Pregnancy lasts just over nine months, but the effects on your body are long-lasting. As your skin expands to accommodate the growing fetus, stretch marks appear. Added fat stores also lead to stretch marks on the thighs and hips. Increased blood flow to the breasts, followed by the production of milk, leads to added weight that causes the breasts to expand and eventually sag.
After delivery, the skin over the abdomen will tighten, but it may never return to the shape you once had. The baby fat you gain during pregnancy is also visible and hard to get rid of, even with diet and exercise.
In a Baby Center poll of 7,000 new moms, 61 percent admitted they thought they’d get back to their pre-pregnancy weight within a year. Approximately 60 percent were unable to lose the weight by the baby’s first birthday, however. When diet and exercise fail, a mommy makeover is helpful.
A mommy makeover boosts your self-esteem. You devote time and energy to raising your children and supporting your significant other. It’s time to do something for yourself.
Don’t Let Celebrities Fool You
The media regularly reports on celebrities who return to shape in weeks of giving birth, leaving you to wonder why that’s not happening for you. It’s been months, and your stretched out skin, sagging breasts, and fat stores are not disappearing. Fitting in workouts in between diapers, feeding the baby, and keeping up with chores or work is exhausting.
What the media fails to show is that many of these stars have nannies watching the baby while they endure workouts with professional trainers that last hours every day. These celebrities also have cooks and housekeepers taking care of daily chores and preparing nutritious meals.
Still, some of these celebrity moms are getting mommy makeovers to help get their problem areas toned and tightened. Dayna Devon, co-host on Extra, admitted that she lost two inches off her waist by having a tummy tuck. Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle) and Shar Jackson (Moesha) both had mommy makeovers.
What Is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover restores a mother’s self-confidence by taking care of the problem areas that diet and exercise are not fixing. Common procedures include a breast lift and/or breast augmentation and a tummy tuck.
It’s best to wait until you’re done having children to have these procedures. If you go through these procedures and have additional children, the benefits often disappear with the sagging and stretching that another pregnancy causes.
Breast Lifts and Augmentation
Breastfeeding really impacts the breasts. Some women find their breasts grow much larger and stay that way when they wean their child. Breasts that are too large for your frame cause back and shoulder pain. Others wean their child and find their postpartum breasts are now smaller than ever before. In either case, the breasts sag and the areolas stretch out. A breast lift fixes these common complaints.
With a breast lift the doctor trims excess skin on the areola, tightens the tissue within the breast, and then pulls the breast upward. For women who want a fuller look via breast augmentation, saline or silicone gel implants can be added. For women whose breasts grew to an uncomfortable size, a breast reduction is beneficial.
Following a breast lift, bandages or a surgical bra support the breasts while they heal. A few days after the surgery, the doctor will remove the bandages and have you wear a support bra instead. This support bra must be worn day and night for a month. Stitches come out after a week or two, and at that point, the doctor usually clears you to return to work. Some bruising, swelling, and discomfort are normal after a breast lift.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that flattens the abdomen and improves the waist line. The procedure takes a few hours. It starts with general anesthesia and an incision made from one hip bone to the other. The skin and muscle are separated, excess skin and fat are removed, muscles are surgically tightened, and the belly button is reattached in the ideal position. The doctor then closes the incisions and covers them with sterile dressings.
Following abdominoplasty, it takes up to a month for you to heal. You have to be careful not to strain the stitches during activities. Once you’ve healed, you have a fine scar that runs horizontally above the pubic line. Most bikini bottoms are high enough to hide it.
Benefits to Combining Procedures
With both a breast lift/augmentation and tummy tuck, you need to allow time in your schedule to heal. You won’t be able to lift things or engage in strenuous activities. If you opt for two separate surgeries, that will mean two separate recoveries. If you have the procedures performed at the same time, your recovery may be a little longer but you’ll only need one recovery period.
There’s also the price of these procedures to consider. With any plastic surgery, there are fees that go to the plastic surgeon, the medical facility, and the fees for anesthesia. If you schedule these surgeries at separate times, you pay many of these fees twice. You save money by having the tummy tuck and breast lift or augmentation at the same time.
Dr. Douglas Steinbrech is a board-certified surgeon, and he performs plastic surgery both in NYC and LA. He is a renowned expert in his specialty of body contouring procedures, and has been selected as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.