If you’re a mom, chances are your body looks somewhat different after having children. Earlier generations may have called stretch marks, loose abdominal muscles, and sagging breasts “badges of motherhood,” but today more women are choosing to combat these changes and restore their bodies more closely to what they looked like before having children.
A “mommy makeover” is a personalized combination of plastic surgery procedures that helps a woman do just that. Let’s look at some of the most common issues we can address during a mommy makeover:
Sagging skin & loose abdominal muscles
Following pregnancy, many women are left with extra skin and stretch marks around their belly and stretched out abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, tightens up tissues on the inside that stretched during pregnancy and removes the extra skin to achieve a flatter, smoother midsection. Eliminating the excess skin can also help reduce visible stretch marks.
Breasts that appear droopy or deflated
Some women are happy with their overall breast volume, but feel that their breasts now have a drooping appearance, whether or not they breastfed. A breast lift, or mastopexy, eliminates excess, sagging skin and reshapes the breasts so they are firmer and perkier. This can also help bras fit more comfortably as the breasts do not rely so much on the bra for support.
Breasts have lost volume
Other women feel that their breasts lost volume after pregnancy and nursing. In this case, breast augmentation using silicone or saline implants can achieve the desired increase the breast volume. While some women just want to restore the volume they had prior to pregnancy, many patients choose to enhance their breasts to a larger size than they had before. Your surgeon can help you choose the right breast implants for your personal goals and anatomy.
Breasts are sagging and have lost volume
Finally, some women wish to increase their breast volume, but also have loose skin around their breasts or their nipples are in a lower position than they like. In this case, a breast augmentation with lift can be performed to address all of these changes.
Unwanted fat on the hips, belly, thighs or face
Even after the baby weight is gone, a lot of women are left with stubborn deposits of fat that won’t respond to diet and exercise. Liposuction can reduce this fat and sculpt an aesthetically pleasing shape to the area. We also frequently use liposuction to enhance the results of other mommy makeover procedures.
Planning for your mommy makeover
Pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing affect every woman’s body a little differently and no two mommy makeovers are exactly the same. Yours might include one or all of these procedures.
While the prospect of having more than one cosmetic procedure can seem a bit daunting, combining them into a single surgery can actually be a better option. With only one operation, there is only one recovery period, and the recovery time is usually the same as you would expect if you had only the most extensive procedure on your mommy makeover list.
Most patients can get back to their everyday routines by 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, but typically should refrain from their exercise routines for 4 to 6 weeks. This includes lifting and carrying, so if you have infants or toddlers at home, you’ll need extra help with childcare for the first few weeks. Even so, our patients who choose to have a mommy makeover while their children are still young say it was well worth the extra planning to feel more confident in their appearance and comfortable in their bodies.
One more thing to keep in mind—for lasting improvements, it’s best to wait until you are finished having children before undergoing a mommy makeover, as future pregnancies can affect your results.
If you are ready to restore your pre-pregnancy body, give our office a call. My colleagues and I will be happy to go over your mommy makeover options at a personal consultation.
-Samir S. Rao, MD