Mommy makeover includes surgical procedures that are tailored to reverse some of the changes to a woman’s body that can occur during pregnancy. This highly customized group of procedures targets loose skin; weakened or separated abdominal muscles; areas of fat that resist traditional weight-loss measures; and loss of skin flexibility, shape and projection in the breasts.
A makeover is not focused on creating a wholly new profile, but rather restoring the contours, tone and integrity of the pre-pregnancy years. Tummy tuck is central to this suite of surgeries, which may also include liposuction and breast lift, and often breast augmentation as well. A successful mommy makeover requires not just extraordinary surgical precision, but also clear communication between doctor and patient, to ensure women achieve the result they imagine.
How does a pregnancy change a woman’s body?
The physical stresses of pregnancy are unique tests of a woman’s anatomy, as nearly every part of the body mobilizes to create and sustain a temporary home for the unborn child. Substantial weight gain, commonly 30 pounds or more, provides a natural cushion, and breasts enlarge in preparation for the many days of nursing to come.
Because the most dramatic changes occur in the abdomen, the skin and muscles in this area undergo exceptional amounts of stress. It is not unusual for stomach muscles to separate completely, creating a bulge that can only be reversed by repairing the breach and rebuilding the muscles.
As the abdomen expands, the flexibility of a woman’s skin is also tested. Many women develop stretch marks in the abdomen and a so-called “pancake” or pendulous breast appearance. How well your body adapts to these stresses depends a great deal on the degree of skin flexibility you inherited, although lifestyle choices also play a role.
How soon can mommy makeover be performed?
Timing is extremely important. The first variable to consider is whether you anticipate a future pregnancy. An additional pregnancy will likely reverse much of the improvement that was gained with tummy tuck and other mommy makeover procedures. Abdominal muscles may once again weaken or separate.
Once you have made the decision that your family is complete, Dr. Funt recommends that you wait at least six months after childbirth to see how much healing your body will achieve on its own. At the end of this period you will have a good sense of how much of your pre-pregnancy shape and tone will return naturally.