Mommy makeovers are becoming an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery mostly for young mothers who want to regain their pre-pregnancy body shape and other women who are in general conscious about the appearance of their bodies after childbirth. The procedure has particularly gained popularity over the last decade which is mostly attributed to women being inspired by celebrities looking inexplicably slim just a few months after giving birth. At the same time, however, there have been a lot of confusions and misconceptions around the procedure, due to which it still has not gained social acceptance within some groups.
Pregnancy and childbirth put immense stress on the body due to which it loses its natural appearance and ends up in a dull form. On top of that, lactation and breastfeeding have their own effect and lead to loose and saggy breasts. While it is possible to regain most of the form and posture you had before pregnancy through exercise and a good diet, there is some part of fat and skin that just doesn’t respond to any physical activity. In such cases, it is essential that you undergo a complete Mommy Makeover procedure so you can be back to your active and fit body in no time.
To clear out some of the confusions and misconceptions women and people, in general, have about Mommy Makeovers, we have put together an extensive guide on all the things you need to know about the procedure. Read on to find out about all the essentials there are to a Mommy Makeover procedure.
What is involved in a mommy makeover?
Mommy makeover is a set of various cosmetic surgery procedures performed in combination to restore the female body to a pre-pregnancy state aesthetically (1). Contrary to popular opinion, a mommy makeover procedure does not completely snap you back to your exact pre-pregnancy body shape, in fact doing so could be really unsafe, but what it does is that it deals with everything that is abnormal and pulls it back to normal. Here’s a list of all the procedures that are included in a typical Mommy Makeover.
1. Breast Lift and Augmentation
Lactation causes the breast size to increase and then decrease at an unusually fast rate. This affects the shape and size of the breasts and they are left flatter and saggier once breastfeeding is complete. Some women are also left with overall smaller breasts after breastfeeding, which needs to be fixed. To deal with all this, two procedures i.e. breast lift and breast augmentation are performed. A breast lift makes the breasts appear tighter and the nipples point north rather than south. Augmentation on the other hand restores the breast volume by inserting either gel or saline implants.
Also Read – How Does Breast Lift With Fat Transfer Work?
Liposuction involves the removal of pockets of fat from the body. The major problem areas it deals with are the love handles and the hips/thighs. This also requires some incisions to be made.
3. Tummy Tuck
Tummy tuck restores the skin and muscles that are loosened due to excess fat or simply because of being stretched during pregnancy. Incisions are made across the bikini line and near the belly button which may take some time to recover.
It is recommended that you get a mommy makeover when you’re done having kids and don’t plan to get pregnant again. The surgery does not give you any potential health risks related to childbearing but since pregnancy will affect the body again, there is no point in having a surgery before.
A mommy makeover is not a one-size-fits-all type of surgery
The second thing that is extremely important to know is that no such thing as a standard Mommy Makeover exists. What works for others may not always work for you and vice versa. The procedure involves a series of surgeries and only a certified cosmetic surgeon can recommend to you what procedures you should get and what would work on your body. The process will then be customized according to your individual goals, health conditions, body anatomy, and lifestyle in general. Here are some factors other than the ones mentioned that may be considered when deciding what surgery to get,
- Duration of Pregnancy
- Duration of Breastfeeding
- Weight gained or lost during the time
- Previous health conditions
The key to a successful Mommy Makeover is selecting the right timing and combination of procedures which only a certified professional can do for you.
How is a mommy makeover different from a tummy tuck?
Since most patients who walk into a cosmetic surgeon’s clinic often confuse a mommy makeover with a tummy tuck, we find it important to explain the difference between the two (2). As discussed earlier, mommy makeover is a blanket term used for a series of procedures performed in combination. Although a Tummy Tuck procedure can also be performed on its own, it is most often a part of a Mommy Makeover.
A tummy tuck mostly deals with the abdomen area. While liposuction removes all the excessive fat pockets, it does not restore the skin and muscles to their original shape. A tummy tuck can deal with all three of these. This can be further divided into two types, mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck, but again deciding which one of these will suit you better depends completely on your individual case.
1. A mommy makeover is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle
With more and more women going for a mommy makeover after pregnancy, there is often this misconception that this particular procedure can act as a substitute to exercise and a good diet in achieving the ideal body shape. The truth, however, is very different. A cosmetic procedure should only be done to take care of the areas of fat or excess skin that exercise and diet can not deal with. In that sense, a mommy makeover can complement a healthy lifestyle in achieving a great shape physically but never replace it.
Ideally, you should be exercising before and after your mommy makeover procedure so that you are in a perfectly healthy condition. This will not only improve the results you achieve at the end but also speed up the recovery process as you will be in that active lifestyle.
Regular exercise and a good diet will also be essential in maintaining your new figure after you get the procedure done.
2. The recovery process is different for everyone
The most common question patients have in mind before they undergo a mommy makeover procedure is, ‘how long would it take to recover from the surgery?’ The answer to this is not very simple. The recovery process takes into account a lot of factors such as your age, health condition, body weight, and the type of mommy makeover you get. While it is completely natural to be impatient about returning to normal activity after the procedure, it is also important that you give proper time to your wounds to heal. Otherwise, there is a chance of complications with the wounds.
That being said, after a mommy makeover procedure, your drains will be left in for a few days. The staff will show you how to empty the drains and take care of them. You can take a shower almost 48 hours after your drainage tubes are removed. You can take a sponge bath until you can shower, and once you can, you may be advised to use a chair when showering at least for the first few weeks. You might need to wear an abdominal binder for as long as six weeks after which you will start returning to normal activity (3).
You will also need to quit any strenuous activity for the first few weeks, allowing your body to rest more. In special cases, you might even recover in under a month.
However helpful a mommy makeover procedure may be, it simply can’t act as a replacement for physical activity and a good diet. Make sure you’re using this to complement your healthy lifestyle and not to replace it. Also, do not engage in any such procedure without seeking advice from a medical professional as they are in the right position to suggest you what to get and what not to. A mommy makeover procedure can bring about a lot of positive changes in the physical appearance of the body, nevertheless, according to WebMD, these changes don’t come without pain. While serious complications and death are rare, pain from the surgeries can be serious, especially in the initial few weeks following the procedure.