My surgeon said it's ok to lift and take care of my 24 lb toddler and I'm only 12 days PO of a Mommy Makeover. Is this ok?

I had a tummy tuck and breat augmentation 12 days ago, with no complications. Besides a sore lower back, I feel ok. I'm a marathon runner and in great shape but everything I read says to wait 4-6 weeks before lifting heavy. I'm scared to ruin the muscle repair as he did a beautiful job. And really, I don't have any help so I'm stuck taking care of my 18 month old and 5 year old twins while my husband is at work. Can I do this?

Doctor Answers 6

Recovering from a Mommy Makeover & Caring for Toddlers

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. 
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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

My surgeon said it's ok to lift and take care of my 24 lb toddler and I'm only 12 days PO of a Mommy Makeover. Is this ok?

I would share your concerns about heavy lifting this early out of mommy makeover surgery.  Although your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource, it is prudent to use good judgment and good body mechanics if you do need to do the lifting.  In my opinion, the more help you have for an additional few weeks, the better. You may want to clarify with your plastic surgeon as well. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Mommy Make over recovery

It is a little early for a mommy-over  but you don't have much choice.
I tell my patients with small children to not bend over and lift them but to sit on a chair, let the child
crawl into your lap and then stand up. That way you do not use the abdominal muscles.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Your Surgeon

If your surgeon says it is okay, you can follow that advice.  Typically 4-6 weeks is the time frame before I allow patients to lift anything over the weight of a gallon of milk.  However, if you are a fit marathon runner, you will likely recover from this surgery faster than a lot of other patients!  If you have specific concerns about lifting, daily activities, etc, call your surgeon and get specific answers. 

Emily J. Kirby, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Lifting a toddler after mommy makeover

I would follow your surgeons instruction. 24 lbs may be on the borderline of being too heavy to lift. I would try and avoid heavy lifting for 6 weeks after surgery.  That is the amount of time it takes for the wound to get 80% of its strength back. Having a little one myself I know it is tough to not be able to carry them around.
All the best,
Arun Rao M.D.

Arun Rao, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Child care

I will have to defer this one to your plastic surgeon who is most familiar with your surgery.  Please follow his/her postoperative care instructions.   My only suggestion would be to avoid any strenuous activity or straining.  Wishing you a speedy recovery.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 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.