Having children is one of the greatest, most joyous experiences a woman will have in her lifetime. Unfortunately, this remarkable event can sometimes have some unpleasant and lasting effects on a woman’s body. Throughout the first year, women are reveling in the newness of motherhood, but what happens when the baby soon becomes a toddler and nursing begins to slow down until it is eventually stopped all together?
This is the point where mommy has a moment to take a look in the mirror. For some women, this first true glimpse at the post-pregnancy body is shocking. We should be feeling confident and happy that we have created a new life, but instead, we are staring at that mirror wondering if our bodies will ever look the same again. Although diet and exercise will help you shed those annoying pregnancy pounds, the damage to the skin, breasts and underlying abdominal muscles are another story.
Our Post-Pregnancy Body
While gaining weight during pregnancy is a given, the changes that will happen to the body will vary in different women and during each pregnancy. The more pregnancies a woman has, the more the body changes and it is more than likely that these changes will be harder to get rid of. Some women will bounce back to their pre-baby body in a couple of months, while others will still look 5 months pregnant after a year or two. So what happens?
Having a baby can stretch the skin (think “stretch marks”) and separate the muscles around the abdomen, giving you that permanent “spare tire” look. These problems cannot be fixed by diet and exercise. In fact, losing weight often causes the skin to sag even more which can cause women to feel defeated after working so hard to lose those stubborn pounds.
Adding to abdominal issues, some women may experience stubborn fat deposits in areas such as the flanks (love handles), thighs, arms and lower back. These issues may make finding clothes that fit properly almost impossible.
Another common area of the body that is altered by pregnancy are the breasts. Breastfeeding can cause your breasts to sag, deflate or become too large. Women who start out with a C-cup can easily find themselves in an A-cup or DD-cup when they have finished nursing their babies.
What is A Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is designed to hit each of your problem areas, so when you look in the mirror, you can see your pre-baby figure…while including that sweet little face of your baby! There are several procedures to choose from that can be tailored to your specific needs. Mommy makeovers are great for busy moms because the procedures can be done at the same time, reducing recovery time. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular procedures in a mommy makeover:
- Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)- A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that takes care of the excess skin and restores the weakened or separated muscles in the stomach. While the abdominoplasty cannot completely get rid of stretch marks, some may be eliminated during the surgery if they are in the right location. Tummy tucks are outpatient procedures and recovery time usually takes around 4-6 weeks.
- Liposuction– For stubborn fat around the abdomen and flanks, liposuction can easily reduce bulges and smooth out the contour of the body. Liposuction is done as an outpatient procedure and has a very minimal recovery period of about 1-2 weeks.
- Breast Augmentation with or without Mastopexy (Breast Lift)– Breast implants add volume while a breast lift gives your breasts a youthful, perky appearance. If your breasts are deflated, breast implants, which are made of silicone or saline, can be inserted into the breast providing much needed fullness. If sagging is also present, adding the additional lift will bring the nipple back to the correct position in the middle of the breast and give the breasts a round, firm shape. Both procedures are outpatient and recovery time is about 2-4 weeks.
- Breast Reduction– If your breasts have enlarged and are causing you back and neck pain, a breast reduction may be exactly what you need. The excess fat is removed and the breast is reshaped to create the desired look for the patient. Breast reductions can be done as an outpatient procedure and recovery time is as short as 2-3 weeks.
There are some considerations for women who are contemplating a mommy makeover, such as making sure you are finished having children, are within your goal weight range and have healthy eating and exercise habits. It is also important to have realistic expectations when it comes to results and recovery time since each person’s experience will be unique. Lastly, schedule a consultation with a trusted board-certified plastic surgeon for a consultation so you can have all your questions answered. Ok moms, now it is time to take back your body and feel beautiful!