The Rise of the Mommy Makeover: The Psychology of Getting That Pre-Baby Body Back

Chako S. on 10 May 2015 at 4:00pm

Mommy makeover infographic showing the psychology behind why women choose to go under the knife
There's been a lot of talk about pop culture's influence on how women should look after giving birth — an expectation that many believe is unattainable and unrealistic. With the daily (even hourly) onslaught of Instagram photos from the Kim Kardashians and Gisele Bündchens of the world, it's hard not to feel pressure to drop weight and tighten up just weeks after welcoming your bundle of joy. Dr. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, describes this as "the trickledown effect": “[The] most beautiful women [are] getting surgery to look even more beautiful, then having their photographs computer-enhanced, and the rest of us saying, ‘Why don’t I look that good?’”

Dr. Zuckerman continues, “Yes, we all know that pregnancy does change our bodies, but let’s not see this as a disaster that needs to be surgically fixed.” This begs the question: Did the rise of the mommy makeover come about because of media and resulting societal pressures, or is it just that some women simply want their pre-baby bodies and self-confidence back?

To find out the psychology behind women who choose cosmetic surgery after the baby, we surveyed mothers of all age ranges on RealSelf: 99.5% of them had work done after they had a child (or children) and 85% of them have had more than two kids.

See the RealSelf Mommy Makeover infographic here. 

Working out doesn't get rid of my stretched-out, saggy stomach from pregnancies or a magical workout to put my boobs back where they belong

Sociologist Dr. Victoria Pitts-Taylor, author of Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture, sees the other side of the surgery coin, “I don’t think we should judge women for wanting to look like they did before they got pregnant [...] Social approval is empowering in our society.” Can we get an amen?

See the RealSelf Mommy Makeover survey results here.

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