How Long Before I Can Lift my Toddler After Breast Augmentation?

I am planning a breast augmentation in about a month and am worried about lifting my two small children. I have a one year old and a 3 year old, weighing from 25 lbs to 35 lbs. When is safe to lift them...and if I have to, is there a way to lift them and minimize any possible damage?

Doctor Answers 12

Lifting following Breast Augmentation

It’s not unusual for breast augmentation patients to have small children at home. For this reason they are always concerned about how soon they will be able to resume lifting following this procedure.

There’s currently no scientific data that indicates the optimal time for resumption of strenuous activity. Under these circumstances recommendations vary from surgeon to surgeon.

Although each patient’s situation is unique we generally ask patients to avoid lifting objects that weigh more than fifteen pounds for two to four weeks following surgery. This is probably a conservative recommendation but helps minimize the potential for bleeding, capsular contracture, implant malposition, and wound healing problems. It’s therefore not unusual for patients to require assistance with child care in the early postoperative period.

If you have small children at home and are considering breast augmentation it’s appropriate to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to answer your questions and alleviate your concerns.

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Wait 6 weeks to be safe

You'll most likely not be able to do this until about 6 weeks after your surgery. This is to prevent compromising your recovery.

Be careful!

Typically I prefer that the patients do nothing for one week after surgery.  At that point they can go back to work.  In this case that would involve taking care of the children.  It is not wise to lift chilredn that weigh 35 lbs for at least 1 month from surgery.

Lifting a child after your breast augmentation

I tell my patients that for the first few days, they will need to depend on someone else to lift their baby or toddler. Beginning on Day 3 (if you had surgery on Monday, Day 3 is Thursday), they can lift their baby – when necessary – into and out of a crib, high chair or car seat. This restriction is to ensure their comfort and minimize the risk of bleeding around the implants. They should not carry their child for longer periods of time until a couple of weeks after surgery.

If I could, I would make patients wait longer, but I understand that most women can’t depend on someone else to help them for an entire week. 

Ted Eisenberg, DO
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Lifting children following breast augmentation

My advice would be to avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for 2-3 weeks following surgery. For mothers of young children, it's best to have assistance with childcare for at least 10 days following your breast augmentation.

Christopher J. Morea, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Lifting restrictions (baby or toddler) after breast implant augmentation

All surgeons may have different recommendations depending on the over or over muscle placement. Your best bet is to ask your surgeon but I generally advise a minimum of 2 weeks with good body mechanics when lifting.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Lifting children

There are no scientific studies saying when to start. Howwver, I tell my patients taht I prefer that they avoid running, jogging, etc for about 3 weeks, and heavy phsycial labor like weight lifting for 6 weeks. Mothers with small children, I tell them it is best not to lift them from a crib for at least that time but if the child rolls onto them or climbs into their arms it is probably ok at 3 weeks.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Lifting after breast augmentation

Here's how to understand the answer to this question. It's a bit like you had a different type of implant like a hip implant and you want to know when you can stress it. 

The answer is the procedure has to be done properly and then it has to heal properly before you should risk stressing it. Bleeding after surgery is only one potential problem caused by straining or stressing the area before it's healed. 

In general it takes about 10 days to heal around a breast implant but there's no way to see it or be sure so two weeks is commonly used as the point at which you can safely resume all physical activity and not worry about causing problems. Prior to two weeks, particularly during the second week, it's possible to use the arms for routine things without stressing the chest area, but lifting toddlers, sports, or other serious lifting or lying on the chest is just not worth the risk until reaching two weeks of uneventful healing. 

Interestingly there are procedures like traditional liposuction where there is nothing cut or that has to heal in position and therefore restrictions on activity and positioning are not needed. Compression alone is adequate. 

Postoperative restrictions and protocols should be based on good surgical and healing sense, not habit or "getting away with it". 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

How long should i wait after breast agumentation before lifting?

Great and important question!

It is CRITICAL you avoid any lifting or rapid arm movements (such as vacuum cleaning,etc.) at least for 2 weeks after surgery. This is to avoid the risk of bleeding (which will usually result in a sub-optimal result) and muscle spasm.

I am on the conservative side and recommend 4 weeks, but I think all surgeons agree on the 2 week minimum.  I am sure your toddler is very cute but do not be tempted!

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Lifting after breast augmentation

After any surgery, it is important to minimize your risk of a bleeding complication. Avoiding lifting for at least 2 weeks after breast augmentation is usually recommended for a smooth recovery. If the implants are placed under the muscle, heavy lifting (for example, your 25lb and 35lb toddlers) should be deferred for 3 weeks or more. Vigorous physical activity should be gradually resumed after this initial period of time.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.