Free program offers alternative to traditional prosthetic breasts

Posted at 7:03 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 22:13:12-04

A unique program has made its way to Kern County, offering an alternative to traditional prosthetic breasts.

"Knitted Knockers are a soft, comfortable breast prosthetic that are hand-knitted or crocheted by local ladies," said Jacqui Engstrand, nurse navigator for the Breast Center at Adventist Health.

The program began at the hospital last year; the knitted prosthetics are worn beneath a bra, much like traditional prosthetic breasts, but are said to be more lightweight and comfortable than the traditional gel option.

Engstrand helped bring the program to Kern County after seeing it elsewhere, and she says reactions from patients who take them home are positive.

"It ranges from throwing away their prosthetics into the trash can, to bursting into tears to telling me they look like Dolly Parton," Engstrand said.

Natalie used the prosthetics after having a mastectomy last year, and then having a second a few weeks ago.

"I'm forever grateful for this community of women that put this together," Natalie said. "Because it helped me so much."

If you'd like to know more about the international program, click here.

Knitted Knockers are available for any woman in need, not just patients of Adventist. Contact Jacqui Engstrand for more at 661-637-8720, or head to Adventist Health at 2700 Chester Ave.

Adventist Health is also hosting a "Knitted Knocker Knit-Off" to raise awareness about breast cancer. The flyer for the event says you can create your own "themed" knitted or crocheted knockers and submit them for exhibition and judging.

Entry forms and payment (proceeds go to Knitted Knockers AH Bakersfield) are due to Engstrand by September 15.