Although fitness is an integral part of your lifestyle, exercise alone can’t “fix” everything—especially changes in your breasts and abdomen. If exercise and nutrition have failed to achieve the results you desire, you may choose to consult a plastic surgeon to discuss surgical options.
“A typical mommy makeover consists of a breast lift with augmentation plus a tummy tuck with liposuction,” says Sullivan, whose practice specializes in breast, body and facial enhancement surgery. “The goal of these surgical procedures, which can be safely performed at the same time, is to regain the ‘pre-baby’ appearance of your breasts and abdomen.”
During pregnancy, your breasts can become deflated or saggy, especially after breastfeeding. A breast lift raises and firms your breasts, reshaping them and giving them a more youthful, uplifted appearance. Repositioning the nipple might also be necessary. In addition to a breast lift, you may also need breast augmentation to restore volume lost after pregnancy. Implants fill out the breast tissue, creating a natural, pre-pregnancy look. As with any surgery, recovery depends on the individual. But initial recovery time is generally five days to two weeks. During this time, avoid exertion, such as heavy lifting, straining and exercise. Complete recovery, the time it takes before you can resume your normal day-to-day activities, is usually six weeks.
Sullivan says there are three common breast enhancement surgery options: augmentation only, a lift with augmentation or lift only. The type of surgery you undergo depends on your individual needs. Another option that some women choose is a breast reduction with lift.
If your abdominal region has stretch marks and unsightly, loose skin that hangs down, a tummy tuck can recontour your abdomen. This surgical procedure repairs abdominal muscle that has been stretched during pregnancy and tightens and flattens the abdominal wall, creating a smoother and firmer appearance. A tummy tuck is more invasive than breast enhancement surgery, and recovery time is generally six weeks. Avoid exertion, such as heavy lifting, straining and exercise.
If you have excess fat in your abdomen but no loose, hanging skin, liposuction can slim and reshape the area by removing fat deposits. Liposuction is less invasive than a tummy tuck and generally requires a recovery period of five days to two weeks. You may decide to have a tummy tuck and liposuction.
Before undergoing surgery, discuss the estimated recovery time with your plastic surgeon. You will have to miss work and limit your activities. Even a task as simple as lifting your child may be difficult. So make sure you know all the post-op restrictions, and follow your doctor’s guidelines to ensure a full and safe recovery.
“A mommy makeover is something you do for yourself—not to please anyone else,” says Sullivan. “So make sure your plastic surgeon listens to you, and don’t let anyone talk you into having surgery you don’t want. All surgery has risks, so be proactive. Do your homework, and explore your options. Go online to see if your plastic surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery—not another area of medicine. A mommy makeover is a major decision, so you need to be in good hands with a surgeon you trust.”
“Mommy makeovers are a great way for women to improve their body image and self-esteem,” adds Coats-Walton. “Women lead active, busy lives, and they want to look their best. It goes without saying that when you look good, you feel good. It’s refreshing to see beautiful, bold women taking care of themselves and enjoying life. And there’s definitely nothing selfish about that.”