How long should I wait to pick up my baby?

I have a very clingy 14 month old. I am sooo ready for a Mommy Makeover, (tummy tuck, breast lift with silicone implants, and back lipo), but he likes me to carry him every time he sees me. How long would I have to wait to pick up my 27lb baby? I am very prone to getting keloids. My fear is if I pick him up too soon, they will come back. Should I wait a year?

Doctor Answers 11

How long to pick up my baby after surgery

After a mommy makeover with a tummy tuck, I recommend no heavy lifting (more than 15-20 pounds) for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately your 14month old, like a lot of 14month olds :), is over that limit.  The restrictions are not given to decrease keloid formation but to give your body enough time to heal after a big surgery.  The body gets about 80% of the scar strength around 6-8 weeks.  This includes the visible scar you see on the skin but more importantly it also includes the scarring going on underneath the skin that is holding everything tight and in place.  Keloids can occur no matter how much or how little you limit your activities.  They can be frustrating.  There are scar treatments that can be used to try to decrease scar or keloid formation.  If your kiddo is clingy at this point it may be best to wait until he is older and understands you cannot pick him up all the time after surgery.  I also tell my patients that it is easier to have their children climb onto the couch and pick them up off the couch versus lifting them from the floor.  Of course, only if it is safe to do so with your child and the stage of his/her development.  You are going to go through a mommy makeover to look your best so you want to give your body the best chance to heal.

Wichita Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

How long should I wait?

My post-op recommendations are for patients to wait at least 6-8 weeks before heavy lifting. However, every Plastic Surgeon has different protocols. My suggestion would be to hold off on surgery until you can curb the need to pick up your child. Lifting your child will not necessarily have a direct effect on the likelihood of keloids, but it can impact your recovery negatively. Keloids are often more of a genetic trait and certain locations on the body can also be more prone to healing this way. You have to ask yourself if you are ok having keloids as this is a distinct possibility.

Audrey A. Klenke, MD
Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Recovery after a mommy makeover

This is a big surgery.  I would discourage lifting a toddler for 2 months after surgery.  "Live" weight vs still weight is a big difference. Toddlers squirm, kick, etc and cause hurt you.  Keloids are not influenced by your post op activity in general.  If you know you get them, then scar therapy can be more aggressively pursued.  Hope that helps!Best wishes!Dr. MoralesABPS Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Rolando Morales Jr, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Dr Derby

Thank you for your question. You cannot lift any heavy weights in the first 8 weeks after the procedure and that is not an easy task with a small child clinging on to you. Maybe it is best to wait  bit more. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Weight lifting restrictions post op.

The short answer is that most patientsget help with their young children as needed to protect and shorten the repair time. Here are the recommendations and expectations in my office for my TT patients:  Within a few hours following surgery, abdominoplasty patients will walk in a slightly bent-over position. Strenuous activity and lifting of more than 10 pounds should be avoided for six weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work and daily activities withintwo weeks of surgery. It may take several months for a tummy tuck patient’s scars to soften, for sensation to return, and for relaxing of the tight sensation in the abdomen. In the case of extensive surgery, abdominoplasty recovery can be uncomfortable and may take longer.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Mommy makeovers and lifting

Thanks for your question.  I advise my patients to not do any heavy lifting or straining for 6 weeks, when they may return to normal activity.  However, every plastic surgeon has different protocols, so I would advise you to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions.  If you do, you will be assured of a great result without complications.  Best of luck to you.

Anna I. Wooten, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Healing and Activity Following a Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction.    Healing after a  #tummytuck will require time. Some patients are out of bed and walking the night of surgery and every hour while awake. I allow my patients to return to work at one to two weeks with 14 days preferred.  However, no lifting or straining.  At three weeks, increased level of activity and full with no restrictions, at 6 weeks. #MummyTummy is a term given to modified tummy tucks which can use liposuction and skin tightening with radiofrequency such Vanquish, Vela3, thermage, thermiRF and others.  The actual fat contouring can be done non-surgically as well with #UltraShape or Cool-Sculpting.
As I advise my patients, if your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain.
Some employers will modify a person’s job duties so they can back sooner, but without physical activity. Our office can provide our patients with a note stating they are not to engage in strenuous activity for a specified period of time. The note will not disclose what procedure they have underwent. Therefore, you may have to request a similar note from your surgeon if you are not independently employed. I recommend avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous #activity for six weeks following your surgery. With that said, it may help you plan your return to work accordingly.As for heavy lifting and other #strenuous #activities, it should be avoided for until you have clearance from your surgeon. You may, however, do normal activities at any time if they cause no pain or #discomfort. Let your body tell you what you can or cannot do. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!!  If you have concerns about your healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Mommy Makeover /Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/Tummy Tuck/Liposuction/BBL

I appreciate your question. For my patients, I recommend no strenuous activity for heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks following surgery. I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you are healing following surgery. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Lifting a baby after breast augmentation and mommy makeover.

Thanks for your question.  In my practice I advise patients to have help place their infant onto their lap avoiding lifting a baby who weighs 25 or more pounds for a period of six weeks.  This may be challenging but is probably doable for most people.  My concern is over the risk of tearing the healing pectoral muscle causing either a hematoma or stimulation of a capsule contracture which you would regret if avoidable.  I am ultraconservative but ask my patients to avoid lifting more than a couple of pounds for the first six weeks while the capsule is forming.  This is also a critical healing perior for the abdomen to avoid the risk of seroma.  Good luck and best wishes. Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Mommy makeover recovery

You should follow your surgeon's instructions for how much and when you can lift your child, as he/she knows what all your surgery involves.  In general, you should be able to lift your baby after about two weeks, but there is still so much you can do in the meantime.  You can still sit and snuggle together, it's just the lifting that needs a short break.  In any case, lifting or not lifting will not affect your chance of keloids, but it can impact your recovery.

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