Halle Berry is the latest A-lister to jump on the bandwagon of celebrities sprucing health advice. From her favourite workouts to the benefits of meditation – the 51-year-old shares the wellness tips she swears by in her regular #FitnessFriday posts.
One of her latest topics? How she’s kept her “ta tas right”.
“It’s seems like everyone I know is always complaining about their chest muscles or their lack of chest muscles,” Halle wrote. “Many women I know often complain that gravity is taking hold of their breasts and they struggle to “keep 'em up”.”
“For me, working out my chest muscles have been key to keeping the ta ta’s right. Besides wearing a bra to bed every night since I was 16, doing very specific chest exercises over the years have helped as well.”
But some commenters slammed her suggestion to strap in while you sleep, claiming that the practice has been linked to health issues like breast cancer. So we spoke to an expert (because let’s be honest, the comment section is rarely a source of sound medical advice) to find out once and for all whether wearing a bra to bed is bad for you and if doing so can actually help keep your pecs perky.
Fortunately, Dr Ginni Mansberg says that there’s no evidence that sleeping in a bra will do you any harm.
“So the idea is that your breast is made up of a combination of fat and breast tissue, the glands that make the milk and the ducts that transport the milk to the nipple," she explained. "Most breast cancers don’t arrive in the fat, they arrive in that breast tissue via the ducts or the glands and the thinking was that underwire bras could potentially obstruct the flow of the duct if one of them were pressed on by the wire, that could cause inflammation and ultimately cancer. But there’s never been any proof of that.
“We really have a large understanding of breast cancer these days because it is one of the most well researched and well resourced cancers," she added. "The result of that is that I think if there was actually going to be a link we would’ve found it by now."
Some women might even benefit from wearing a bra to bed, especially when it comes to comfort.
“I think each woman should feel really comfortable to do whatever she wants to do, and I’m particularly thinking of women with very large breasts, or women before their period, in particular, who get very painful breasts," Doctor Ginni says. "And that particularly happens before menopause, women in their forties really often have quite painful breasts at night."
But will the practice actually help your boobs defy gravity? Doctor Ginni says it’s unlikely to be advantageous.
"The thing that keeps your boobs up are these little ligaments called the Cooper’s ligaments. But unfortunately, weight will put strain on your breasts. So particularly when you are upright and walking around during the day, if you have very large breasts, there’s a lot of stretch that happens in those ligaments because they’re quite thin and trying to keep up often, you know, a kilo in each breast, for some women it’s even more."
As these ligaments are made of collagen and elastin, they're also broken down by the ageing process. Another factor you have very little control over.
"There are very few women with large breasts, that are the original models, that will not have some sag," Doctor Ginni says. "And that’s what God invented plastic surgeons for, or good-fitting bras."
Research has found that factors that can increase the amount of drooping your girls experience include smoking, sun tanning and poor diet. So focus on those before you take a leaf out of Halle Berry's Instagram account.