Chest Binding is a technique that is used to flatten or minimize the appearance of your chest. Usually, people who are uncomfortable with their chests, which causes them gender dysphoria go for binding if they cannot afford top surgery. It is important then that binding can be accessible for people and is done with all safety in mind.
What exactly is a binder?
A chest binder is anything that is used to bind and flatten the chest tissue to minimize its outward appearance. Apart from commercially made binders, there are chest binding methods that include-
- Wearing multiple sports bras
- Strategically layering clothes
- Using kinesiology tape
Some people also end up using elastic bandages, duct tapes and other things that may be unsafe and harsh on your skin.
Things to keep in mind while binding
- Chest Binding comes with a few dangers to the person and it is important to address them to ensure the safety and security of the people considering it.
- The most common side effects are on the skin. It can cause scarring, acne, bacterial infections, fungal infections, itching, scarring, tenderness etc.
- There might be a pain in our chest, shoulders, back, and abdomen might get hurt because of how tight the binder is.
- Shortness of breath is another common issue when it comes to binding for people who have particularly large chest fat tissues.
- Very tight or frequent chest compression can result in the loss of muscle mass, postural changes, rib fractures and shoulder popping.
Safe Binding Tips
Choose a binder made from breathable materials i.e., materials that allow 2 way air flow.
- Commercial binders are expensive and cause side effects, but they’re made of lightweight materials designed to help your skin breathe, and they’re available in a variety of sizes designed to fit your body well.
- Duct tape and plastic wrap aren’t breathable, resulting in moisture that can cause skin breakdown and even infection. And you risk injuring your skin when removing them.
- Try to stay hydrated because binders cause overheating so it is important to keep cool.
- Always remove your binder when you go to sleep, especially if you suffer from sleep apnea or other breathing problems.
Steps of how to wear a binder
• Put it on like you would a sports bra — pull it over your head and then stick your arms through. However, binders are tight when you first buy them, so difficult to put on.
• Flip the binder inside out. Then turn it upside down and step into it like you’re putting on a pair of shorts.
• Put your arms through the armholes. The binder should fit snugly around your shoulders and chest, providing an even compression.
• Pull the binder over your hips until it reaches your chest. The binder should cover your stomach but may feel a little too tight around your hips.
• If your binder makes audible tearing noises as you pull it up to your legs, stop immediately. You could rip your binder and damage the compression material.
• Adjust the binder. Move your breasts in a position that feels comfortable, yet compressed.