Most can agree that pregnancy is a huge (and exciting!) change to a woman’s life. There’s the thrill of expecting a new addition to the family, the fun of sharing the news, and the famous “glow.” However, it can also be a physically taxing experience, with the exhaustion that comes with growing and carrying a human being inside your body. And while you’d be hard-pressed to find a loving mom to say that the changes to her body weren’t worth it, that doesn’t mean she has to love all the shifts.
According to Spring, Texas-based, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Young Cho, pregnancy stretches multiple layers of tissue — including skin, fat, and muscle — most commonly affecting the breasts and abdomen the most. “Unfortunately, after delivery, the tissues don't always return back to their normal state,” he admits. “Often, the muscle stays stretched, and there may be a separation between the rectus [abdominal] muscles, resulting in what is called a diastasis.”
Furthermore, your breasts will change a lot, especially if you breastfeed. With your pregnancy, they can grow larger in cup size as they begin to produce milk. After starting to wean your baby off milk, however, you could experience a deflation — and descent — of your breasts. The result is possible sagging of your chest and your stomach. Cue the latest aesthetics trend known as “mommy makeovers,” tailor-made to address all these changes.
The mommy makeover is a nickname for a cluster of procedures that has grown in popularity among post-partum women in recent years. (This is mostly due to social media and people using their platforms to showcase how the mommy makeover has changed their lives.) Dr. Cho notes that this procedure typically consists of surgeries on both the breasts and the abs, as these are the areas that evolve most during pregnancy. Breast procedures can include breast lifts and/or augmentation [while] abdominal procedures can include a tummy tuck and/or liposuction,” he explains. (Additionally, vaginal rejuvenation has become an increasingly sought-after addition to the mommy makeover.)
Of course, keep in mind that a mommy makeover is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. Every body reacts differently to pregnancy and every mother will have different goals. If you’re considering booking these surgeries, it’s essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon regarding your personal needs to ensure you achieve the best results for you.
It’s important to note that this is a procedure that is ideally performed once your body goes back to “baseline,” as Dr. Cho puts it, which he says can be six months or more after pregnancy. It’s also ideal that you get a mommy makeover after you’re done adding to your family. “There's always uncertainty, whether a couple is planning or will have additional children,” Dr. Cho notes. “I typically recommend that if you are actively trying to have or plan to have [additional] children, that you wait.”
After all, like any cosmetic procedure, a mommy makeover is an investment. The treatment cost varies greatly (depending on how many aspects of the mommy makeover you choose to take part in), but there will be anesthesia fees, facility fees, breast implant costs, and more, which can result in the thousands. Considering this, it makes sense that you’d want to protect your investment by planning its timing carefully.
If you prefer, you could opt to do each surgery individually, but many who undergo a mommy makeover tend to do all procedures at once, as there is just one session under anesthesia — and one recovery period. Recovery time varies person to person, and by which and how many procedures you have done, but it can take weeks. If your kid (or kids!) are still quite young, you’ll need a lot of support regarding child care because there are activity restrictions involved: no strenuous tasks or heavy lifting for a certain amount of time, depending on your physicians recommendations. Dr. Cho says it’s of utmost importance to minimize tension on the incisions.
And, as you might expect with surgery, this downtime could involve some discomfort. Depending on what and how much you are having done, be sure to discuss pain management with your doctor for during and after the procedure(s), as well as if you’re sensitive or allergic to any medications.
Ultimately, deciding to undergo a mommy makeover is a highly personal choice and one that should not be considered lightly, but it’s worth mentioning that “many of the outward physical signs of pregnancy can be corrected with surgery,” according to Dr. Cho. And for someone who feels that pregnancy took a major toll on her body, that can be extremely valuable. He adds, “It is becoming more socially acceptable for moms to take time to address their own desire to restore their bodies after undergoing pregnancy.” After all, your body is amazing and created life — you deserve to love the way it looks.