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Breast cancer thrivers launch new bra fitting service

Two mums who were diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other have launched a new service to support post-mastectomy women.

Sarah Mountford, 39 and Kate Courtman, 37, from North London, were inspired to set up The Bra Sisters, a specialist bra fitting consultancy, because of their own terrible experience after surgery.

Sarah underwent a single mastectomy and Kate a double mastectomy following their breast cancer diagnosis in 2018. Afterwards they both struggled to find support or guidance on choosing and fitting bras post-surgery.

Kate explains: “I tried a traditional department store service but the fitters were utterly petrified by the prospect of a post-treatment breast cancer patient. I left with one bra that even my grandmother would have been embarrassed to wear.”

Sarah’s experience wasn’t much better. She was initially fitted in her hospital bed by a nurse, given a couple of bras that were too big for her and was left feeling like she would never wear decent underwear again. She didn’t brave a bra fitting for another year.

Kate says: “Bras have always been an important part of our lives, from squeezing our boobs into a push up for a night out with the girls to breastfeeding our children, but after surgery they became even more important. Yet at our most crucial and vulnerable time we had never felt more alone and other women we spoke to had similar experiences.

“Sarah and I had never met before our diagnosis, even though we lived around the corner from one another, but after being introduced through a mutual friend, we started meeting regularly and supporting each other through our treatment. The lack of bra fitting support for women post-surgery became a common talking point for us.”

Kate adds: “Around 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK yet it’s almost impossible to find a professional, knowledgeable and impartial service to help these women find underwear that makes them feel good about themselves.”

Together Kate and Sarah decided that they wanted to change that. They both trained and became certified fitters in standard and post-mastectomy bra fitting before launching The Bra Sisters, a specialist bra-fitting and consultancy service dedicated to supporting women on this important part of their breast cancer journey.

Sarah says: “Our mission is to transform post-mastectomy bra fitting for good. Having breast cancer shouldn’t mean the end of wearing lingerie that makes you feel great. Our aim is to find and fit fashion-forward and contemporary lingerie and swimwear for women of all ages, so that they feel confident about their bodies.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Sarah and Kate hope that it marks the start of a new, and better, bra fitting journey for post-mastectomy women. 

Sarah adds: “We want our bra fitting service to be an enjoyable, empowering experience for women, so that they go away feeling positive about their body, and their future. At the end of the day, our boobs deserve better. And so do we.”

The Bra Sisters provides face to face fittings for women living within the M25 radius, as well as virtual fittings for anyone, anywhere. For more information visit www.brasisters.co.uk  

Breast cancer thrivers launch new bra fitting service

I tried a traditional department store service but the fitters were utterly petrified by the prospect of a post-treatment breast cancer patient. I left with one bra that even my grandmother would have been embarrassed to wear.

Kate Courtman
October 02, 2020

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