Binder Fitting and Care

Binding or compressing breast tissue to give the appearance of a flat chest is a common gender-affirming practice among transgender and gender nonbinary individuals. Binding may help a patient reduce gender dysphoria by presenting themselves in a way that is more congruent with their gender identity.

Studies show that binding is often essential for transgender individuals’ mental health. However, binding can be unsafe and can cause serious physical side effects, including:

  • Rib pain
  • Skin Irritation
  • Nerve compression
  • Muscle soreness
  • Breathing issues

As part of the Middlesex Health Center for Gender Medicine and Wellness, we offer binding support. Patients are advised by a registered occupational therapist. During this appointment, the therapist will:

  • Measure your body and determine the appropriate size binder
  • Provide several choices to determine the best fit
  • Advise on how to bind safely
  • Demonstrate exercises to protect muscles from soreness and support lung function

This service is available to patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment, contact your health provider to acquire a prescription for occupational therapy, then call (860) 358-2700 to schedule your appointment for binding.

Meet Your Therapist

Janine Stoner, OTR/L, MS

Janine graduated from Dominican College with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and then earned a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Southern Connecticut State University.

Binding Study

Do you bind?

Chest binding can be an important part of a person’s transition. Middlesex Health is studying how binding affects breathing quality. The goal of this study is to help make recommendations for safe and comfortable binding.

You may be eligible to participate if you:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Bind on a regular basis
Study requirements

Participants will come to Middlesex Hospital for a 45 to 60-minute appointment. During this visit, individuals will have some measurements taken, complete a questionnaire and have a pulmonary function test that analyzes lung function performed by a respiratory therapist. 

For more information or to participate, contact Janine Stoner at 860-358-6718.