American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Three contouring methods to declare your independence from a post-baby body

There is nothing more magical than a beautiful baby. This bundle of joy will change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine. Aside from the pleasures of parenting, new moms may also experience weight that is difficult to lose, sagging breasts, unsightly scarring, and lax vaginal muscles. If you spend a lot of time reading celebrity blogs or fashion magazines, the idea of bouncing back immediately after pregnancy may sound like a breeze. In reality, this is simply not the case. To accommodate a budding new life, a mother's body undergoes some serious changes that can take months, even years, to undo. Diet and exercise will certainly help, but a few of these changes can prove stubborn for even the most health-conscious individual.

Fortunately, your cosmetic surgeon has an arsenal of innovative body contouring procedures that can help you get back to your pre-baby body. Three of the most popular choices available today include CoolSculpting, the tummy tuck, and a mommy makeover. With these three custom-tailored procedures, you may find yourself looking more fit and refreshed than you have in years.

What happens to your body during pregnancy?

Breasts: During pregnancy, many women will see their breasts increase, by a cup size or two, as fat stores increase and milk-producing glands expand. This added volume may stick around while breastfeeding, but eventually the added tissues will decrease, sometimes taking with them any pre-baby shape and firmness. The breasts may begin to shrink, sag, and look deflated.

Abdomen: Your uterus and abdomen are made up of incredible muscles and tissues that stretch to accommodate a growing baby. While the elasticity in your tissues helps to bring the stomach back down to its normal size, it often does not return to its pre-baby condition. The stomach may have a pooch, lax and hanging skin, and unsightly stretch marks. Diastasis recti, a common condition where the right and left sides of the Rectus Abdominis muscle spread apart during pregnancy, may leave a vertical line down the abdomen.

Increased Fat: Your body will produce added stores of fat in preparation for motherhood. Whether needed or not, this added storage of fat can make the hips wider, stomach rounder, arms thicker, and the face/neck fuller. Many women will note that although they eat right and workout after their baby arrives, these unwanted fat deposits are difficult to fully erase.

Three innovative body contouring techniques to restore your pre-baby body

There is no need to struggle with your newly acquired mom-bod all alone. Depending on your situation, there are a variety of body sculpting techniques available that can be tailored to your individual needs. From milder correction and no downtime, to extreme results with a week of quiet time, your plastic surgeon has the right answer for you.

CoolSculpting: CoolSculpting is one of the fastest growing, nonsurgical techniques available today. Without any incisions, sutures, or scarring, one CoolSculpting session can eliminate 20-25% of targeted fatty tissue. CoolSculpting uses the science of Cryoplipolysis, or extreme cold temperatures, to 'freeze' fat cells. As these targeted fat cells die off, they are safely metabolized by the body. CoolSculpting can be useful on almost any area of the body, including the stomach, love handles, upper arms, back, thighs, and under the chin. Treatments take 35 minutes, and with no downtime, you are back on mommy duty in less than an hour.

Tummy Tuck: The tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is one of the most trusted plastic surgery procedures performed today. The surgeon will first make a thin incision, running from hip to hip, immediately above the pubic bone. This ensures any scarring is easily concealed under swimwear and clothing. From here, the physician will excise stretched, skin, and unwanted fatty tissue. They will pull the remaining musculature taut before suturing the skin smooth and flat. A tummy tuck can be modified depending on your needs, creating a youthful stomach and graceful hips. The procedure is an excellent opportunity to address Diastasis recti or an unsightly C-section scar. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and will require a few days of at home recovery.

Mommy Makeover: A mommy makeover is the most customizable set of body contouring procedures a new mom could ask for. Made up of several techniques, a mommy makeover will take care of multiple problem areas at one time. Most mommy makeovers include a breast augmentation and/or breast lift, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. However, additional techniques can be added, to include an arm lift, thigh lift, or a Brazilian Butt Lift. Depending on the specific set of procedures, a mommy makeover may be performed during a single surgical session, or be split up among several sessions for optimal safety. A mommy makeover may require an overnight hospital stay; women should schedule assistance around the house or with the kids for the first several days, as recovery can take one to two weeks.

You deserve to get your pre-baby body back

If you do your homework, you can be on the road towards a pre-baby body in no time. Start by reviewing all of the body contouring techniques from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), and take time to look through their many before/after photographs to see the results for yourself. Remember, there is no substitute for a board-certified plastic surgeon, to ensure both safety and satisfying results. Use the ASPS Find a Plastic Surgeon tool to locate a trusted plastic surgeon in your area.

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.


Surgeons In Your Area

Munique Maia Headshot

Munique Maia, MD

8100 Boone Boulevard, Suite 730
Tysons Corner, VA 22182

(703) 574-4500

Timothy Mountcastle Headshot

Timothy S. Mountcastle, MD

44095 Pipeline Plaza Suite 430
Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 858-3208

Amir Ghaznavi Headshot

Amir M. Ghaznavi, MD

13454 Sunrise Valley Dr STE 130
Herndon, VA 20171

(703) 239-3190

Larry Lickstein Headshot

Larry H. Lickstein, MD

21021 Sycolin Road, Suite 001
Ashburn, VA 20147

(571) 4405005

Alex Mesbahi Headshot

Alex N. Mesbahi, MD

7601 Lewinsville Road Suite 400
McLean, VA 22102

(703) 287-8277

Shlomo Widder Headshot

Shlomo Widder, MD

8230 Leesburg Pike Suite 630
Vienna, VA 22182-2641

(703) 506-0300

Michael Brown Headshot

Michael J. Brown, MD

45155 Research Place Suite 125
Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 726-1175

George Bitar Headshot

George J. Bitar, MD

3023 Hamaker Court Suite 109
Fairfax, VA 22031

(703) 206-0506


Patient Care Center