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    No.5: Pre-Mastectomy Self Love Tips

    So much uncertainty goes into breast cancer surgeries, whether it be a double or single mastectomy, DIEP Flap reconstruction, lumpectomy, exchange surgery, explant, reconstruction...the list goes on and on. Every surgery is so different, and your healing needs tend to vary from one surgery to the next.

    But among these various breast surgeries, one often seems like the most daunting of all: the mastectomy. How exactly does one practically, physically, and emotionally prepare for something as life-changing as removing your breasts?

    While everyone has different needs and different stories, finding the courage to love yourself through your breast cancer diagnosis or gene mutation can be one of the most challenging things EVER. To honor this, we will be sharing some tips on how to practice self-love BEFORE and DURING your mastectomy healing process. It's our hope that these suggestions will help you experience a smoother recovery process and stay in a positive mindset through this health challenge.

    PRE-MASTECTOMY BOUDOIR PHOTOSHOOT

    If you're feeling a sense of mourning about losing your breasts, you're not alone. This is a normal feeling when preparing for breast cancer surgery and one in which there should be no shame. However, one way to create a lasting tribute to this important part of your body and self-image is having a pre-mastectomy boudoir photoshoot.

    Find a local photographer who you feel comfortable enough to take sexy pictures of your natural breasts before your mastectomy surgery. Having a photoshoot will help you celebrate and honor your body, and can be empowering and fun! Take your girlfriends with you, have some champagne, and let loose in front of the camera, even if it doesn't feel natural at first. With the right lingerie or a pretty new bra, photoshoots are a great way to bid farewell to your breasts.

    There are many other fun ways you can send off your breasts, with some of the most popular being:
    • Host a "bye, bye boobies" party where you gather friends and family together to say "adios" before your mastectomy surgery.
    • Create a papier-mache mold of your breasts before surgery and turn it into a sculpture you can keep forever.
    • Write a letter thanking your breasts for all they've done for you but reminding yourself why they have to go.

    Dr. Alexea Gaffneyat her boudoir photoshoot looking angelic in the Jess Bra. and Brief Underwear

    For inspiration, search online and places like Pinterest for the kind of photoshoot style that suits your personality best and go for it! Do you want the vibe of your photoshoot to be vampy and badass, sweet and feminine, or fun and carefree? No matter what it is, create an inspiration board of different photoshoots you are attracted to and share them with the photographer you find. Most professional photographers also have access to makeup artists who can help you look and feel your best for your big moment. Afterwards, you can frame a photo or have the photo placed in a beautiful album as a reminder of this celebration of your body.

    Before your shoot, practice your poses at home by taking some #sensualselfies. Put on your sexiest pair of shoes, listen to some Queen B, and embrace your inner rock star in your favorite and super soft AnaOno bra and underwear set. These are so comfy and cozy as you prepare for your mastectomy, and stylish too! Plus, these styles work great post-surgery and are versatile for various breast surgeries and outcomes, whether you have one breast, two breasts, no breasts, or new breasts.

    Want to feel like a delicate angel? Slip into The Delilah Bra: The ultimate blend of feminine, flirtatious lacey lingerie, with the comfort of an everyday wire free lounge bra. This dream-soft bra is embellished with a silky-smooth lace trim, a playful peek-a-boo back mesh panel, and deliciously comfortable thick straps for a supportive finish and customizable fit with adjustable straps.

    Airy lace on The Delilah is heavenly soft and is sure to make you feel like you're floating.

    In the mood to show off your sexy? The Gloria Bra is that sexy wireless demi bra that you won't want to take off. This beautiful, silky bra features fine, stretch lace that sweeps around the bust in artfully constructed seaming that will leave your skin unbothered and pampered to pieces, making it the best bra to wear when you're ready to reclaim your sexy post-surgery too! If you plan to wear expanders, breast inserts, or a breast prosthesis after your surgery, the pocketed style and stretchy material of the Gloria Bra will accommodate them seamlessly so you can feel confident and comfortable for those sexy moments.

    From elegant seaming to silk bows, the delicate detailing on The Gloria is a wearable love letter for your body.

    PRE-MASTECTOMY SELF-LOVE

    While your physical recovery may be on your mind, it goes without saying that your emotional recovery after your mastectomy is going to take time, too, so focusing on self-care and your mental health is suggested. One of the most important parts of preparing for a mastectomy is to prepare yourself emotionally for the changes you'll experience. Be intentional about adding self-love and positive self-talk into your healing and recovery process from mastectomy and breast surgery as early on as possible.

    For example, when taking your medicine every day, repeat a positive and affirming mantra to yourself. Allow these positive words to play an active role in your healing. You can also write out some affirming notes to hang on your mirror or journal about your experience. Words are POWERFUL.

    Another helpful thing you can do to warm up to the idea of your new body is to look at pictures of mastectomy survivors online and try to visualize yourself after you've recovered. There is so much beauty in scars and healing, and seeing it from another person's perspective can be deeply empowering! Just take a look at these stunning post-mastectomy AnaOno models or browse our website - featuring real mastectomy survivors - to see how incredibly beautiful healing can be.

    On the same token, remember there are tons of ways you can make yourself feel fabulous post-surgery, whether you've had a single or double mastectomy. From reconstruction to wearing realistic breast forms with a pocketed bra, you can look forward to various options that help you unleash your inner goddess and make you feel as fabulous as ever before.

    Our amazing community members say it best:

    "Repeat after me: 'My breasts do not define me as a woman...I am a badass unicorn.'" -@pinawallace

    "Most important thing is to tell yourself, 'I love you.' 5/15 years later I still have to tell myself that." -@pattihoop

    We know what you are facing right now, because we've been there ourselves. Take your time, be sweet with yourself, and remember that you are never alone in what you are facing. We're here with you. #NeverAlone