Deciding If Mommy Makeover Is for You
Most women gain 25 to 35 pounds when pregnant. Some of this added weight is fat that accumulates in the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks and breasts. As the uterus expands during the nine months of pregnancy, the abdominal wall stretches and may separate the rectus (six-pack) muscles. This stretching out of the abdominal wall can create a bulge or “pooch” that makes the belly more rounded. No amount of crunches or weight loss can get rid of it!
In younger mothers, the skin of the abdomen can “tear” in the deeper tissues creating stretch marks. In older mothers, the stretched out skin is less elastic and won’t tighten up after the baby is born. Once you deliver, your body will begin to lose much of the weight you gained, but fat will often stubbornly linger in areas that were once trim and fit. Rapid weight loss, combined with breastfeeding, may lead to breast sagging, a loss of volume, and an unwanted “pancake” look.
Your age, skin quality and lifestyle will largely determine whether you can return to your pre-baby profile, or if you might need some help in reclaiming the shape you remember. Using a variety of surgical techniques, Mommy makeover targets the stretched out abdominal wall, the excess fat, the loose abdominal skin, the sagging of the breasts, and the loss of breast volume that arrived along with your baby.
Mommy makeover is customized surgery of the breasts and abdomen. Dr. Johnson will recommend procedures based on your post-pregnancy body changes, and your hoped-for improvements.
Mommy makeovers typically include two or more of the following body contouring procedures:
• Liposuction, to target specific areas of stubborn fat
• Tummy tuck, to repair the abdominal wall and remove excess skin
• Breast lifting, to restore the breasts’ natural profile and firmness
• Breast augmentation, to restore volume lost through pregnancy and nursing
Experienced Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson recommends that women wait at least 6 months after childbirth, to allow for weight loss and more fitness, before making any final decisions about surgery. At that point you will know how much of the weight gain during pregnancy was temporary, and which issues you would like addressed in a mommy makeover.
Your body will need plenty of time and rest during recovery from your mommy makeover. Liposuction, tummy tuck, breast lift and breast augmentation are all major surgeries, and you may not feel ready to resume your normal routine one to two months. Many patients are able to return to work in two to four weeks, depending on the types of procedures performed.
Post-operative pain is a short-term consequence of this surgery, and swelling is a long-term feature. You may need to wear a pressure garment (girdle and bra) during the healing process. You should avoid vigorous physical activity for a few weeks, depending on the recommendation of your surgeon. It is critically important to begin walking as soon as possible after surgery, to improve your circulation and help prevent blood clots.
Mommy Makeover FAQs
Which Mommy Makeover Procedures Are Right for Me?
Every woman has a unique body, and Dr. Debra Johnson can help you to devise a personal treatment plan. She will carefully listen to the goals you express for your appearance during your consultation. After evaluating your body, Dr. Johnson will provide detailed explanations of what your options are and what you can realistically achieve.
If your primary motivation is to get rid of excess fat on your torso, Dr. Johnson will assess whether liposuction, a tummy tuck, or a combination of these procedures is the best way to achieve your desired results.
Will Mommy Makeover Help Me to Lose Weight?
While you do lose a little bit of tissue, none of the procedures included in mommy makeover could be considered weight-loss surgeries. In fact, Dr. Johnson advises patients to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regimen before undergoing mommy makeover. Surgery is much more successful for women who are closer to their goal weight.
A healthy lifestyle can usually get rid of most of the weight put on during pregnancy — it is the contours of the body that are more permanently altered, which is precisely what mommy makeover surgeries can address. Liposuction can remove stubborn fat, and a tummy tuck helps remove the loose skin and stretch marks.
When Is the Right Time for Mommy Makeover?
In Dr. Johnson’s professional opinion, you should wait at least six months following the birth of your child to consider a mommy makeover. That gives you time to not only let your body recover from the pregnancy, but also take off some of the unwanted weight and improve your core strength with a fitness routine.
Mommy makeovers include a breast procedure, so women should wait until they have stopped breastfeeding for at least four months. Your breasts need time to adjust after stopping breastfeeding, so that Dr. Johnson can know what kinds of skin removal or volume adjustment is needed. Surgery too soon after breastfeeding also carries an increased risk of infection.
Dr. Johnson encourages you to wait on undergoing a mommy makeover until you are sure you are through childbearing. Although it is safe to have another child following these surgeries, the reality is that a subsequent pregnancy will undo much of the improvement in your breasts and abdomen.
Do I Need to Do All of My Mommy Makeover Procedures at Once?
Most patients like to have their mommy makeover surgeries at the same so that they can have one recovery period, and not have to take additional time off from work or their responsibilities of being a mother. Recovering from two procedures does entail more discomfort and a slower bounce back to “normal.” Some patients prefer to separate the procedures, and Dr. Johnson will easily accommodate your preferred schedule.
If you are interested in more details about a mommy makeover, schedule a consultation with Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Johnson by calling (916) 664-3391.