Plastic surgery is one of those things that most people do not think about until after they are finished having children. It is during this post-pregnancy phase that women begin taking a good look at their bodies, noticing how their appearance, especially their breasts and tummies, have changed. But, not everyone follows what is considered the “natural” order of things. Women are choosing to enlarge their breasts in their early 20s in order to give them more confidence in the work and dating worlds. Women who undergo dramatic weight loss may not want to wait to remove the excess skin from around their middle, so they get a tummy tuck as soon as the weight is off.
Does this mean that these women shouldn’t have children? Absolutely not! While it is preferred that women wait until after childbirth to have plastic surgery, it does not mean that the reverse cannot happen. It is important to note that your body will change during pregnancy. It is part of the process and that does not change just because you have had plastic surgery. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan during the duration of your pregnancy will definitely help you minimize the stretching of skin and muscles in the abdomen.
If you are planning to have a baby after plastic surgery, surgeons recommend waiting at least six months post-op before trying. Estrogen changes the way the body heals and can change the appearance of your scar. You also need to wait until most of your swelling has subsided and you are off of any medications that the surgeon prescribed. Letting your body heal completely before getting pregnant increases your chances of having a healthy baby and a healthy mommy.
Just remember, becoming a mother is wonderful and a true blessing, whether you have one child or five children, and should be celebrated! Now, let’s take a look at how pregnancy may affect your plastic surgery results:
Breast Augmentation/ Lift
Hormones and the production of breast milk cause a woman’s breasts to change during pregnancy, regardless of whether they have breast implants. While the implant itself will stay the same, the breast tissue will expand to some extent. The fullness and heaviness that women experience during pregnancy will still be the same as the body prepares to nourish the baby growing inside of you. If you want to breastfeed, you should definitely try. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to due to the possible damage of milk ducts or the loss of sensation to the nipple during your surgery, but if you can, you do not need to worry about the safety of the milk. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, you may experience some sagging and stretching of the skin. This does not always happen, but it can.
Most women can carry their babies to full term after a tummy tuck. As to what will happen afterwards, well, that will vary. Some women go right back to normal, their abdomen shrinks back down and they look exactly like they did before getting pregnant. For others, some changes will occur. Stretch marks and some sagging skin are possible, and depending on the amount of weight you gain, the size of your baby, or if you have multiples, you may experience diastasis recti, which is the separation of the abdominal muscles. Any of these conditions may lead to a revision surgery after your baby is born. If you need a C-section during delivery, your doctor will most likely use the same incision as your tummy tuck. This can cause a modification to the way your scar looks as a OB/GYN does not have the same goals as a plastic surgeon. The good news is your scar will still be able to be well hidden beneath panties or bikini bottoms!
It is good to remember that these are things that can happen but are not guaranteed to happen. A lot depends on your body, how much weight you gain and how well you take care of yourself during your pregnancy. Your ability to have a successful, normal pregnancy and breastfeeding experience will not be spoiled if you choose to have plastic surgery before getting pregnant. You should tell your OB/GYN that you have had plastic surgery and if you have had previous C-sections so they can develop a birth plan that is right for you.
If you have more questions about pregnancy after plastic surgery or you would like information about a breast augmentation or tummy tuck, please contact our office today!