For a mother, being pregnant, going through childbirth, and experiencing early motherhood can all be wonderful experiences.
At the same time, each of these experiences can also change a woman’s body — and not always for the better. With pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing come alterations to the body that are often non-reversible. Fortunately, a cosmetic procedure called a mommy makeover exists.
In actuality, a mommy makeover is not just one procedure. Rather, it is several procedures, each of which attacks a different problem area associated with pregnancy and motherhood.
Below, we’ve broken down the mommy makeover into these three basic procedures: Liposuction, the tummy tuck, and breast enhancement.
A Mommy Makeover in 3 Parts
The body contouring procedure of liposuction aims to remove excess pockets of fat that resist diet and exercise. This makes it an ideal procedure for new moms as it is notoriously difficult to lose that extra pouch of fat in the belly after having a baby.
Of course, liposuction can help remove stubborn fat in other areas of the body as well. If you’ve struggled to lose fat in the thighs, back, upper arms, or elsewhere, liposuction is the procedure that can help. It can even remove those annoying love handles and help reshape your tush to the way it once was.
How liposuction works
The liposuction procedure is straightforward. Your doctor will anesthetize the area, then make extremely small incisions near the sites where you’d like to lose fat. They will then insert a small tube called a cannula. This will be moved back and forth by your surgeon to agitate the fat cells, which will then loosen and be sucked out through the cannula.
2. Tummy Tucks
Many people confuse liposuction with tummy tucks, but they’re actually significantly different.
While liposuction removes pockets of stubborn fat, tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) focus on loose muscles and excess skin. In effect, tummy tucks are slightly more invasive than liposuction procedures, but they actually work well together, which is why they are both key components of mommy makeovers.
The tummy tuck procedure
Tummy tucks start with anesthesia, as with liposuction. Your surgeon will decide what type of sedation is best for your procedure as well. Incisions are made near the pubic hair line and the navel. The skin is pulled (like a window shade) to tighten it. Loose muscles are tightened in the process. Excess skin is cut and removed, and the resulting contours are stitched up carefully to leave as few scars as possible.
3. Breast Enhancement
Having a baby can drastically change the outline of your breasts. It can affect your breasts’ volume and change their shape and the skin around them. This can be exacerbated if you breastfeed. Distended breasts can be fixed, however, with breast enhancement procedures.
Breast enhancement actually includes two different procedures: Breast augmentation and the breast lift. Both are generally used in a mommy makeover so that the patient can achieve the ideal silhouette.
Breast augmentation is the procedure that changes the volume of your breasts. Most notably, augmentation includes adding a silicone or saline implant to each breast. This can help create a fuller, plumper appearance. You might want to augment your breasts so that they’re the same as they were before pregnancy, or, alternatively, you can add even more volume if that’s something that you’ve always desired.
By contrast, a breast lift is meant to give your breasts their perkiness back. In some women, all they’re looking for in breast enhancement is a lift. If you have sagging and drooping breasts, but you are happy with their overall volume, you may only want a breast lift.
Both of these procedures can give you back the breasts you’re used to (or add extra volume, in the case of a breast augmentation). The procedures can also help correct a symmetry issue, if you have one. Some women experience asymmetry after pregnancy and breastfeeding, in which one breast appears bigger and/or higher than the other. This can be remedied with breast enhancement.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
In order to be a good candidate for a mommy makeover, there are several stipulations that your plastic surgeon will want to see.
1. You’re finishing having children and done breastfeeding.
First, a mommy makeover is best for women who are done having children. We say this because — even though you can certainly go back to having children after your makeover — the pregnancy will likely undo its positive effects. Also, remember that you must wait at least six months after giving birth (and after stopping breastfeeding) to have any of the mommy makeover procedures.
2. You’ve done your best to lose excess weight through diet and exercise.
Second, if your pregnancy caused you to gain a significant amount of excess weight, try to lose as much as you can on your own through diet and exercise. Just remember that it’s important to diet and exercise under the guidance of your doctor in the early months after giving birth.
Once you’ve lost all you can on your own, if you still have a few “stubborn pounds” that won’t melt off and/or excess skin, a mommy makeover can remedy these problems. It is best if you don’t have more than 10 to 15 pounds you’d like to lose.
3. You’re a non-smoker.
Next, it’s important that you don’t smoke. In some situations, you can commit to quit smoking a full month before your mommy makeover procedures, but of course, it’s always safer and healthier to be a non-smoker when undergoing surgery of any kind. This is because smoking can hinder the recovery process.
4. You have realistic expectations.
Finally, it’s critical to be in the right state of mind before your procedure. A mommy makeover won’t instantly transition your body exactly back to the way it was before you got pregnant. Still, it can get you close! Just be sure to have a healthy, realistic outlook before your makeover.
Are You Ready for Your Own Mommy Makeover?
As a mother, you deserve to pamper yourself once in a while instead of always taking care of everyone else, expending all of your extra time and energy in the process. And what better way to take care of yourself than by getting your pre-baby body back with a mommy makeover?
When you’re ready to start the process, all it takes is making an initial consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon. Just remember that not all plastic surgeons are alike when it comes to critical procedures like tummy tucks and breast lifts. You need to choose someone who is skillful and competent. This makes it all the more important to do your research and choose a plastic surgeon New York City area men and women trust — one who is board-certified and has extensive experience.
When you’re ready to move forward, make a consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon like Dr. Schulman to discuss your options. Ask about the exact procedures that will help make you look your best.
A mommy makeover could be the treatment that finally gives you your confidence back — you deserve it mama!