No one denies that having children is one of the greatest gifts life can bring us. But I’ve seen firsthand how the physical changes brought on by pregnancy and breastfeeding can take a toll on the physical appearance of mothers – and most importantly, on how they feel about themselves. Many women have great difficulty improving these issues with diet and exercise alone, and so they come to me for a solution.
A “mommy makeover” is a combination of surgical and/or non-surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures designed to get mothers closer to their pre-pregnancy figure.
It can include body contouring procedures, facial rejuvenation, breast enhancement, and other options. My patients are ultimately aiming for a slimmer silhouette, a more contoured body shape, firmer breasts, and a rejuvenated appearance.
The combination of treatments depends on the needs of the individual. Contouring procedures could include:
Tummy Tuck: Pregnancy changes can cause stretched muscles and excess skin that are resistant to standard weight loss methods. A tummy tuck improves the dynamics of the abdominal core and smoothens its contour.
Breast enhancement: Depending on the patient, they may want to have a breast lift alone, a breast augmentation with fat grafting, breast augmentation with implants, or a breast reduction.
Liposuction: This reduces stubborn fatty deposits which are often resistant to exercise or diet − this technique can be used in many areas of the body.
In addition to the above, some women choose to include BOTOX® Cosmetic, dermal fillers, or skin treatments to address signs of fatigue and ageing.
I always take post-op pictures and good physical results bring me great satisfaction. However, the biggest reward I get from doing this procedure is seeing the change in the way patients look when they walk through the door for follow-up appointments. They seem to wear their clothes differently, I notice a change in their posture, and they seem more comfortable and confident. Giving a woman back her confidence is one of the best things about what I do.
Mommy makeover frequently asked questions:
A woman in overall good health who has completed her childbearing.
Depending on the procedures involved, they can be done together in one operation, or over two stages.
I recommend waiting a minimum of six months after giving birth and a minimum of three months after finishing breastfeeding. Hormones affect the elasticity and tone of your skin, so to get the most benefits out of the procedure, you should ideally allow your body to reach equilibrium before having surgery, and be as close to your ideal weight as possible.
No, it’s a bad idea for these reasons:
- Disappointing results
The skin and muscles are stretched during pregnancy – over the next few months as the hormones in your body change, some of this stretching will retract. If you’re doing a tummy tuck at the same time of your C-section, it’s difficult for your surgeon to judge how much skin to cut out in order to achieve a good result.
- Difficult recovery
Recovering from a tummy tuck or C-section is difficult. Recovering from both surgeries at the same time, on top of caring for a newborn baby, is complicated and exhausting!
Both procedures have risks, and combining them can increase the potential for complications. Around the time of pregnancy, women are also at increased risk of blood clots and fluid retention, plus there’s a greater risk of infection.
A Mommy Makeover is a significant procedure, so there needs to be enough recovery time to prevent wound healing problems.
On average, the healing time would need to be 4-6 weeks, but it will depend on how much is done, and how fast you heal. During this time, you can sit with your child on the couch, or with them on your lap (as long as they are calm). It also helps if you go down to your child’s level (i.e bending down to speak to them), so that you feel less of a need to bring them up to yours.
I usually recommend that you start practicing this new way of interacting with your child a week or two before surgery, so that it’s less of a shock for your child when the time comes.