or more C-sections, it's probably best to decline the matching thong.
When I was properly fitted, I could not believe the transformation. People kept asking if I lost weight. Nope. Just lifted the wreckage back to sea level. I looked and felt so much better, for just $60 and one hour of my time. (Fittings are free. The bras are not.) Now I'm a fitting evangelist.
You only have so much control over your post-baby body and a new bra is a lot cheaper and easier than Pilates.
Rebecca Little, a native Chicagoan, loves discovering new ways to keep her two very active boys entertained lest they resort to spackling heirloom furniture or flushing toy trains down the toilet - not that those are real examples. Follow her at PinwheelChicago.com.
See more of Rebecca's stories here.