When can I hug my children?

I have my breast augmentation scheduled at the end of this week and I'm getting a lot of anxiety about having to turn away my children who are very affectionate. How long after the procedure will it be safe enough to get close to my children without hurting myself or potentially popping a stitch?

Doctor Answers 15

No danger in hugs!

Hi leelah28, Please speak with your surgeon, I think you need to get a little more clarification on your post operative do's and don'ts. There is absolutely no reason you can't hug your little ones after surgery. The activities you must refrain from that can be damaging are lifting (think: full body weight of a child up our of car seat) and repetitive motion (like vacuuming and mopping). You also need to be careful with them getting excited and jumping on you. I think it's okay to let them know mom's a little sore and just needs some time to get better. This in no way means you can't be affectionate, just that your ability to handle them physically will be modified. Best of luck to you!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews


Your question is proactive, diligent, and caring in nature. Please know that you may hug your children as early as in the recovery room from breast augmentation surgery! Follow your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon's specific instructions. In my practice, I discourage lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for 2 weeks. This means you may not lift your child, get them out of the crib/highchair/carseat, etc., but if you are sitting down and somebody places your child in your lap, hugs are strongly encouraged! Best of luck to you!

Mark E. Mason, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Caring for children after BBA

Thank you for being proactive with your question!

You are not alone as many women have similar concerns. Please do ask your surgeon on what they recommend with regards to caring for your children.

Recovery should not be rushed nor underestimated and taking good care of yourself to ensure your body has sufficient time to heal and look its best is essential. As a patient, you must diligently follow your surgeon’s instructions and their instructions should take precedence over everything you read here.

Since you have small children, it would be great to have your spouse, friends or neighbors to help you out for the first few days (1 week). Indeed, you'll find it difficult to lift them up and carry them, not to mention feel very tired to look after small children. For some women, it may be impossible to lift and carry children early-on. I would recommend that you prepare to have some help for the first few days (2-4 days).  

With regards to holding them, you should be able to bend over, grab your child, hold them close to your chest, and then stand back up. So yes, you can hug your children lightly as long as you don’t put pressure on your breasts. This way, you’re not using your chest muscles as much, but rather your back muscles to lift the weight. This is the most important advice I can give you: Try to avoid your chest muscles for at least 2-3 weeks (do not lift more than 10 pounds for 2-3 weeks). You can engage in greater use of your chest muscles after 6 weeks (i.e., vigorous exercising, push-ups, weight-lifting).

Toddlers are a bit easier to deal with when you're recovering from breast augmentation surgery. While all toddlers like to be picked up, you can get around that. For example, if your child is crying and wants to be held, you can squat down and hug them, or you can sit on the sofa or in a chair and have them climb up into your lap so that you can hold them.

You will definitely need help with regards to getting your children into and out of the car seat, highchair, or crib.

You will feel better with each passing day. By the time you are one week post-op, you should feel much better. You will still be sore, but you will be feeling more like yourself.

Increasing the activity level is dependent on your own perception of how well you feel. Any minute you feel an activity is causing pressure or causing you to feel stretch in your breasts or incisions, then stop the activity.

Hope this helps!

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 469 reviews

Breast Augmentation Recovery

Hello,You may hug your children immediately after surgery.  There is no reason not to.  Good luck with your surgery!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast augmentation recovery

A gentle hug can be given right away.  Children are very intuitive and often easily pick up on "you need to be careful with Mom".  You can snuggle together too.  Follow your surgeon's instructions for post operative activities and you'll be back to yourself in no time.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast augmentation

This is something you can discuss with the office nurse. I think you are worrying far too much. I tell my mom patients to sit on the couch and have the kids crawl up next to them. You can read them a book at that point as it is a nice quiet activity and they get their mom time.

Tracy E. McCall, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Hug your kids

Your a Mom, which means by definition, you are incredibly resourceful!  You need contact with your kids, and they need contact with you.  You will quickly figure out what you can and can't do with your kids by listening to your surgeon and listening to your body.  A gentle hug, even early after surgery, is likely to do more good than harm!  Alternatively, have them snuggle up next to you on the couch or lay down at your side.  Try to set these expectations up with them prior to your procedure, and best of luck with your surgery!

Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

When can I hug my children after breast augmentation surgery?

Thank you for your question.  I limit my patients post operative activity to the following for three weeks; no lifting, pushing or pulling anything more than a milk gallon in weight, however, there is no reason that you can't have your children on your lap while sitting down.  If your children are of toddler age, I recommend putting something soft like a pillow , over your chest so they don't inadvertently kick or hit your breasts.  

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Safety in most instances following breast augmentation is more a matter of common sense than specialized care

While we usually restrict our patients' activities for the first few weeks and ask them to avoid strenuous upper extremity activity or excessive reaching or lifting after breast augmentation, there are many things that can be very easily done if proper common sense and care are observed.  Things like reaching up gently to do your hair, getting a light bowl out of a cupboard, and things like this are just fine, as long as you are careful and not forceful.  In fact, I actually prescribe daily gentle range of motion and stretching exercises for my own patients to keep the pectoralis muscles from becoming contracted and the shoulders from stiffening.  In any event, the point is that it is a fallacy that we have to walk around with the arms held to the sides for a month, as many of my patients have described through the years as "T. Rex arms!"  I mirror most of what has been said here already by my colleagues with regard to postoperative activity.  When it comes to the kids, as many of our patients are young moms with small children, we simply have to incorporate this "common sense approach" into the child care.  Thus, full lifting of an infant to a changing table the first week after surgery would probably not be advisable, but getting help with positioning and then snuggling and hugging is just fine.  With toddlers and young children who can be cooperative, many of my patients who are moms will make a sort of game out of this, so as to not cause fear in their children.  Most children are simple creatures and they like consistency and closeness.   If they can get those things, it is very likely there will be smooth sailing.  If something disrupts their routine, if someone "moves their cheese" as the story goes, the become anxious and go crazy.  If mom is anxious about hugging or providing that closeness that the child needs and is used to, a situation can spiral out of control very quickly as the child becomes frightened and their mind immediately goes to thoughts of abandonment and losing you.  This is actually very important to consider, as this kind of anxiety dynamic will have a very real affect on your overall recovery after surgery.  I mention these things not to make this out to be a huge ordeal; because it really isn't.  It's actually quite easily controlled with a bit of information and planning up front.  The other great thing about kids is that they trust us - said another way, they're gullible and can be directed by us with very limited information as long as we show them we're not leaving them and we are sincere.  This reminds me of an anecdote with my own eldest daughter that I just can't resist sharing here.  She has always been a bit of an “old soul” and somewhat cynical, and when she was just starting to figure out the truth about all of those fantasy characters that parents like to tell their children about (sometimes more for their own benefit than the child’s!) like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, she was asking her mother one day about these things.  She ran down the list with a very serious look on her face, asking one by one, “Is he real?” “What about him”  “What about her?”  In each instance, as her mother and I had decided it was time to level with her, we said (with a twinge of sadness in our hearts for her evaporating youth!) “No, he’s not really real, that was Mommy and Daddy pretending” “No, she’s not really real.”  Each time she nodded accordingly, “Yup, I knew it.”  Then she got to Mickey Mouse.  Her mother got a sly half smile and winked at me, and said, “Oh, he’s actually real.”  You know, I actually saw my daughter’s eyes brighten just a bit as she said “really??” and she actually believed it for another year or so.  We all enjoyed Disneyland that much more during the last fleeting moments of the innocence and wonder of her  “little girlness.”  In any regard, as long as you incorporate them into the scenario some way, explain something to them that makes sense to them, and then enroll them into cooperating with the “soft gentle baby bear hugs” that they have to give you (or whatever works for you and your children) for a time, they will be fully on board, and actually very supportive of you.  And you in turn will feel much, much better in general during your recovery.  I know this was a bit of a long winded response, but this is an important, and very common issue you raise, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to share my perspectives on it.  Good luck with your upcoming surgery, and with the little ones!

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Hugs after surgery

Thank you for your question. You can hug your children immediately after surgery, just don't squeeze too tight as it will place pressure on your chest and may be uncomfortable for the first week or so after surgery. 

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 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.