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Mommy Makeover

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.

Choosing Procedures

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.

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