What is a mommy makeover?

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Having a career, raising children, being a wife and mom -- women do it all. However, these achievements can take a toll on your body, especially pregnancy. As a result, "Mommy Makeovers" have become more popular. Women already account for 87 percent of plastic surgery patients based on statistics reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Increasingly they are saying, "I just want my pre-baby body back". Below I will discuss the most common areas that our patients are concerned about.

Remember those long restless nights with your newborn? Well, they can accelerate the aging of your eyes. Other people may say, "You look tired," even though you just had one of those rare uninterrupted nights of sleep. Something as simple as Botox for your frown lines or crow's feet can make you look well rested and refreshed. It only takes a few minutes and lasts for 4-5months on average. Eyelift surgery can permanently remove the sagging skin of your upper eyelids or the bags under your lower eyelids and give you a more youthful look.

Can't forget the effects of breast feeding. Some women like the size and fullness of their breasts while breast feeding. Afterwards, however, they complain of sagging and loss of fullness. A breast augmentation with saline or silicone gel filled breast implants, a breast lift, or a combination of the two can help you regain the shape, fullness and size of your breasts. On the other hand, some women require a breast reduction after breast feeding due to the heaviness of their breasts, which can cause back and neck pain.

And of course, the tummy where it all started. A very common complaint of mothers is related to the post-baby "pooch". Weight gained during pregnancy can be resolved through diet and exercise, but the stretched abdominal muscle and skin is most commonly corrected by an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. The surgery removes the excess skin and fatty tissue while tightening the rectus abdominus muscle (your six-pack muscle). This will give your abdomen a flatter appearance and make many women feel more comfortable and confident in their clothing & bathing suits.

Sometimes after having children fat redistributes to unwanted areas such as the flanks, hips and thighs. These localized areas of fatty collection are often resistant to diet and exercise and persist even after your weight has returned to pre-baby levels. Liposuction is the ideal tool for contouring the areas of unwanted fat. It has minimal scarring and minimal recovery with most patients returning to work and driving the kids around within 48 hours.

Having a family is wonderful and the trade-offs are absolutely worth it (easy for me to say as I did not bear the children). As we are all living longer and with better quality of life, women are frequently saying "I would just like this area to look like it did before children". Most of our patients are moms and we hear these concerns on a daily basis.