Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Just when you thought I couldn't get crunchier: it's been over a week since I've worn a bra.

Yeah? It's kind of weird for me, too.

It started when I noticed that I had some back pain at my spine right where my bra band sits. Frankly, my bras aren't fitting well at the moment. I think that the combination of baby pushing all my organs up into my ribs plus the relaxin causing my joints to loosen up turned into "now your ribs are spreading out extra to give extra room." And so my band size changed.

But it's kind of pointless to buy a good fitting bra at this point when I'll be transitioning over into my so-engorged-I-can't-guess-what-my-cup-size-will-be-in-an-hour life this summer. So I've gone braless. And you know what? My back feels much better.

On one level, it's really odd because I've been wearing bras for over a decade now. And it wouldn't be bad if I had nice perky pregnant breasts, but for some reason, my cup size hasn't changed a whole lot this pregnancy. Might be the breastfeeding.

I'm not sure when/if I'll switch back to bras. With Margaret I didn't wear a "real" bra with a band size and cups until 11 months postpartum. It wasn't until then that I thought I'd be able to measure a good size. I just wore those sleeping bras, which don't actually give a lot of support.

And then there's the "Do bras really help anyway?" aspect. I'm not sure. Sometimes your body just changes- pregnancy permanently changes the way your breasts are shaped and you can't do much about that. Fight nature or just accept it? We'll see how my back feels in a year.

I've also been going "bare" in another way, too. Shoes. This one isn't related to the pregnancy. I just have wide feet and I always have. I wear a 6 wide. If they made double wide for women, I'd be wearing that. My feet, despite being 3 inches shorter than McKay's, are just as wide as his.

Here's a picture:

No, my feet aren't swollen here: they are just wide. I haven't had any foot swelling in about a week. Notice how my pinky toes are slightly redder than the others and misshapen because of callouses? That's from shoving my feet into shoes that don't fit well. Wides are simply too narrow for me and hurt my feet. I've tried going up to 7s to get extra width, but I end up tripping on my toes. And I don't have the money for custom shoes. A couple of years ago, I ran into a Parents for Barefoot Children site and started thinking about what it would be like to start going barefoot. I'm not a full-time barefooter, but I've gone barefoot in the car and to the park. For some reason I don't have the courage to try it in a store or public place, which is silly since I have no problem with bare breasts while breastfeeding. Why the issue with barefeet while walking? Just another one of those mental hurdles. And besides- what if someone has a foot fetish? My feet would be literal walking porn! And men are all wired to be visual, you know. (I jest, I jest).

Besides having to get over my pre-conceived notions of what footwear is culturally acceptable, another reason I haven't gone barefoot full-time is that I don't want to damage my feet going into this cold turkey, so I do short walks outside to get my feet used to the sidewalk. I don't think I'm ready for a whole day of barefootness in public, but I'm working my way up there.

So yeah: braless and shoeless. It's good for my body, so it's what I'm doing. Next thing you know, I'll be squatting in some field somewhere giving birth. Actually, anyone know if any good fields in the East Bay area?


  1. I've been bra-less for a couple months. When I was younger I thought that there was no way I could possibly go without--my breasts were "too large" and I was certain it would strain my back if I didn't have the support of a bra.

    Since quitting the practice of bra wearing I realized that bras are pretty much an aesthetic tool, not a back saving one.

    As for being barefoot... I wear vibram five fingers and I'd swear by them for anyone who has lost their calluses. Good luck with regaining yours more naturally... maybe I'll get there some day.

  2. The trouble is that some stores do have those dump "no shirt, no shoes, no service" signs. I don't get why no shoes is so offensive. . .

  3. It's not about being offensive, it's about safety. Places of business don't want to worry about getting sued b/c somebody stepped on something in their store.

  4. There's actually an organization for people who live barefoot and they have written to most of the states to determine the legality issue of "it's a health code thing" with bare feet. They have a page for it:

    I wonder if it's an issue like breastfeeding is: companies might have a policy against doing it in their store and kick someone out for being difficult, but they legally can't do that when it comes down to the law.

  5. I wish had more details, but hopefully I can point you in the right direction. DH was watching a new show "Dual Surivor" on Discovery. One of the survivors was "crunchy" and hasn't worn shoes in something like 20 years. He was wearing socks for warmth on the episode. Anyway, he believes that shoes have damaged our feet, or prevented us from developing the way our ancient ancestors did...something like that. Might be interesting to read, or might be similar to the link you posted from barefooters. I'm going there next!

  6. I hate bras. Hate them, hate them, hate them. But I feel naked without one if I am around people. Just so I can be mentally comfortable, I need to get a really comfortable bra!

    I don't like shoes, either. Seriously, hate home, no shoes, no bra, and you'll usually find me in my pajamas or really comfy clothes. I wear flip flops out when the weather is warm enough. I do think about how shoes probably ruin our feet. I try to give Michael lots of barefoot time, but the dang park has those wood chips and they put splinters in his delicate feet. I'd put leather slippers on him, but then he doesn't have enough traction for all his climbing. Dang wood chips!

    Anyway, stores can be real sticklers about the shoe policy. Literally the instant Michael started walking, I started getting reprimanded for not having shoes on him, so I had to hurry up and make some for him. Please tell us what happens if you do get brave enough to go to the store without shoes! In the meantime...what about flip flops?

  7. Just yesterday I went to work braless (don't tell my dad)! Mostly because I was too hot and getting rid of an extra layer helped somewhat... as for shoes, hate them! I'm a barefoot/flip-flop girl. Always have been, always will be. Come to think of it, my entire family is. I'm a definite comfort snob! *B

  8. whoops, meant to say "at home" not "hate home"!

  9. I am normally barefoot when at home or out in the yard and my husband usually is too. I, however, do not wear flip flops and have not for several years due to an injury sustained while wearing them. About 3 months before my wedding (heels had already been purchased), I tripped while wearing a pair of basic flip flops catching the edge on a section of sidewalk. I landed on the side of my foot and actually ended up fracturing it. I still have pain when wearing anything other than flats. So long story short, no flip flops for me. I think the potential for foot injury is actually increased over a full shoe but that's just my opinion.

    I also often go braless at home (when there's no company.) I feel self conscious around others without some sort of support. (However, I am on the larger side especially since I'm due with my first within the next 6 weeks or so.) I just wish bras were more comfortable and not so expensive.

  10. That is so weird, I have been going without a bra recently, too. I kind of stumbled on this website called 007b.com that has a little section about going braless.

    I also like the idea of going barefoot everywhere. But, I also feel culturally restrained. I used to go barefoot all the time as a kid. Those were the good ole days! :D

  11. I wasn't aware it's unusual to not wear shoes. I always take them off in the car and pretty much anywhere I sit down. They're also not allowed in the house at all. I've been like that all my life. Maybe it's an Asian thing?

    As for the bra part, I wear nursing tank tops, but nothing else. I've tried recommending them to other moms, but a lot of them say they don't have enough support. Never been an issue for me though.

  12. I've been practicing going shoeless this summer too, to work up some callouses. And I've gone back and forth over bralessness during this pregnancy and lactation. I only have one sleep bra that's left from all of my nursing bras from my first (he's 6-1/2 now!) and it never offered much support to begin with. Now it's almost 7 years later and I can barely tell the difference when I'm wearing and not wearing it. I've experimented with not wearing it in public, but I've never been able to bring myself to go to church w/o it. I feel a little self-conscious about not wearing one exclusively because my breasts are... well... huge for my smaller frame. For whatever reason, I'd be completely comfortable, even at church, braless if my breasts were smaller. (Stupid societal sex image brain washing!)

    I never thought about going shoeless in public (stores, etc) until reading your post. I thought that you *had* to wear shoes in all public buildings ("no shirt, no shoes, no service"). Well we went to buy ice cream for FHE treat. Lukey didn't wear shoes at all, he couldn't find them. So I left my sandals in the car and he and I went through Wal-Mart shoeless. Did I mention I wasn't wearing a bra either? :O) I was wearing the baby though so you couldn't even tell. I was so aware of everyone's foot coverings and thought everyone was staring at my feet! I couldn't help but giggle and smile the whole time because of my big secret! :O)


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