The Mommy Makeover: Catchy name and a growing trend. Particularly for women who have kids at older ages, multiples, or more kids, pregnancy can wreak havoc on the body. When you spend your whole life keeping in shape, to see the changes after babies can be hard. I have been a plastic surgeon in private practice for over 15 years. I have had 3 kids and breastfed them all. I do not think everyone needs surgery after babies. But for some, it is a good choice for health (yes, health) and cosmetic reasons. There are some things you can’t fix without surgery, and some things which just can’t be fixed. The mommy makeover combines some kind of breast surgery – breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction- with some kind of body surgery – liposuction, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), or mini abdominoplasty. The benefits of combining surgeries are many: lower cost, a single recovery, and fixing all the issues at once. For healthy patients, the increase in risk is small. I post here advice if you consider a Mommy Makeover.
1. TIMING. I recommend getting back to your normal before doing any kind of surgery. Right after you have babies, you are not sleeping, you haven’t lost weight, you may be breast feeding. Your body has been dedicated to growing and feeding another being.
You should enjoy your new baby and give yourself time. They body bounces back a lot after pregnancy on its own. Wait until the dust has settled, so you can see what, if anything, needs to be fixed.
2. WEIGHT. You should be back to your ideal body weight prior to any surgery if you can do it. I get how hard it is to lose weight. All those who say their weight “just flew off” while they were breastfeeding or chasing their kids are lucky. Most women work to reclaim their pre-baby weight.
Being at your ideal weight prior helps us see what your body looks like after babies. How is your skin tone? Do you droop? Are your abdominal muscles separated? I see many women who get back to their pre-baby weight only to find their bodies don’t fit into clothing like it did.
Losing weight after some surgeries can be problematic, as it can change the appearance, skin laxity and droopiness, or body proportion.
3. WHAT CAN’T BE FIXED WITHOUT SURGERY?
There are things which won’t get better with sheer will and determination, or with time. I think it is good to know what these are, so you don’t chase products or quick fixes which won’t work.
4. WHAT JUST CAN’T BE FIXED? There are some changes after pregnancy which are not fixable. I bring these up to save you frustration, as I see many women expend time, energy, and money on these issues with no results. Sometimes procedures like lasers and peels give temporary improvement, but won’t fix it. Some of my colleagues may disagree, and I encourage you to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation, but the following are tough issues:
A Mommy Makeover is a great surgery for many women. Particularly here in the Bay Area, I see many women who have multiple children at an older age. As plastic surgery has become more accepted and as women are active and fit longer, there is a general attitude of “if I can fix it, why not?” I urge you to have a few consultations with Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who perform all of the procedures you may need. (Many “plastic surgeons” are not board certified, and if they do not do tummy tucks or breast reductions, they may not recommend the right procedure because they are not trained to do it.). If you are in a grey area of what you need, you may get differing opinions of your options. It is important to know your options, and the pros and cons of each.
For more information, you can read my extensive blogs and website information at https://www.laurengreenbergmd.com/mommy-makeover/
Please keep in mind: subjects covered in this blog and certain tips and advice are not substitutes for professional medical advice. This blog is for general informational purposes only. If you are considering plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, or cosmetic enhancement, you should always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon and/or your general practitioner in-person for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.