Mommy Makeover 101: How to Best Restore Your Body

While mothers never fail to say how rewarding pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding truly are, this doesn’t take away the fact that these processes can do a number on their bodies. In fact, many women never fully regain the elasticity of their skin, the tone of their muscles, or their overall body shape of their youth.

With help from a skilled Board Certified Plastic Surgeon like Dr. Matthew Schulman, however, a combination of personally-customized cosmetic procedures can be combined into one single operation to restore a woman’s pre-baby body and even improve it. This is called a “Mommy Makeover.”

What Exactly Is a “Mommy Makeover”?

Mommy-Makeover-NYCA Mommy Makeover is a collection of cosmetic procedures that are combined into one single operation, designed to restore the body to its pre-baby shape and form. This means every Mommy Makeover with Dr. Schulman in New York City will be different. Dr. Schulman will individualize your surgery based on your body type and your desires. The term “Mommy Makeover” is also a misnomer, since it can be performed on women who are not moms.  It is not uncommon for women to request a “Mommy Makeover” to reverse the signs of aging and changes associated with weight loss.

 

Some of most common issues that are addressed by Mommy Makeovers include:

  • Excess skin on the abdomen
  • Resistant fat deposits that won’t budge, even with diet and exercise
  • Separated or stretched abdominal muscles
  • Sagging or deflated breasts
  • Uneven breasts
  • Buttock or hip flattening

Why Do Such Severe Physical Changes Occur with Pregnancy and Birth?

If you’ve had a child, you know how dramatic the entire process of pregnancy and childbirth is. Your entire body changes in ways you’d never expect, and contrary to what many celebrities will claim, “bouncing back” isn’t simply a matter of putting in hard work at the gym and going on a diet. Additionally, the effects of these natural processes are even more pronounced after multiple children, or pregnancies with significant weight gain.

So, what’s actually going on to make your body change so permanently after pregnancy and childbirth?

Naturally, weight gain is one of the biggest culprits. Although absolutely essential with pregnancy, it can wreak havoc on your body. Contrary to what many women initially assume, you’re not just gaining 7 or 8 pounds (or the weight of an average baby) either.

Most women who start at a healthy weight gain at least 25 to 35 pounds overall during their pregnancies. Some women gain even more. The average 25 to 35 pounds includes the weight of the baby, certainly. But it also includes additional things like the placenta, amniotic fluid, the enlarged uterus, added body fluids and blood volume, and extra energy stores (fat). These are all essential to the process of a healthy pregnancy.

Of course, weight gain like this doesn’t come without repercussions. Pregnancy weight gain can cause “stubborn fat cells” to accumulate (fat that won’t go away after childbirth, even with diet and exercise). The growing baby can also cause the skin on the abdomen to stretch out — and it may not bounce back to its original tightness. Stretch marks may appear. And finally, the stomach muscles can separate and stretch; this is called ab separation or diastasis recti.

Your breasts will also be affected by pregnancy and breastfeeding. The breasts may first enlarge during both of these periods; however, when breastfeeding comes to an end, the breasts will deflate, and you may be left with drooping or sagging breasts.

Many of these changes are the result of hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. This means that even after the baby has been born, it may take your body up to a year before these hormones return to normal.

What Surgeries Typically Make Up a Mommy Makeover?

In order to produce an effective Mommy Makeover, surgeons like Dr. Schulman rely on a number of proven effective cosmetic procedures. Again, these will vary from patient to patient, commonly include:

Breast AugmentationThis procedure is excellent for women whose breasts have enlarged during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding and now sag and droop. The process involves increasing your breast size by placing breast implants either above or below the chest muscle. Oftentimes, the breast needs to be lifted and a breast lift needs to be performed together with the breast implant.

Liposuction: Liposuction is the removal of unwanted and stubborn fat. A small incision is made in the problem area (such as the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs), the area is anesthetized, and Dr. Schulman will use a thin tube called a cannula to suction out the unwanted fat. This results in a smooth contour of the area and reduced fat. Liposuction is often performed with other procedures.

Tummy TuckA tummy tuck tightens the abdominal muscles (repair of diasthasis recti) and also removes excess skin. This is great for moms with stretched skin around the abdomen and the presence of unsightly stretch marks.

Fat Transfer: A fat transfer involves using the fat that is removed with liposuction and re-injecting this fat into other areas of the body that you want reshaped or enlarged. Fat can be added to the buttock and hips, in a procedure called a Brazilian Butt Lift.

For Further Reading:

Deciding between liposuction and a tummy tuck? Most women opt for both of these procedures in their Mommy Makeover but many are confused about how they differ.  For a better understanding of how each procedure differs, check out this article, which compares the two.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mommy Makeovers

Q: Can a Mommy Makeover really restore my body to its original size and shape?

A: Every patient’s Mommy Makeover will be different just as every woman’s pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience is different. As a result, the outcome of your makeover may not exactly restore your pre-baby body. However, we can tell you that your results will indeed improve some or all of the less-than-desirable effects caused by hormonal fluctuations, weight gain, breastfeeding, etc.
In fact, many women report feeling that their Mommy Makeover actually made them feel better about their appearance than they once felt prior to becoming pregnant. Dr. Schulman will discuss what specific procedures should be part of your Mommy Makeover.

Q: Why do they call it a Mommy Makeover?

A: Some women don’t like this term, and we get it. The truth is that “Mommy Makeover” is just a cute term — nothing more. The actual procedure itself is a highly safe combination of useful and effective cosmetic procedures. Call it what you like — it’s a process that will restore your body to its original beauty and shape and improve your confidence many times over.

Q: Where are Mommy Makeovers Performed?

A: Because Mommy Makeovers combine several surgeries into one safe and effective procedure, some women assume that the procedures must be done in a hospital. In fact, all Mommy Makeover procedures are performed in Dr. Schulman’s fully-certified, accredited office operating facility, under general anesthesia. During the surgery you are completely monitored by a Board Certified Anesthesiologist.

Q: What’s recovery time for a Mommy Makeover?

A: The necessary recovery time for a Mommy Makeover will depend on exactly what is done during your surgery. The more procedures you have done, the longer your recovery will be. In general, most women require about 2 weeks off from work and activities. For more extensive procedures, a third week of recovery may be indicated. Dr. Schulman will be better able to address this question after you are evaluated. You should understand that it can take a few moths before you feel totally back to normal.

Q: What is the cost for a Mommy Makeover?

A: The cost will depend on exactly what is to be done, so there is no standard price. However, the cost of combining multiple procedures, such as in a Mommy Makeover, is less expensive than having each procedure done individually.

Q: How drastic will the results be?

A: Much of your results will depend on what exactly you wanted to change, which of the suggested procedures you decided to move forward with, and the extent of each procedure. For an idea of what you may be able to expect from your makeover, however, we invite you to check out our Mommy Makeover Before and After photo gallery.

Are You Ready for a Mommy Makeover?

If you’ve been looking in the mirror, unhappy with the reflection staring back at you, talk to Dr. Schulman about making the improvements you’re considering. The Mommy Makeover women prefer is one performed by Dr. Schulman — hands down. As one of the nation’s top board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Schulman’s experience, precision, and record of amazing results truly sets him apart.

Becoming a mother is an amazing process and one you should be proud to have accomplished. But now it’s time to do something for yourself. Contact Dr. Schulman today to schedule a consultation for a Mommy Makeover. See what this revolutionary, personalized procedure can do for you.

10 Ways to Heal Properly after Your Procedure

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Any cosmetic surgery is a serious procedure, and even minimally invasive treatments require patients to follow a few guidelines for optimal recovery. These guidelines can help control post-surgical pain, but they also are designed to ensure that the surgery has the best possible chance of improving the appearance of the area affected by the procedure. That’s why proper healing is crucial both to your overall health and happiness and to the long-term effectiveness of your cosmetic procedure.

Here are 10 things New York City Plastic SurgeonDr Schulman recommends to my patients to help ensure that their bodies can heal properly after cosmetic procedures.

1. Follow Doctor’s Orders

For some patients, it may seem too obvious a tip, but closely following the post-operative or post-treatment instructions your Board Certified Surgeon provides is absolutely crucial. Your doctor is the expert on your specific procedure and is the only one who can provide their unique perspective, having actually operated on your body. No website will ever know as much about your body as your doctor does. The after-care instructions you get from your doctor are meant specifically for you based on your body and the procedures you’ve undergone. It can be tough to resist, but if you have questions or concerns about those instructions, you should consult your doctor rather than relying on the internet for advice.

2. Take Relaxation Seriously

For any surgery, your activity level is likely to be severely restricted for days or even weeks. While you’ll need to limit your activity level, it’s also important to remember that relaxation extends to your mind as well. That means you should avoid unnecessary mental and emotional strain as well as taking it easy on your body. Many of my patients find it helpful to meditate each day or just to spend time in a quiet room, away from the daily hustle and bustle of their families.

3. Be Patient

The full effects of many cosmetic procedures can take as long as a year to be realized. I’ve worked with patients who find themselves disappointed when they look at their body following surgery and don’t see the jaw-dropping effects they’d hoped for. While that disappointment is understandable, it’s important to give your body plenty of time to adjust. Your body right after surgery will be swollen, and depending on the procedure, the new shape created has yet to fully take effect. For instance, if your surgery involved fat grafting, which uses liposuction to take unwanted fat from one area of the body and transplants it to another that’s lacking volume, it will take some time for the fat cells to begin thriving in their new home. It can take up to a full year after surgery to see your final results – and in some people even longer.

4. Stay Indoors When You Can

The sun has notoriously bad effects on our skin, from causing cancer to dotting the face and neck with dark spots. But direct sunlight can be even worse for those healing from surgery. UV rays can make scars appear darker and redder and this can last for months. Additionally, excessive heat can worsen inflammation, which can increase your pain level. Your skin may be numb, and you will be more likely to suffer a sunburn. If you do need to be outside for extended periods, I recommend applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 directly to the scars. Remember that the UV rays are strong enough to penetrate clothing, so even if you are covered up, make sure to protect your healing scars.

5. Stop Smoking (and Don’t Vape)

Of course, nobody should smoke, but millions of Americans are smokers, and smoking is known to be an incredibly difficult habit to kick. In addition to raising your risk of cancer and heart disease, smoking can actually make your recovery from surgery much worse and more difficult. That’s because nicotine constricts blood vessels, which slows the healing process considerably and increasing your risk for wound healing issues and infection. If you think vaping is safer, think again; one Juul pod contains 20 cigarettes’ worth of nicotine. You should quit smoking for more reasons than just surgical recovery, but consider this: The investment you’re making in cosmetic surgery could well be wasted if you continue smoking after your procedure.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping well-hydrated is a crucial aspect of ensuring successful recovery from cosmetic procedures. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day (juice, coffee, soda, and tea don’t count) can help flush your system of potential toxins, reduce your risk of infection, and speed the healing of your surgical incisions by boosting nutrient delivery. Additionally, drinking lots of water can help prevent constipation, which is a frequent but unfortunate side effect of the pain medication you may be on. It is common after surgery to have a reduced appetite, which is even more reason to push the fluids. Electrolyte-containing drinks, such as gatorade or powerade, are helpful in keeping you well-hydrated.

7. Increase Your Protein Intake

As your body continues to recover, it will require increased amounts of nutrients to ensure proper healing. Protein is an especially helpful nutrient because it spurs production of new cells, such as collagen and blood cells, and because it can help strengthen your immune system. Your ideal intake level will depend on your body weight and level of activity approved by your Board Certified Surgeon, but men usually will need slightly less protein than women.

8. Move Your Body, but Don’t Strain Yourself

I’ve already told you to take it easy, so this could seem like contradictory advice. The fact is that some physical activity is good. Proper healing from cosmetic procedures doesn’t mean lying in one spot for weeks on end. In fact, lack of activity can increase your risk of blood clots as well as cause stiff and sore muscles. I recommend my patients move their bodies, whether by light walking or gentle stretching, at least once an hour when they’re awake. Remember to always follow post-operative instructions on strenuous activity, such as going to the gym or lifting more than 10 pounds. Try to listen the signals your body is sending; if something feels like too much of a strain, it probably is.

9. Ask for Help from Others

Most major cosmetic procedures will seriously impact your ability to meet the normal obligations of your life. This includes not being able to go to work for at least a couple of weeks after surgery, and it could even mean reducing your ability to care for your children or pets adequately for a brief period. Particularly for patients who are undergoing multiple procedures, such as a mommy makeover, or having invasive surgeries, it’s crucial to arrange help in the everyday tasks that are part of your life. Asking for help can be a challenge for most people. We all want to feel independent. Forcing yourself to return to your normal activities too soon can not only jeopardize the effectiveness of your cosmetic procedures, but it can negatively impact your overall health.

10. Keep All of Your Post-op Appointments

The more successful a patient’s recovery is, the more likely some patients are to forego follow-up appointments. After all, many people think, “I feel good, so I’m sure everything is OK”. While this is an understandable inclination, skipping your follow-up appointments means that your doctor cannot monitor your progress or check for possible signs of infection. Your doctor will only schedule follow-ups with you that are necessary, and most doctors will only release patients back to normal activities if they’ve been able to examine them in person.

Contact Us Today

Considering cosmetic surgery? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Schulman today.