A “mommy makeover” refers to a set of cosmetic surgical procedures that help a woman regain her pre-pregnancy body shape. You can select from a variety of procedures, including breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, labiaplasty and Brazilian butt lift, among others. At Soler Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL, we can create a customized treatment plan just for you that will restore your confidence in your body following childbirth.
How Do You Qualify for a Mommy Makeover?
Do It for Yourself
The key qualifications for a mommy makeover is that you are doing it for yourself and for no one else. Pregnancy is hard on a woman’s body and can cause sagging breasts, loss of volume in the breast, extra weight around the stomach, and re-distributed weight to areas that were once toned. You should not seek a surgical solution to these conditions just for other members of your family or for society in general.
We often see celebrities who regain their pre-pregnancy body within weeks after giving birth, but they have many tools at their disposal that aren’t always available to everyday people. They have personal trainers, personal chefs, and nutritionists to help them prevent losing their figure during pregnancy and to quickly return to form afterward. You should try to keep your figure as much as possible during pregnancy as well, but if you need help getting it back, these procedures can help.
Be In Good Health
Since you’ll be undergoing several surgical procedures at one time, you’ll need to be in top physical health to allow your body to heal from the various incisions and reshaping of your body. If you’re a smoker, you’ll have to give that habit up at least three weeks before your surgery, and if you developed any medical conditions during your pregnancy, like type 2 diabetes, you probably won’t be eligible to undergo these procedures at this time.
Be At a Healthy Weight
Mommy makeovers are not weight loss procedures. They are not designed to help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. Certainly, liposuction will remove some excess weight from your body, but it is not designed to be a solution to excessive weight gain. Instead, liposuction is meant to remove the fat that has stubbornly refused to disappear through exercise and diet. You should be within 25 pounds of your ideal weight before undergoing surgery.
The reason it’s so important to have lost most of your pregnancy weight is some of the procedures that will be performed include removing excess skin that has become loose and saggy after the pounds have dropped off. If you still have more weight to lose, you’ll likely have to undergo another surgery to fix your skin once these pounds have finally been lost. Weight gain is an issue after pregnancy, but a mommy makeover is not the solution.
Be Done Having Children
Even though this isn’t a requirement for getting cosmetic surgical procedures, it’s recommended that you be completely done having babies before you undergo a full mommy makeover. This is because each pregnancy stretches out the skin on your abdomen and breasts, whether you’ve undergone surgery or not. Basically, a pregnancy subsequent to cosmetic surgery will undo the work you’ve had done. You can have more surgeries, but it’s better to wait and do it all one time.
Ensuring that you are not going to have more children will save you the expense of re-doing these procedures, as well as time and inconvenience, since you’ll have to spend time recovering from multiple surgeries at multiple times. Moreover, revision surgeries tend to have higher odds of causing scarring and complications. When you wait to have the procedures done after you’re done bearing children, you’ll get the body you want for the long-term.
Have a Budget Ready
As you probably realize, multiple procedures cost more than single procedures; however, if you have multiple surgeries done at the same time, you will ultimately save money on anesthesia, clinic costs, and recovery time. Still, mommy makeovers are not inexpensive, so you’ll want to have a budget in place to ensure you can afford one. Certainly, there are plenty of financing options available, so if you really want a makeover, talk to the clinic about potential financial solutions.
Each mommy makeover is different based on each woman’s needs, so you may not need every procedure that is typically offered as part of the package. The only way to know for sure which procedures you need is to talk with a qualified surgeon who can examine your body and offer you expert advice. However, you should be aware of what is involved with each potential procedure before you start the process.
Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift
Most women need to have a breast lift following childbirth, especially if they are in their 30s and 40s. The reason for this need is that the breasts naturally expand when they fill with milk, whether you decide to breastfeed or not. Many women experience an increase of several cup sizes that remain full until their infant stops breastfeeding. Then, the breasts contract to their pre-pregnancy size, leaving behind excess skin that causes them to sag.
A breast augmentation isn’t a required surgery after childbirth, but many women decide to have this procedure done at the same time, especially if their breasts were on the smaller side to begin with. Women with naturally-larger breasts almost always can benefit from a lift following childbirth, but they may not need or want an augmentation. Other women may be satisfied with their breast size, but want to return their breasts to a lifted position once they’re done having kids.
As your pregnancy progresses, your abdomen grows larger, and the skin covering it stretches. After you deliver your baby, the skin does not always retract to its pre-pregnancy form, leaving your stomach less flat as you’d like. The muscles will also have been stretched and it’s difficult to get them tight again, even with diligent exercise. These reasons are why many women elect to include a tummy tuck as part of their mommy makeover.
A tummy tuck is performed by creating an incision along your bikini line, which will allow your surgeon to pull your abdomen muscles and skin downward, thereby tightening both the skin and the muscles in the area. If your upper abdomen also needs to be tightened, a second incision will be made near your belly button. The excess skin will be removed and muscles repaired. Urinary incontinence, which is often a problem post-childbirth, can also be addressed through this procedure.
When your body prepares for childbirth, it conserves more fat along your abdomen, thighs, and hips, which can be difficult to lose through diet and exercise alone. If you opt for liposuction in combination with a tummy tuck, the liposuction will be performed first so that the true amount of excess skin can be removed after both procedures are done. Again, this is not a procedure that is designed for weight loss, so it should not be used as such.
Women often experience the stretching of their labia minora during childbirth, which can cause the lips of the labia to extend beyond the labia majora. The labia majora is meant to protect the more delicate labia minora, but when the labia minora is stretched beyond the protective labia majora, it can cause pain during exercise and sexual intercourse. The labia minora can become irritated by chafing against materials it is not supposed to make contact with.
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess skin from the labia minora. Once the skin is removed, stitches are used to close the area, placing the labia minora back under the protection of the labia majora. Once a woman heals from this procedure, exercise and sexual intercourse will no longer be painful or uncomfortable. This procedure has both functional and cosmetic benefits, so it’s possible that insurance may cover a portion of this surgery.
Brazilian Butt Lift
As with the breasts, the buttocks of a woman who has gone through the process of childbirth can sag after delivery. This is especially true if you gained significant weight in the buttocks during your pregnancy. It’s an excellent procedure to pair with liposuction since the fat removed from your abdomen, thighs, or hips can be placed in your buttocks to make them more proportional to your body, make clothes fit better, and provide a more youthful-looking butt.
In addition to being near your ideal weight, being done having children, and being in general good health, there are some other preparations you’ll need to make once you decide to have a mommy makeover. You’ll get more information about how to prepare at your consultation appointment, but there are some at-home tasks you’ll want to take care of prior to your surgery date. Remember that these procedures are considered major surgery, so it’s important to treat them as such.
Your appointment for your mommy makeover should be no sooner than three months after you finish breastfeeding. This allows your body to return to its natural state, specifically with regard to your breast size and your hormone levels. Again, if you have excess weight to lose, you’ll need to wait until you’re within 25 pounds of your ideal weight to schedule your surgery.
Keep Yourself Fit
A healthy body heals better than one that is out of shape or unhealthy. As such, you’ll want to keep yourself fit in the lead up to your surgery. Ideally, you will have remained fit throughout your pregnancy, but if you didn’t, you’ll want to get back into the habit of exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet to give yourself the best odds of recovering quickly from your surgical procedures.
Disclose Your Medical History
Your doctor needs to know everything about your medical history prior to performing your surgery. This includes any underlying medical conditions you have, any previous surgeries you’ve undergone, any prior problems with anesthesia you’ve had, and your smoking and alcohol consumption habits. These disclosures will help your providers keep you safe during your surgeries and to prescribe appropriate medications to assist in your recovery.
It’s preferable for you to shave the treatment areas a couple days before your surgery date so that the incision sites are clear and clean. Your surgeon will shave them anyway if your hair is in the way, but doing it yourself helps them out and speeds the process up. The top part of your pubic area, near your bikini line, is the most important area to shave if you’re including a tummy tuck in your suite of makeover procedures.
Secure Adult Help
You’re going to need help for at least a few days following your surgery. Additionally, the clinic or hospital will require you to have an adult drive you home and stay with you for the first night after you’re discharged. These are precautionary actions that ensure you do not get behind the wheel after undergoing anesthesia and that someone can monitor your condition to make sure no complications arise in the first 24 hours after your procedures.
Refrain From Taking Certain Medications
There are some over-the-counter medications and natural supplements that increase blood flow, which also increase how much you bleed during surgery. These include those aspirin, ibuprofen, and NSAID products (Advil, Motrin, Aleve) that are often used to alleviate minor pain. Not only can these medications cause problems during your surgery, but they can also lead to complications during your recovery. Be sure to discuss all supplements and medications you’re taking with your doctor at your consultation to prevent potential issues.
Stop Smoking at Least Six Weeks Prior to Surgery
Not only is smoking bad for your health in general, but it can also be even worse during a surgical procedure. Smoking restricts the flow of blood in your body, which can also cause your heart and lungs to perform poorly in oxygenating your blood. This increases the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack while undergoing the procedures. Additionally, smoking inhibits wound healing, so your recovery time could be extended significantly if you’re a smoker.
Fill Your Prescriptions
You’ll be given prescriptions for your recovery from your mommy makeover surgeries, and to avoid having to fill them when you’re trying to recover, your doctor can give them to you before your appointment. This will allow you to fill them and put them in a convenient place that you can easily reach during recovery after you come home from your procedures. Also, fill any other prescriptions that are due to avoid having to go to the pharmacy later.
Establish Child Care
This is an especially important task if your children are still young when you undergo these procedures. As you heal from surgery, you will be restricted from lifting and carrying anything over a few pounds. Your kids will certainly be over that weight, so you must refrain from picking them up and carrying them while you’re recovering. Ensuring that you have someone to help watch your children during your recovery will allow you to focus on healing.
Establish a Recovery Area In Your Home
Whether this is in your bedroom, or on the couch in the living room, you should have a designated place where you can heal from your procedures. Make sure the spot is near food, water, pillows, blankets, entertainment, and medications so you don’t have to go very far to get what you need. Also, you’ll want this area to be easily accessible to your family members so you can call them to you rather than having to go to them.
Stock Your Kitchen
Making sure your kitchen is full of easy-to-prepare meals and snacks will come in handy when you don’t feel like cooking after you come home from your surgery. Go grocery shopping prior to your appointment so that you have access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks. You’ll also want to stock up on your kids’ favorites as well so they can get through your recovery period without needing you to provide them with more.
There are some things you’ll need to do on surgery day (or the day before) to make sure your procedures go as planned. Your provider may have more preparations for you to make, but these are the general instructions you’ll be given.
- Do not eat or drink within eight hours of your scheduled surgery time
- Get plenty of rest and sleep the day and night prior to surgery
- Shower and wash your hair on the day before surgery
- Clean your surgical sites thoroughly, especially around your belly button
- Do not wear makeup or lotions on the day of your surgery
- Do not wear contact lenses or jewelry on the day of your surgery
- Do not bring valuables such as jewelry to the clinic or hospital
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, with a button-down shirt that opens in the front.
Your recovery time will be determined by several factors, including the number of procedures you have done, which procedures you have done, your age, and your health. You’ll stay between one and three nights in a postoperative recovery room that will allow professionals to monitor your condition and watch for any complications, infections, or other medical emergencies. You should wait to return to work until at least five days following your surgery, but most women wait until the 10-day mark.
You will be able to begin walking for exercise about a week after your surgery and you can begin gradually increasing the weight you can lift (always follow the guidelines given to you by your provider). You should not, however, return to a regular workout routine until six weeks after your surgery. This is to give all your incisions time to fully heal. Stitches that do not dissolve will be removed from your incisions about eight days following your procedures.
Refrain from submerging your incision sites in water for at least three weeks after your surgery. This means you should not swim or take a bath during this time. Use showers to clean yourself, but allow water to run over your surgery sites rather than soaking them and scrubbing them. Keep all your follow-up appointments with your provider to ensure you are healing properly and that no complications have come up.
There are many benefits to having a mommy makeover, some of which have already been discussed. Of course, you don’t have to have any of these procedures, but studies have shown that mothers who do have them experience a psychological lift regarding their appearance. This mental health benefit is important, especially if you’ve experienced postpartum depression or a decrease in confidence and self-esteem. Your personal well-being should be prioritized since it makes you a better caregiver for your children.
Several Birds With One Stone
Having all procedures done at one time means you won’t that not only will you not have to go through multiple recovery periods, but you also won’t have to worry about scheduling multiple surgeries, securing help and child care multiple times, or undergoing anesthesia more than once. Plus, you won’t have to wait to heal between surgeries.
If you were to have each of these surgeries separately, you’ll definitely get great results, but by getting them done all at once, you’ll see a dramatic change as soon as you heal. This can make you feel like a brand new person, which is the point of a makeover in the first place. You can regain your identity outside of being a mother and you can do it quickly and dramatically.
Get a New Wardrobe
When you don’t like how your body looks, shopping for clothes is no fun. In fact, once you’ve had children, it can sometimes be difficult to find clothes that fit well over your changed body. Having mommy makeover procedures done, though, will not only give you an excuse to go shopping for new clothes but will make you feel fantastic when you’re actually able to find clothes that look fantastic on you.
Remove Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a natural part of childbirth, but they can leave women feeling embarrassed about their bodies. They often try various creams to lighten them or undergo laser treatment to make them less noticeable. These are both legitimate treatments, but if you’re going to have a mommy makeover anyway, you can remove your stretch marks entirely. The tummy tuck part of the makeover will tighten your skin and eliminate your stretch marks.
More Youthful Appearance
Your breasts are likely an important symbol of your femininity, but when they sag, it can make you feel older than you are. This can be extremely detrimental to your mental health if you’re done having children as well, since childbearing is typically associated with younger women. Having your breasts lifted and augmented can make you look and feel younger, which can be uplifting as you head into middle age.
Schedule Your Consultation Now
A mommy makeover can restore your confidence and self-esteem, and since you get everything done at once, you can get your pre-pregnancy body back before you know it. Contact the professionals at Soler Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL to book an appointment today. You’ll be glad you did!