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New Relief for Painful Breasts, Swollen Boobs, and Tender Nipples

Why traditional breast pain treatments fall flat (ha) and the best new solution you’ve never heard of.


Breast pain is an issue that is so widespread and yet so unspoken and unacknowledged that it boggles the mind. Read on for some shocking stats, a sonnet, and an aha moment.


A Sonnet, To Breast Pain

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do you hurt me? Let me count the ways.

You hurt me to the depth and breadth and height

My hormones can reach, when wanting to stay out of sight

For fear of losing temper and face.

You hurt me in so many ways

Through cycle change, from morn ‘til late-night.

You hurt me blithely, with no foresight

For what I do to get through days.

You hurt me with consistency unfailing,

from younger days and puberty’s inception,

Through to and after fertile conception.

You hurt me still when age approaches,

Biding through my tearful rages.

You hurt me through the breath,

Smiles, tears of all my life; and seems you choose,

To hurt me ofttimes, until death.


Ok, so the ending’s a little dark. It’s Victorian.


When you think about it though, this description is not really an exaggeration, is it? Not really. Most of us are just so accustomed to breast pain and it is such a frequent companion that we simply adapt and carry on, as women do. It’s just one more of so many burdens that we carry silently.


The Scale and Impact of Breast Pain


Millions of women in the United States (and more around the world) suffer from sore breasts, tender breasts, boobs that feel heavy and swollen, or extremely tender nipples. According to our esteemed friends at Johns Hopkins, “Most women experience some form of breast pain at one time or another.”


Since there are roughly 150 million post-pubescent women in the USA, that translates to more than 100 million women suffering from breast pain. And suffer we do. Despite Johns Hopkins' tone-deaf claim that “breast pain is typically easy to treat,” it takes a heavy toll on our well-being. The slow drain it exacts on our mental, emotional and physical resources goes unmarked, even by ourselves.


Easy to treat? Tell that to a perimenopausal woman who wakes up one day for no apparent reason with nipples so tender and hyper-sensitive she yelps in indignant pain at the slightest brush of fabric, and breasts that overnight have turned giant and swollen like when she was breastfeeding. Ibuprofen doesn't fix that. And most women are not in a life-place that allows them to cancel all their commitments and lie in bed with a boob compress.


Breast pain is a nuanced and ever-shifting sand of exquisite, personal torture. We can't always anticipate when it will attack. Trying to describe it is difficult and words are inadequate. It is with us from the first intense cyclical changes of our teen years and progresses through new extremes of boob swelling and tenderness with pregnancy (and/or fertility treatments) and childbirth, and the subsequent milk-fed roller coaster.

 

The engorgement situation -- giant, rock hard boobs bursting with milk due to over-eager lactation hormones -- is a special kind of hell. If you have dealt with it, you understand why cows get so nasty and angry if they don’t get milked on time. An engorged state is what you might call urgently uncomfortable. (Kind of like when you really, really need to pee. Except also totally different from that.) No one tells a cow to "try to relax" with a bag of frozen peas on her udder.

 

Once the hormonal storms of breastfeeding ebb, then there’s weaning, which like so many facets of parenting, is harder on you than your baby. Next up, years more of cyclical hormonal breast pain until the guessing-game of perimenopause sets in. And menopause? Spoiler alert: it doesn't mean the end of breast pain. Mysterious and inexplicable swollen breasts, tenderness, soreness, and nipple sensitivity can continue to pop up uninvited and unexplained for your entire female life.


And that's not even accounting for pain related to breast injury, illness, treatment and aftermath.


With millions of women dealing with this every day, you start to understand why there are millions of Google searches -- in the USA alone -- on hormonal breast pain.


Traditional Treatment for Breast Pain

Despite the millions of searches, Google returns shockingly few real options in the treatment results pages. You'll see mostly nutritional supplements and hot/cold packs. And if you ask a doctor, you’ll be offered the same ‘easy’ options Johns Hopkins espouses: to eliminate everything from your diet that makes you enjoy being alive (caffeine, fat, sugar, salt, alcohol if you drink, nicotine if you smoke). Then you'll be advised to take ibuprofen and maybe some hormones.


And if you faithfully follow all of Google's and your doctor’s instructions, then will you be free of breast pain? Nope. You'll be able to 'minimize’ it. Ah, the miracles of modern medicine.


You might as well save yourself the trouble of the physician office visits and blood tests and just self-medicate with generous amounts of caffeine, cake, and Old Fashioneds like our grandmothers did. Sure it’s an imperfect solution and has health-compromising side effects, but so do ibuprofen and HRT. At least you're saving on co-pays.


Here’s my favorite piece of oh-so-helpful traditional advice: they tell us to wear a comfortable sports bra. I can only guess that by “comfortable sports bra”, the (probably small-busted) authors have something like this in mind:


And hey, for the smaller busted women of the world, maybe this really does the trick? I wouldn’t know.


What I do know is that, as a large busted woman, there is NO SUCH THING as a comfortable sports bra. It's an oxymoron.


Effective sports bras for big boobs are by their very nature palpably UN-comfortable. A big bust is a heavy lift, literally, and one that relies on metal and hardware: hooks, underwire, inflexible panels and bands. The whole point is to fight nature and gravity, to be so tight and restrictive that nothing can move. While stabilizing breasts can help with one aspect of breast pain (stopping bounce), the resulting all-over constriction creates a myriad of other miseries.


The fact that nothing can move when you are harnessed into a sports bra means that nothing can move. Not just your boobs. Nothing else in your body either. Things like your joints, your nerves, your blood flow, your airflow, your lymph fluid – it all gets constricted and jammed up. So any benefit gained by stabilizing the breasts is negatively offset by pinched nerves, shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, rib cage pain, restricted movement, inability to take a deep breath, skin chafing, sweating, stomach and digestive issues like GERD and reflux, circulation problems, and more.


News flash: the woman pictured below is not comfortable (she is just smiling mindfully through her pain):


The typical list of suggestions for treating breast pain just doesn't really help for most women. We need something different and better.


The Best Treatment for Sore Breasts You’ve Never Heard Of


What we really need – and what has been lacking from physicians' lists, search results, and public discourse – is practical, immediate comfort.


We don't need more advice that implicitly shames us (we should eat better, exercise more, drink less, control our stress, [insert "should" here]).


We don't need more drugs. We don't need more hormone manipulation.


We need something helpful that meets us where we are and simply makes us feel better. Something that helps us get on with our days without personal sacrifice or negative physical side effects.


Think about it, when our boobs hurt, what do we do? When they hurt SO bad and nothing helps and we angry-cry in frustration and just can’t bear it?


We hold them.


With our bare hands or with our arms, like in the photo at the top of this page. Maybe it's just for a moment, to get some relief from merciless gravity and friction. We hold them to keep them still and to keep the nipples from rubbing (“owwww-wuh!!”), or to prevent the jarring bounce of stairs. We hold them to prevent the gut-sickening, pressing-on-a-bruise feeling in our chests that rivals the pain of smacking your shin on a metal mattress frame.


We hold them to stop the pain and comfort ourselves.


Aha moment: What our boobs really need is a hug.


And ladies, that is the gift that Embrago gives you. Every one of our styles offers the snug hug your sore boobs are crying out for.


When you wear Embrago, your breasts will suddenly stop screaming. They will feel held, supported and secure, comfy and cozy, without friction. Not only will you feel immediately better, physically, you will also get an emotional lift from the fact that you look better, too. (One of the worst things about swollen and sore boobs is that we poof and spill out of every bra we own, leaving us with that distinctive quad-boob over-stuffed look. Not flattering.) Embrago's forgiving stretch and just-right weight and sleek lines make you look trimmer, smoother, and put together.

Here's a few more things you might like to know about our designs:

  • Everything that touches your body is made from soft, premium fabric. There is no hardware. There is no metal.

  • That soft fabric is natural, organic cotton that stretches and breathes and is oh-so cozy and comfortable and gentle on your skin.

  • There is no elastic band around your rib cage (or anywhere).

  • The shoulder straps are wide and soft so they don’t dig and they distribute weight evenly.

  • Every seam is covered in soft cotton binding.

  • There are no itchy tags or sewn-in labels against your skin with those hateful pokey corners that get you every time.

  • Even the thread is special. It's an extra soft kind typically used for newborn infants' clothing. So there’s not even an itchy thread to offend.

  • Best of all is the fit: Embrago holds your boobs snugly, softly, securely. Not squeezy or constrictive like a sports bra. Not hanging and shapeless like a leisure bra. Your boobs are in a gentle but strong, soft but firm and shapely hug.


Listen to your body and what it already knows. To comfort the distinct and very personal pain of sore breasts, you need – literally -- to be held. Firmly, gently, compassionately.


What's even better than a real hug from your favorite person, Embrago never gets tired. It never stops hugging you until you take it off (which you don't have to do very often since you can wear it 24/7). It doesn't ask you to be different or to do anything. It just helps you feel better and look better, as you are right now.


Like so many of you, I’ve personally experienced and struggled through all of the breast pain detailed here. I created these clothes to be the gamechanger that they are, giving women like us real and practical help. Now, it's my mission to get Embrago into your hands and onto your fabulous boobs. I promise you, your big-breasted body has never worn anything this comforting!


Try Embrago for yourself, risk-free, with free shipping and our 30-day guarantee.