Morning sickness. Weight gain. Heartburn. Food aversions. Skin changes. Fatigue… When you are pregnant, it can feel as though your body no longer belongs to you, but you take it all in stride. Having children changes women's lives in so many ways. Most of those changes are welcome, but pregnancy and breast feeding can affect moms' bodies in ways that cannot be fixed through diet or exercise alone. No matter how hard you want to undo the stretching that occurs during the childbearing years, sometimes a pre-pregnancy shape seems like an impossible goal.
Unfortunately, your body does not just snap back into shape even after your life returns to normal and your little one starts sleeping, walking, talking and going to school. A mommy makeover, however, may help you look and feel your best.
You devote so much of yourself and your resources to your children – from time and energy to money and miles on the car. You feel good about it, knowing that every sacrifice is more than worthwhile to keep your family healthy and happy. But sometimes, in all that you do, your own well being gets a little lost. What if you could take great care of yourself and raise your children too? That’s exactly the philosophy behind the Mommy Makeover. More than ever, you have exciting surgical options to reverse the unwanted effects of childbearing and age.
We hear all kinds of reasons why mommies put off cosmetic improvement. Some mothers are worried about taking time away from their hectic schedules to undergo a surgical procedure. While time is a precious commodity for all of us these days, stop and think about how much your beauty and health are worth to you. Would you be able to accomplish more with a fresh perspective and younger feel? Would it be easier to succeed at work and at home when you’re feeling great about your appearance? Many of our patients say “absolutely,” and tell us they wish they had their plastic surgery after child birth and pregnancy sooner.
Other women are worried about focusing on themselves, rather than their families. Many of our patients find that it’s essential to do both: recognize that how you feel as a mom is integral to the strength of your family. It is simply not self-centered or vain to take care of yourself or to want to feel youthful, sexy and self-confident. Having a positive self image certainly benefits you, but it also can improve your interactions with loved ones. You may be a mommy, but never forget that you are still your own person.
Mommy Makeovers Counter the Physical Effects of Pregnancy
On average, most women gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. This weight is stored as fatty tissue in the breasts, abdomen, flanks (love-handles), hips, lower back, buttocks and thighs. The breasts also grow due to weight gain and to prepare for nursing. But don’t despair, a mommy makeover can help you look your best again.
As the baby grows, so does the abdomen. This may result in a weakening and separation of the abdominal muscles, and stretching of the abdominal skin. This stretching may cause a breakage of the skin collagen, also known as stretch marks. These unsightly marks are purple-red in color and concentrated around the belly button and lower abdomen.
These effects often become even more apparent after childbirth and nursing. A mommy makeover can help reverse these effects.
Many new moms do lose the excess weight – eventually. Unfortunately, the weight loss is not proportional to the amount of fatty tissue in a given area. That means for some, more weight may be lost from the breasts or buttocks than the abdomen and waist.
The result? Smaller breasts despite fullness of the waist and abdomen. In these cases, a mommy makeover may be in order.
Once a woman finishes breastfeeding, the breasts deflate even further and begin to sag. The weak abdominal muscles and the excess abdominal fat appear as fullness and bulging of the belly. Many new moms may still look pregnant even as their child is taking his or her first steps. Once again, a mommy makeover can help.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is performed using a unique combination of plastic surgery procedures designed to counteract the physical effects of childbearing, and restore and enhance your body.
In general, a mommy makeover may include:
Mommy makeovers can include any or all of these body contouring procedures depending on your wishes and needs.
For example, some women need breast augmentation to correct severely deflated “pancake” breasts, while others may need breast implants in combination with a breast lift. Still, some women may actually desire a breast reduction with a lift.
In the abdominal area, many women need a full abdominoplasty with tightening of the muscle layer as well as removal of the excess skin and fat, while some may need a mini-abdominoplasty.
Some women may also benefit from liposuction to sculpt the back, hips and thighs; and smooth out their contours.
Preparing for Your Mommy Makeover
It is important to ask yourself certain questions before deciding to have a mommy makeover.
Are you done having children?
If you plan to have more children, wait. The vertical muscles in the abdomen (which are tightened during a tummy tuck) can re-separate.
Are you at a stable weight?
Being at a stable weight before surgery can help maximize the results. Lose all your baby weight with diet and exercise before having plastic surgery.
Are you finished breastfeeding?
You should wait until you are finished breastfeeding before having breast surgery because the enlarged ducts and increased blood vessel activity of the breast during nursing increases bleeding and the risk of infection.
What body parts have changed since you had children?
Dr. Concannon can help you devise a personalized mommy makeover that targets these trouble areas in one or more surgeries.
The next step in preparing for your mommy makeover is discussing your options with Dr. Concannon. He will help determine if your expectations are reasonable and develop a plan for your mommy makeover. Dr. Concannon recommend that you wait six months or more after having a baby before considering cosmetic surgery. This allows for ample time to give your body and your life a chance to normalize.
Your recovery process will vary based on what your mommy makeover entails. Still, there are some basic precautions and instructions that you can take to help this recovery go as smoothly as possible, including:
- Arrange for someone to help you get around the house and help you with your medication for at least the first 24 hours after your surgery. You will be given medication for the pain and to control nausea that can be caused by the pain medication.
- Try sleeping on several pillows on your back and keep your legs slightly bent at the hips to minimize the tension on your incision, reduce pain and result in a thinner scar.
- Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports and jogging for up to six weeks.
Mommy Makeover Risks
All surgeries have risks, though longer surgeries that involve multiple parts of the body increase these risks. Risks may include (but are not limited to):
- Unfavorable scarring
- Poor wound healing
- Anesthesia risks
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revisional surgery
- Unsatisfactory results
Mommy Makeover Cost
The cost of your mommy makeover will vary based on the body contouring procedure(s) involved. Multiple procedures often increase operating time, which can result in higher fees.
In general, the cost of surgery includes the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, implant fees (if applicable) and the operating room fee. Dr. Concannon’s staff will review with you the exact fees for the procedures you are considering, and can assist you with financing if you wish.
Are you one of the women who are discovering that you can reclaim your body through cosmetic plastic surgery. “Mommy Makeover” procedures – including breast enlargement, breast lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction – are among the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery procedures for women ages 20-39.
Are you experiencing at of the natural changes that take place as a result of pregnancy and breast feeding? Do you look at your body and remember how it was before? Are you bothered by sagging breasts, a flabby tummy and stubborn pockets of fat? It’s frustrating and disappointing to any woman who cares about her appearance. Cosmetic surgery is a popular and effective way for you to look and feel great.