American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Everything you need to know about mommy makeovers


everything you need to know about mommy makeovers

Having a baby is not only a life-changing experience, it's also a body-changing experience. For many women, the bodily changes they experience after childbirth can be challenging to accept. A woman's stomach may have stretch marks, or her abdomen may refuse to flatten down as it did before pregnancy.

Fat may become stubborn in some areas, and exercise may not make the difference it once did. Breasts may have lost volume and sag. Other body changes from hormones and weight gain may plague self-confidence.

Fortunately, the mommy makeover is designed to address these concerns and help bring a woman's body back to its pre-pregnancy form. Although "mommy makeover" is a lighthearted term, these surgeries aren't cookie-cutter. The number of choices available to you may surprise you.

The Procedures

The mommy makeover consists of several procedures done at the same time. The surgery generally lasts between 3-5 hours. The times vary due to differences in what each woman wants to have done.

The most common procedures included in a mommy makeover are a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and breast surgery. The tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat and can also tighten the underlying muscles that may have been damaged by carrying a child.

The options for breast surgeries vary. Some women will have a breast lift, others will opt for a breast augmentation, and some will opt for both. This is a personal decision that the woman and her doctor discuss to ensure the patient gets the outcome they desire.

Options for procedures don't stop there. Depending on each woman's wants and needs, the mommy makeover can be designed to include any of the following:

It is essential to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to decide which procedures are best for you.

Your doctor

At your consultation appointment, your doctor will go over your medical history and listen to your concerns. He or she will examine your body, including your breasts and abdomen. They will also examine other areas you may be considering for surgery, such as your arms, legs and genitalia.

Ask your doctor any questions you may have about the surgery and the recovery. It's also a good idea to ask to see before and after pictures of their work. Verify that they are board-certified and learn about their level of experience. You should be comfortable with your doctor and secure in your expectations before committing to a mommy makeover.

Costs

Costs for a mommy makeover can vary. One factor that determines the price is the type and number of surgical procedures. A doctor's experience will also help dictate how much he or she will charge. The geographical location in which the surgery will take place also plays a part in pricing.

Pricing in the United States is typically between $15,000 - $20,000. If many procedures are involved, the cost can be higher. Some doctors offer financing options to their patients, helping them make these improvements by assisting them in finding a payment plan that works for them. Some women also use loans or outside financing to make their mommy makeover dreams happen.

Recovery

A mommy makeover is an extensive procedure. Although it can sometimes be performed on an outpatient basis, you will require downtime to recover. Two weeks off from work is the standard. Remember, a mother's work is work too. Arranging for childcare during this time is a must.

Significantly limiting your activity is best for the first few days after surgery. However, it is very important to get up and walk after your surgery to maintain adequate circulation. After two weeks, you should be able to resume some activities, but it will be at least 4-6 weeks before you should plan to hit the gym or do any type of strenuous lifting or exercise.

Your results will begin to be apparent shortly after your surgery. Your swelling will take time to subside completely. You can expect to have your results improve for up to a year after surgery.

Surgery timing

Although some women want to bounce right back to their pre-pregnancy form, a mommy makeover should not be undertaken immediately after childbearing. A woman's body needs to heal entirely before a mommy makeover.

Time must be allowed for the woman's skin to heal, for her uterus to contract and for her breasts to shrink. She should also attain a weight close to her pre-pregnancy weight. Ideally, the woman should have a body mass index under 30 and be at a weight she can maintain throughout her life.

A woman who plans to continue having children should not undergo a mommy makeover. Even if you're uncertain, you should wait. In particular, a tummy tuck is considered to be a one-shot type surgery. It is not meant to be repeated. New pregnancies may undo other procedures.

A woman planning to undergo a mommy makeover should be in good health at the time of her surgery. Consult your surgeon regarding conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

In most cases, they should be able to accommodate you. But if you're a smoker, now is the time to quit. Plan to quit at least a month before your surgery, and try to stop completely after that, for at least six weeks. You'll be healthier for you and your children, and you'll help yourself stay younger-looking, too.

Change for you

Your baby is a beautiful gift after months of pregnancy. When you're done having children, it might be time to consider a different kind of gift to yourself. A mommy makeover does more than change your body but can improve your self-confidence.

By removing excess skin and fat and possibly augmenting areas that have shifted, you can uncover a new and more vital you for yourself, your family and your future.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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