What is binding?
Binding attempts to (temporarily) flatten the chest essentially by squishing a person’s breasts against them. Many people use a piece of clothing called a “binder” which usually is like a tight sports bra. Binding with any other than this can be very dangerous for your health and I do not recommend doing so. Binding can also be dangerous if you do it for too long or during exercise. It can restrict breathing and cause rib cage damage, and exacerbate asthma. For this reason, do not ever exercise with a binder.
In my opinion, the best way to bind is with a GC2B binder. See more below!
A few binding tips:
- Never exercise in a binder. Not even a gc2b binder. Do not swim in a binder. Do not lift in a binder. Do not run in a binder. This is dangerous for your health as it puts pressure on your ribcage and then your lungs, not letting them expand. You could actually fracture a rib and then potentially puncture a lung. It’s really not safe. I absolutleyu advise against working out with a binder on.
- Do not bind for long periods of time. Most folks recommend binding a maximum of 8 hours at a time. I will add that I never bound for more than 8 hours — in fact, I wore sports bras most of the time because they just allowed me more movement and I decided that was better for me most days.
Do you have to bind? Do you need to bind before top surgery?
You never have to bind. Binding is 100% optional and 100% for you and your own comfort. You do not need to bind before top surgery. Binding will have no effect on top surgery.
Did I (Schuyler) used to bind? If so, with what kind of binder? What company?
Yes, I used to bind. I initially bought an Underworks binder which I wore for less than a week because not only did it not make me any flatter than a sports bra did, it was also so uncomfortable that wearing it was not worth it. Thankfully, someone recommended gc2b binders to me and I used those up until my top surgery. I absolutely recommend using gc2b binders. They are comfortable and they work incredibly well. I had a relatively large (larger than 36DD) chest before surgery and I felt like gc2b helped my dysphoria quite a bit.
Gc2b has a page on their website calling “Sizing,” which explains how to measure your chest correctly. Follow those directions and you should be good! For reference, I wore a large.
What color if I want it not be seen in a white T-shirt?
I only bought the grey ones and, as far as I could tell they were invisible under my white T-shirts. (See example below, featuring my baby smirk lol.)