It’s quite the understatement to say that having children changes your life. But for most mothers, the pregnancy also causes a shift in their physical appearances, which can cause a dramatic downturn in one’s self-esteem. If you want to keep all the new joys of motherhood but repair the effects pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding have had on your physique, you may be among the millions of women who are candidates for a mommy makeover plastic surgery. If this is something you’re considering the tips below can help your preparation and procedure go smoothly.
- Carefully choose the procedures you want to include in your mommy makeover. You’re probably heard of the “mommy makeover” as a set of cosmetic surgeries designed around common aesthetic issues women have as a result of motherhood: sagging breasts which may be too large or too small, as well as a “pooch” on the lower abdomen. But it’s a rather general term, because the actual procedures each woman’s mommy makeover includes are based on her own specific needs. They generally include two or more of the following:
- Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
- Breast Lift
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Reduction
- Communicate with your plastic surgeon. This is vital for any cosmetic surgery. Open communication with help the surgeon tailor your results to your aesthetic vision and take any actions necessary to make your procedure safe.
- Plan ahead. While every elective surgery patient should prepare in advance by getting together any medications they need, having someone available to help them as they heal, stocking up on easy food to eat and entertainment while they rest, etc., mothers have a particularly important consideration: child care.
- Don’t be shy about combining multiple surgeries into one procedure. Patients often assume it’s risky to combine three or four procedures into one operation, but in reality, as long as your board-certified plastic surgeon determines that you are in sufficiently good health, this can still be a safe way to get comprehensive results with less recovery time and even a smaller price tag.
- Let your body stabilize first. It’s best to wait for several months after you’ve given birth or stopped breastfeeding before you have cosmetic surgery, because it can take your body time to stabilize into your long-term physique. In addition, future pregnancies can bring back the same issues your surgery repaired, so it’s ideal to wait until you’ve finished having children.
- Reach a stable weight before surgery. The healthier you are before your procedure, the more smoothly your recovery is likely to go. In addition, losing significant amounts of weight can result in excess sagging skin—an issue your mommy makeover can resolve in you lose the weight before your procedure.
- Find the right sleeping position. This will vary based on the specifics of your cosmetic surgery, but many patients find it helpful to sleep with their back elevated and their legs slightly bent at the hips to maximize comfort and minimize the tension on the incisions.
- Prepare your home ahead of time. Most patients will be advised not to bend over or reach too high, especially during the early days of their healing process, so in the days before your surgery, walk around the house and look for anything you expect to need while you recover. Rearrange as needed so that these items are approximately at elbow height.
- Be patient while you recover. Any surgery is expected to result in some swelling, and this can take weeks or months to fully fade. Don’t rush your recovery and don’t get discouraged if your breasts or abdomen look larger than you expected them too, because it will take time before they settle into their long-term contours.
Like any cosmetic surgery, a mommy makeover should be planned carefully and under the guidance of a board-certified plastic surgeon (preferably one who has extensive experience in breast and body procedures, as I do). To start discussing whether a mommy makeover can restore your pre-pregnancy confidence, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. L. Franklyn Elliott. Or, for more plastic surgery tips, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.