Having a child changes your life forever. But when a woman first becomes pregnant she may not be prepared for the changes (some of them unfortunately permanent) that will occur with her body. The hormonal roller coaster, the gain and loss of weight, the stress on the skin and muscles of the abdomen, and the volume loss of breastfeeding combine to create areas of sagging, stretched skin that are almost impossible to tighten back up through diet and exercise.
In recent years the term “Mommy Makeover” has become part of the plastic surgery terminology. For many woman following childbirth there are changes to their breasts and bellies. Generally, these changes are not appreciably correctable with diet and exercise. The term “mommy makeover” has been coined to include a combination of procedures targeted to correct these areas.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is a title for the combination of procedures that target areas affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Dr. Kressel’s mommy makeovers usually include a tummy tuck, breast lift with or without augmentation, and liposuction. All the procedures are combined into a single surgery session.
For the breasts, a breast lift (mastopexy) will help restore a more youthful shape. The lift can be combined with a breast implant to increase any breast volume lost following pregnancy. The abdomen can be improved with a “tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty. Abdominal excess skin can be removed combined with a tightening of the abdominal wall. The result will be a flatter tighter abdomen. These procedures can be performed either separately or together.
Would I be a good candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
Pregnancy and childbirth are tough on a woman’s body. Because of the localized weight gain of pregnancy, the skin and muscle on the abdomen can be stretched to such a degree that they cannot rebound to their former degree of tautness. Gaining two or three cup sizes, along with the stress and volume loss of breastfeeding, can have a similar effect on your breast skin and the underlying support muscles. Plus, even if you’ve lost all or most of your pregnancy weight, you may have pockets of fat in the abdomen that are almost impossible to do anything about.
If you have stretched abdominal skin and muscle, if your breasts have sagged and appear to have lost volume, and if you have pockets of abdominal fat, a mommy makeover could be a great option to regain your pre-baby body. It’s important to note, however, that a mommy makeover is not a weight-loss procedure, so you’ll need to be within approximately 10 percent of your ideal weight.
Can I have a mommy makeover even without having children?
The term mommy makeover is just that, a term. While the procedures that make up a mommy makeover target areas that pregnancy and childbirth tend to affect, they are not pregnancy specific. For instance, much of the same stretching of skin and muscle can occur with the gain and loss of a good deal of weight. If this is the case, however, Dr. Kressel may opt to consider this more of a body contouring procedure where options such as an arm lift could also be included.
Why should I combine the procedures in a mommy makeover?
In can seem overwhelming to consider having three procedures all at once. But therein lies the advantage of a mommy makeover — you’ll have but one recovery period instead of three if you opted to have each procedure done separately.
What are the procedures involved in a mommy makeover?
A mommy makeover with Dr. Kressel usually involves these procedures:
- Tummy tuck — A tummy tuck targets loose skin on the abdomen. An incision is made along the bikini line, usually from hipbone to hipbone. The underlying muscles, which have been separated by the distortion of pregnancy, are pulled together and sutured for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin is then pulled down and excess is trimmed away. Depending on the degree of skin removed, your belly button may be repositioned.
- Breast lift — To address sagging skin and loss of breast volume, a lift brings the breasts up to a higher position on the chest. The incisions needed depend on the amount of sagging. Dr. Kressel may be able to accomplish the lift with an incision around the areola of each breast. But if more skin must be trimmed, the incision could need to extend down to the breast crease, and sometimes outward along that crease. If you seek to regain more volume, you may opt to have augmentation along with your lift.
- Liposuction — Stubborn pockets of fat in your abdomen and possibly your outer thighs are the targets of the liposuction portion of your mommy makeover. This minimally invasive procedure uses a cannula inserted through a small incision to suction out pockets of unwanted fat and slim your contour. Dr. Kressel uses tumescent liposuction, where a liquid solution of saline combined with adrenaline and anesthetic is injected into the treatment areas to minimize bruising, blood loss, and to help loosen the fat.
I’m not sure if I’m done having children. Should I still have a mommy makeover?
If you’re planning on having additional children, or even if you’re unsure, you need to wait to have a mommy makeover. Obviously, going through the process of pregnancy and childbirth again will basically wipe out the results of your mommy makeover. You need to be finished having children to have the procedures.
How long after my final child should I wait before having a mommy makeover?
While you may be ready to get your pre-baby body back, you need to be patient. Dr. Kressel advises his patients to wait for three months after finishing breastfeeding; this allows the breasts to return to their normal cup size. Also, you need to be within 10 or 15 pounds of your ideal weight, and you may need time after delivery to get there. When you have your mommy makeover, a regular exercise routine should be in place, as this will make for an easier recovery and will maximize your results over the long haul.
Mommy Makeover recovery
The first week of recovery in a typical mommy makeover is not easy. The tummy tuck involves the most recovery, as muscles have been repositioned and you have a lengthy incision to deal with. Full recovery from a tummy tuck can take up to six months. Still, by combining the procedures into one recovery period, it will be far easier than you’d expect. You’ll wear compression garments to minimize swelling and to help your body adapt to its new slimmer contours. Most mommy makeover patients can return to some activity in just a week or two, but heavy lifting is off limits for six weeks if you’ve had a tummy tuck.
How long will my results last?
Your results are permanent. If you follow an exercise regimen, you can keep looking great for decades. Of course, the normal process of aging will continue, but your results are forever.
Schedule a consultation
Ready to get started? You don’t have to settle for a droopier, saggier you — a mommy makeover with Dr. Kressel can give you back your pre-baby body. Call (212) 772-6968 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kressel at his practice in New York City.