Having children is a major milestone in the lives of many women. While the transition to motherhood is undoubtedly joyful, there’s no denying that pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. Women commonly experience excess skin on the abdomen due to pregnancy, drooping, sagging, or deflated breasts from breastfeeding, and other changes that can leave a woman feeling less than her best.
However, the mommy makeover, a combination of plastic surgery procedures that is especially designed to address common body issues that mothers face, can help women get their pre-baby body back and regain their confidence. If you are considering pursuing plastic surgery to mitigate the effects of motherhood on your body, here’s everything you need to know about a mommy makeover.
Mommy Makeover Procedure Overview
A mommy makeover is a combination of plastic surgery procedures that are designed to address the unique body issues that mothers face. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are most associated with changes to the abdomen and breasts, and the mommy makeover includes procedures that focus primarily on these areas. Many women experience a significant increase in breast size during pregnancy and breastfeeding, only to find that their breasts later lose volume and start to droop and sag.
Similarly, the skin on the abdomen and the abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate a growing baby during pregnancy, but even after childbirth, many women experience residual fullness and loss of tone. Your surgeon will tailor a mommy makeover package based on your specific anatomy and aesthetic goals, but common components of the package may include:
- Tummy tuck
- Circumferential abdominoplasty
- Breast augmentation
- Breast lift, with or without implant
- Breast reduction
Mommy Makeover Recovery
Mommy makeover recovery looks a bit different for each patient because of the wide variation in the combinations of procedures that are possible. However, no matter what type of mommy makeover you undergo, you should understand up front that substantial recovery is required.
Patients who are getting a tummy tuck will have an especially long recovery, with full recovery taking about two to three months for most people. You should expect to be primarily on bed rest in the first two weeks of recovery from a tummy tuck, and you’re likely to feel sore, bruised, and swollen during this time. One of the most challenging parts of recovery for many patients is that you are not allowed to lift objects over ten pounds, including babies and children, for at least a few weeks after surgery. It will take several months before you can return to your full routine, including vigorous and strenuous exercise, but your capabilities will improve every day. Most of the severe swelling will subside within a few weeks after surgery, but final results may not appear for six months to a year.
You should expect your breasts and abdomen to be sore after the surgery, particularly for the first three to six weeks after your procedure. Your final results may take several months to appear. In order to speed up your recovery process, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions exactly and get plenty of rest, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and sleep in a supported, elevated position in order to keep swelling down.
When to Consider a Mommy Makeover
It is very common for patients to want to regain their pre-baby bodies as quickly as possible; however, it usually does not make sense to have a mommy makeover procedure done shortly after giving birth. Instead, it is recommended that patients take time to breastfeed, wean their children, recover from pregnancy and childbirth, and consider whether or not they want to have more children before considering a mommy makeover in order to get the best possible results. Often, it is a good idea for patients to wait until their children are somewhat independent and do not need to be carried, because you will not be able to lift anything over ten pounds, including children, for at least three to six weeks after the procedure. However, if you do decide to have surgery while your children are still young enough to be carried, make sure you have plenty of help from family and friends following the procedure. Patients may also want to wait until they lose the majority of the weight they plan to lose before having a mommy makeover in order to ensure the best results from their tummy tuck.
Mommy Makeover Candidates
Mommy makeovers vary from person to person, so there is no “one size fits all” approach to determining who is a good candidate for a mommy makeover. However, in general, the best candidates for a Mommy Makeover include:
- Women who are finished having children;
- Patients with tummies that have loose or extra skin that folds over when you sit down and also those patients with spread of the midline rectus muscle.
- Patients with a specific body issue that has not responded favorably to diet and exercise;
- Patients with a muffin top, excess skin, or fat;
- Patients with drooping or sagging breasts with a loss of volume;
- Patients who are nonsmokers.
The mommy makeover is a combination of plastic surgery procedures that can help repair loose, saggy, or drooping skin that commonly results from pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Each patient will have a slightly different combination of procedures performed depending on their anatomy and aesthetic goals, but regardless of which procedures are performed, recovery is extensive. Patients should plan to have help from family and friends for several weeks after the surgery.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Applebaum
Dr. Robert Applebaum is a world renowned and highly respected Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In his nearly 30 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Applebaum has become known as an innovator in the field of laser technology techniques for plastic surgery procedures. He has published numerous articles and scientific papers about the use of laser technology and educates physicians worldwide on the applications of laser technology for plastic surgery. Dr. Applebaum primarily practices out of his private outpatient surgery center, Four Thirty Six Aesthetic Surgery Center, which is located in Beverly Hills.