Pregnancy and childbirth change every aspect of a person’s life. Everything from sleep schedules to finances to basic responsibilities will change rapidly.
Women experience the most changes though because their body stretches to accommodate the baby and later feed the baby. Even after these stages end, the body often does not go back to where it started before pregnancy.
While every woman is different, some of the common changes to the body seen after pregnancy and nursing are:
- Loose extra skin on the abdomen and breasts
- Stretch marks
- Sagging breasts
- Abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti)
- Extra weight
- Varied fat distribution throughout the body
- Loss of breast tissue
- Change in nipple or areola appearance
Some women may see their bodies mostly return to their pre-baby contours. However, other women may see major changes in their bodies. Multiple children will further impact the body.
Therefore, it is not possible to reverse all of the changes that occur during and after pregnancy. Many—like stretch marks—will improve naturally over time. Though, no amount of exercise or dieting will resolve excess skin.
The solution for extra, sagging, and loose skin after pregnancy is a cosmetic surgery called a mommy makeover. A mommy makeover is a completely personalized procedure that primarily addresses the breasts and abdomen to reverse the toll pregnancy takes on the body.
No Standard Mommy Makeover Procedure
A mommy makeover is not a one-size-fits-all surgery. It is designed to address the breasts and abdomen, but the exact procedures will widely vary between patients.
For example, one patient may undergo a breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction. While another patient may require a breast lift and body lift.
Occasionally, patients may also combine other procedures such as a Brazilian butt lift, thigh lift, or arm lift with their mommy makeover surgery.
Benefits of Mommy Makeover
Undergoing mommy makeover surgery comes with many benefits for women wanting to rejuvenate their bodies after having children.
Some of the possible benefits include:
- Extra skin removal
- Tighter, renewed skin
- Reduce and/or remove stretch marks
- Restore lost volume in the breasts
- Repair separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti)
- Correct sagging, deflated breasts
- Reposition the nipple
- Get as close as possible to pre-baby shape
- Increased confidence
- Feel more in control of the body and self-image
- Shorter recovery time when combining procedures
- Only go under general anesthesia once
- Enjoy results sooner
A combination of procedures typically included in the mommy makeover
Photo Credit: Unsplash
As mentioned, a mommy makeover may include any combination of several different procedures. While most target the breasts or abdomen, they do not exclusively enhance these areas.
The below procedures are most frequently performed as part of mommy makeover surgery.
- Breast Augmentation: Using either an implant or fat, a plastic surgeon increases the size of the breast. It may also address shape irregularities and fill out a woman’s overall body figure. Breast implants are the most common choice, but fat transfer to the breasts is possible for patients who desire a more modest increase in size.
- Breast Lift: A breast lift addresses breast ptosis, or breast sagging, by removing extra skin from the breasts and repositioning the nipple to reconstruct perkiness. Unlike a breast reduction, it does not remove much, if any, actual breast tissue.
- Tummy Tuck: An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, serves two purposes. First, it removes excess skin from the abdomen. This may also remove C-section scars or stretch marks too. Second, it corrects separated abdominal muscles which weakens the core and causes a space between the two sets of abdominal muscles. While benign, this can cause issues and also contributes to a protruding stomach.
- Buttock Augmentation: The way most mommy makeover patients augment the buttocks is through a Brazilian butt lift. Using fat removed via liposuction from other areas, the plastic surgeon then transfers it into the buttocks to create fuller and rounder buttocks. In rare cases, buttock implants or a non-surgical Brazilian butt lift may be options.
- Liposuction: Using a specialized cannula, a plastic surgeon breaks up and removes fat cells from targeted areas of the body. This can help enhance body contours and improve the appearance of other procedures such as tummy tuck.
- Arm Lift: Extra skin can collect on the arms and create what is referred to as “bat wings.” While usually not directly related to pregnancy, this can occur from rapid weight loss and gain and general aging. A plastic surgeon uses an incision to remove extra skin and tighten the skin on the upper arms.
- Thigh Lift: During and after pregnancy, the thighs may also develop stretch marks and experience weight changes that can affect their overall appearance. If extra skin is present, a surgeon may perform a thigh lift to remove extra skin and better match the natural contours of the thighs.
Am I a Candidate for Mommy Makeover?
The ideal candidate for a mommy makeover tends to have qualities such as:
- Does not plan to have any more children
- In generally good health
- Managing any major health conditions
- Has realistic expectations for the procedure, recovery, and results
- Within or close to an ideal weight range (not always required, but BMI is factored into candidacy along with many other factors)
How to Plan for Recovery?
A major benefit of mommy makeover surgery is the combined recovery time. Instead of individually recovering from each surgery, patients can recover from multiple at the same time. This reduces overall recovery time.
The individual recovery time for common mommy makeover surgery procedures includes:
- Breast Augmentation: One to two weeks
- Breast Lift: Two to three weeks
- Tummy Tuck: Three to four weeks
- Liposuction: One to two weeks
- Buttock Augmentation: Three to four weeks
- Arm Lift: Two to three weeks
- Thigh Lift: Two to three weeks
A mommy makeover recovery is generally between two and four weeks depending on the procedures performed.
To help promote a good recovery, follow the plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions. This may include starting or stopping certain medications, undergoing massages, avoiding strenuous activities, and limiting the full range of motion.
Most patients can return to work in two weeks or so, but like with all cosmetic surgery, full recovery takes around three months and final results take nine to twelve months to see.
In the right patient, mommy makeover surgery is a dramatic and life-changing procedure that can help women feel more confident in their bodies after having children.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.