Am I Mommy Makeover Ready?
Having kids is a great adventure—often joyful, sometimes challenging, and totally worth it. But the effects of this adventure on your breasts and body—sagging, deflated breasts, stretched skin, and a still-bulging belly—are not necessarily things you want to keep as mementos.
A mommy makeover can undo these changes, and many new moms can’t wait to get back their flat tummies and perky breasts. Having had two kids myself, I understand the desire to look and feel like yourself again, and I love helping patients get there.
Am I a good candidate for a mommy makeover?
When you can check everything off the following list, you’ll be ready to start your makeover.
· My body is fully recovered from pregnancy and childbirth. Giving birth is physically and emotionally taxing. So is surgery, even in the most experienced hands. You need to let your body heal and hormonal levels to stabilize before having cosmetic surgery.
· I’m finished breastfeeding. Your breasts are on a hormonal roller coaster from the moment you conceive until several months after you’ve stopped breast feeding. Your breasts need to have stopped changing so your surgeon can choose the right approach to restoring beautiful breast contours. Everyone’s different, but breasts typically reach a stable, non-nursing shape and size about 3 to 6 months after you stop breastfeeding.
· I’m at or near my ideal body weight. A mommy makeover can tighten sagging tissues, restore breast fullness, and remove excess skin or fat pockets. It’s not a weight-loss procedure. Your surgery and recovery will be easier, and you’ll get better results if you’re at a healthy, stable weight.
· My kids are old enough to have another primary caregiver for awhile. Plan on having 1 to 2 weeks where you cannot lift, carry or bathe your child. Make sure your youngest ones are old enough to feel comfortable with having someone else taking care of their needs while you recover from surgery.
· I can take several weeks off of work. If being a mom isn’t your only job, you need to be able to take anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks off.
· My family is ready to help. While your choice to have a mommy makeover is entirely your own, it’s not something you should do alone. You will need support from family and friends during your recovery, including at least one trusted adult to help you and the little ones for a couple of weeks.
· I am done having kids. Not a 100% must, but you will have longer-lasting results if you are finished having children before having a full-on mommy makeover. Future pregnancy is safe for you and baby, but it might “undo” the results of lifting procedures such as tummy tuck or a breast lift. If you plan to have more kids but want to feel more confident in your appearance, ask your doctor about procedures that will fit with your family plan. For instance, women often have breast augmentation before or between having kids, and procedures such as skin resurfacing can boost your appearance regardless of where you are in life.
OK, I’m ready for a mommy makeover. What’s the next step?
First, research procedures that interest you. A mommy makeover is personalized to your goals; yours could include a breast lift, augmentation, or reduction, a tummy tuck, and/or facial rejuvenation. Then, consult with board certified plastic surgeons in your area who have experience in mommy makeovers to learn more about surgery. Meanwhile, gather details about costs, financing and other aspects of surgery.
Dr. Christa Clark, MD, FACS