Motherhood is one of the most amazing and exhausting journeys we as women undertake. While there is so much beauty to celebrate through pregnancy, birth, and after the baby is here, there is a tremendous amount of structural stress that the body is put under through it all. Some changes resolve after birth or breast feeding, but many of them are now permanent alterations that we feel we must adapt to and live with. Unfortunately, many of these changes leave us feeling self-conscious, unsexy, and longing for our pre-pregnancy bodies. Sprinkle in some mom guilt and we are left feeling vain or self-absorbed by even the consideration of surgery. While changes such as ribcage or pelvis expansion tend to be permanent, many of the changes our bodies undergo to carry and feed our children can be addressed with surgery. Fortunately, we have come strides in realizing there is no shame in wanting some or all of your pre-baby bodies back or in taking the steps to achieve it. As a female plastic surgeon AND a mom, I take personal and professional pride in helping women realizing it is OK to prioritize themselves and their self-confidence.
WHAT IS A MOMMY MAKEOVER?
Such a common question patients ask is what exactly is a Mommy Makeover? Well, a Mommy Makeover is different for each Mom because every body changes in slightly different ways with having children. In general, the two areas that are involved in a Mommy Makeover are the Abdomen and the Breasts. Pregnancy and breast-feeding often cause the breasts to lose volume, cause the skin to stretch out, and change the overall shape and appearance of the breasts. The top of the breasts, or what we refer to as the Superior Pole, is the most susceptible to volume loss and gives the breasts a deflated appearance. In patients who simply lose volume but maintain skin integrity and breast shape, a Breast Augmentation alone will help restore their pre-baby breasts. When patients are unhappy with the shape of the breasts and the skin quality, a Breast Lift with or without an implant is usually the procedure of choice.
In the abdomen, pregnancy and the weight changes associated with it often leave women with loose, baggy skin, stretch marks and stubborn fat deposits. The abdominal muscles which move apart during pregnancy to accommodate our growing bellies may or may not have returned to their midline position after birth. When the muscles fail to return to the midline we call this a Rectus Diastasis, and this contributes to the “mom pouch” and widening of the waist. To address any one or all of these factors, a Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, and a muscle repair are all surgical options.
The abdomen and the breasts are not the only two areas where patients seek improvement as part of their Mommy Makeover plastic surgery journey. For some it also involves procedures such as Liposuction of the chin or a Labiaplasty. The most important aspect of a Mommy Makeover--whatever procedures it involves--is to make each patient feel confident, empowered and sexy after surgery.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE?
The ideal candidate for a Mommy Makeover is in good overall health and has a relatively stable weight. A thorough discussion needs to be had with each patient in regards to where they are at in their family planning. We recommend that women wait until they are done having children in order to begin their Mommy Makeover journey. Another factor to consider is the age of her children. Restrictions after surgery include no heavy lifting for at least four weeks postoperatively so ideally the children would be of the age where picking them up is not absolutely necessary. When this is not the case, good family support is needed during her recovery period.
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