A Mom’s Transformation: Reclaiming Her Pre-Pregnancy Body with a Mommy Makeover
Article by Christa Clark, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
Being a mom and creating life is by far one of the most rewarding gifts a woman can experience. However the lasting effects pregnancy has on a woman’s body can be hard for some to overcome. This was the exact situation one mom named Linda, found herself in. The toll multiple pregnancies had taken on her body was clear. Her breasts were deflated and lopsided from years of breastfeeding. Her stomach had been severely stretched and the resulting look Linda says: “Made me go for the XL shirt on instinct alone!”
It all started back in 2004 when Linda was just a few months into the twin pregnancy. “I realized then the stretch marks I was getting would never go away. After I delivered the twins I had what is known as ‘twin skin’. When the twins were just one year old, I discovered I was pregnant with my third. He was born at almost 9 pounds and when he was 2 ½ years old I discovered I was pregnant again, this one was born at 10 pounds. So by then end of all three pregnancies my stomach was unrecognizable. People thought I was still pregnant., it was embarrassing.”
She sought the advice of Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Christa Clark. According to Dr. Clark: “Linda’s stomach had been so stretched out from the multiple pregnancies and her breasts had become extremely asymmetric and deflated from years of nursing. I immediately knew she would be an excellent candidate for a Mommy Makeover. Linda needed a tummy tuck to be rid of excess skin and a breast lift with an augmentation in order to create youthful, natural looking breasts.”
The procedure Dr. Clark is referring to, the Mommy Makeover, is a combination of cosmetic procedures including an abdominoplasty with breast reduction and/or breast augmentation and sometimes combined with liposuction. Dr. Clark performs an average of eight Mommy Makeovers every month at her practice and overall the popularity of this procedure has increased in recent years. In fact according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery since 1997 the popularity of abdominoplasty has increased over 300% while breast augmentation is the number one surgical cosmetic procedure nationwide. Americans spent nearly $10.7 Billion on cosmetic procedures in 2010, a 9% increase over 2009.
How does a woman decide now is the time to invest in herself? For Linda the moment came one afternoon while watching a TV program centered on a Mom raising multiples. “I was watching Jon & Kate Plus 8 when something she said resonated; she said she needed something for her. And I thought: me too! I have always put my family first. I was ready to do something for myself. I was tired of wearing sweats, putting my hair up in a pony tail and not caring about my appearance. I didn’t want to feel like a frumpy mom anymore; it was time to make a change.”
Dr. Clark says she sees women everyday in the same situation and she understands. “As a mom to a three year old daughter, I can absolutely relate to the struggles that we as women feel: the daily challenge of balancing all that we have to do, while trying to make time for ourselves to look and feel great. When I met Linda, I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of her transformation. She was appropriately prepared, had realistic expectations, and was excited to get started. Linda even went a step further after surgery, and took her results to a whole new level.”
Not only did Dr. Clark help Linda feel better about herself, she transformed her. Dr. Clark performed an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and a mastopexy (breast lift) with an augmentation. Dr. Clark removed 7 pounds from Linda’s stomach alone.
Research from the American Society of Plastic Surgery shows the national average for a surgery of this level takes from 5 to 7 hours depending on each individual’s situation. The downtime and recovery process can be anywhere from one to three weeks. The typical cost of a Mommy Makeover varies according with each state but usually runs between $10,000 to $15,000.
According to Kim Gregson, Community Manager for RealSelf.com, there is a lot of guilt that accompanies deciding if the Mommy Makeover is for you or not. She says each week she communicates with over 300 women on the site and the top three concerns for woman considering the procedure are: safety, the time it will take to recover is time spent away from the kids, and the cost of the surgery will be money taken from the kids and family. All three of these concerns score very high on the ‘mommy guilt scale.’ However the Mommy Makeover has the second-highest ‘Worth It Rating’ on RealSelf.com, an overwhelming 98% of women are happy with their decision to have the procedure.
Linda says now life has changed so much for her. No longer does she dread shopping; no longer does she instinctively grab the XL size. “I can’t really describe it…now I feel sassy. I am excited to go shopping, I can buy fun clothes. I feel very blessed to be where I am. I have more energy, I can keep up with my kids, I smile more, I can go out and be social. I feel healthier.”
To see and read more click below to be linked to Dr. Clark's website.