Post mastectomy, many women experience feelings of loss. After all, they have just lost a part of themselves. Thankfully, many women are able to regain their confidence by "replacing" their breasts in some way. Some do this through reconstruction, nipple tattoos, or mastectomy tattoos. Others choose to use prostheses or breast forms with mastectomy bras.
Why wear a breast prosthesis?
Women often choose to wear a breast prosthesis because reconstructive surgery is a long, painful process that can sometimes cause complications. Women may opt of reconstruction to avoid another surgery, or stop reconstructive surgery due to their bodies rejecting the implants. Many of these women do still want to have breasts, so they wear breast prostheses. Alternatively, women who had a single mastectomy may wear a prosthesis to balance out their other breast, both in weight and in looks.
Typically, breast prostheses are made from silicone to provide the most natural look and feel. However, it is also possible to knit or crochet a breast prosthesis.
Why knit or crochet a breast prosthesis?
There are many pros to wearing a knitted or crocheted prosthesis:
They are lightweight, comfortable, and breathable
A crocheted or knitted breast prosthesis is not as heavy as a silicone breast prosthesis. It also allows air to pass through more easily, so it is cooler. A knitted prosthesis is perfect for wearing to bed or out and about on hot summer days.
They are inexpensive
A knitted or crocheted breast prosthesis only costs about $2 to knit. A silicone breast form typically costs upwards of $200. While the cost of silicone breast forms is often covered by insurance companies, a crocheted breast form may be a good choice if this option is not available to you.
They can be worn during recovery
During mastectomy recovery, a silicone breast form is too heavy to wear. A soft, lightweight knitted or crocheted breast form is a good option for this time.
They can be easily customized
The size of the breast form can be adjusted quickly and easily simply by removing or inserting more filling.
Other things to consider:
- Crocheted and knitted breast forms will not be as durable as silicone breast forms.
- If you have a single mastectomy, a knitted breast prosthesis will not balance out the weight of your other breast, which could cause back pain.
- A knitted or crocheted breast form may not look and feel as realistic as a silicone breast form.
How can I donate a knitted or crocheted breast prosthesis?
Even if you don't need a breast form yourself, a breast prosthesis is a great project if you like to knit or crochet! There are organizations such as Knitted Knockers (knittedknockers.org) that allow you to send you them your knitted and crocheted breast forms. They will then donate the forms to women who need them!
What You Need to Know Before You Begin
When knitting or crocheting a breast form, some yarns are better than others. Additionally, you must consider sizes when creating a breast prosthesis. See the PDFs below to learn how to size your breast form, and discover the yarns to use.
How to Knit a Breast Prosthesis
When knitting a breast prosthesis, it is recommended that you use either double pointed needles or the magic loop method. Below, there are free downloadable PDF's for both methods. There is also a tutorial video for knitting a breast prosthesis on double pointed needles.
How to Crochet a Breast Prosthesis
Breast forms can also be crocheted. Below is a free downloadable PDF for crocheting a breast prosthesis, as well as a tutorial video. Be sure to check out the list of approved yarns for crocheting before you start.
Want to learn more about knitting and crocheting breast forms? Check out knittedknockers.org!