How long should I have help with young children after a mommy makeover?

I'm having a tummy tuck & BA in Sept and will have a 7, 4, and 16 month old at the time. I've asked my ps office and they've said no heavy lifting for 3-6 weeks. I will discuss in more detail at my consult in July, but I'm currently arranging for help post surgery. I will have someone home with me to help for 3 weeks. Does this seem like enough time? Can I care for the kids on my own after that? The youngest will be 16 months but is on the smaller side, I'm guessing she'll be about 20lbs. Thx

Doctor Answers 13

No heavy lifting...

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Caring for small children is a difficult problem for a lot of moms undergoing a mommy makeover. It’s hard to avoid lifting and doing the things that need to be addressed on a day to day basis. The general rule is no heavy lifting (>15 to 20#) or vigorous exercise for ~ 4 – 6 weeks depending on healing. I am impressed that you have managed to arrange help for the first 3 weeks! Many patients don’t plan that well and end up being too active too soon and slow down their recovery in the process. You should be in pretty good shape at the end of 3 weeks. The only worry would be your youngest….at 20 lbs she’ll still be above the recommended lifting weight. My recommendation would be to start working with her now to practice for when that time comes. Decrease the number of times you lift/carry her in a day, any activity that she can do for herself you should encourage, and find ways to bring things down to her level instead of you picking her up to yours. As long as you are conscientious of your limitations and plan ahead you should be safe to be the primary care giver for your children 3 weeks post op!

Mommy makeover

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Thank you for your questions.  I recommend that my patients not do any heavy lifting for six weeks after their surgeries.  After that, you should be fine to take care of your kids, but seek the advice of your operating surgeon.

All the best,

Dr. Results
Miami, FL

Help with childcare following mommy makeover

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Thank you for your question.  I think you should be fine if you have help for three weeks following surgery.  You may want to have someone on standby for the fourth week in case you have any post op complications.

Best of luck,

Recovery time

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I would follow your Plastic Surgeon's recommendation.  4-6 weeks is about right before strenuous activity or heavy lifting.  All this is if there are no healing issues which could alter the timeline.  Good luck.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgoen

May Require Up to 6 Weeks

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You will want to avoid any heavy lifting for about 4 to 6 weeks and should have someone helping you with the kids while you recover. You may need to avoid lifting for another week or so after your helper has left, but you may be able to do other things (cooking, light cleaning). 


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Healing after a mommy makeover is usually retty straight forward. There is a process of swelling and bruising that peaks at 3 days after surgery and then undergoes the first stage of major resolution in the first 2 weeks after surgery. The later phase of healing takes place over the 2-3 months after surgery where everything really settles and softens. It is after this time that we are getting close to the final result, though this varies patient to patient.

Helping Mom after the Mommy Makeover!

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Hi Momto42015, In general we say you can be back to your regular activities at about four to six weeks.  The first ten days to two weeks are especially important so I would encourage you to have extra help with your chidren definitely for the first two weeks.  As long as you can continue to avoid having to lift the 16 month old for the first three to four weeks you should do fine.  Best to you.  -Dr. Coan.


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There is a healing process from any surgery. I encourage my tummy tuck patients to ambulate the same day of surgery. But you will be walking in the flexed position. You should be able to walk upright/straight in approximately 7 days. Most of my tummy tuck patients are comfortable to go back to a desk job in 10 days after surgery.  I would suggest you get some help with the kids for about 2 weeks.

Hope this is helpful.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

How long should I have help with young children after a mommy makeover?

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Thank you for the question.  Every patient will have a different experience after mommy makeover surgery;  it is therefore hard to generalize how long you should have help for. Having said that, I think that your plan is a good one; the majority of patients are doing well by three weeks post.

Since you considering undergoing a major operation which again involves a significant physical AND emotional recovery ( often underestimated by surgeons and patients alike), a few words  I provide to my patients may be helpful to you as well:
1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself) and that you have realistic expectations. Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life situation. You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.

5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

Mommy makeover post op

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Thank you for your question.  Typically, if the recovery has been uneventful, we prefer our patients to not do any heavy lifting for at least the first 3-6 weeks.  Talk to your surgeon to discuss their post operative instructions.

Best regards,
Dr. Lane F. Smith, MD
Plastic Surgeon
Las Vegas, NV

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.