Pregnancy and childbirth are the most amazing processes the human body can achieve, but the process of growing a tiny human can leave permanent – and embarrassing – signs behind.
Though celebrity gossip magazines often make it seem like any woman can immediately recover from having a baby, in real life, most women struggle to regain their pre-pregnancy shape. Many busy moms soon realize diet and exercise alone can only do so much to address the changes childbearing has made to their body. That’s why a mommy makeover is the best way to regain your self-esteem after carrying and delivering a child.
Deciding to Get a Mommy Makeover
After the long months of pregnancy and breastfeeding, you may be dreaming of restoring your body to the shape it had before you decided to have children. Luckily, modern cosmetic surgical techniques have made it possible for us to improve common problem areas and help women become more confident in their appearance after motherhood.
Mommy makeovers are one of the most popular procedures we perform at our Richmond, Virginia surgical centers. A mommy makeover is a blanket term for a series of procedures that address women’s biggest post-pregnancy complaints in the same operation. By combining procedures, we can also help shorten your recovery time and reduce the overall costs of having surgery.
What Is a Mommy Makeover?
Though people have been using the phrase “mommy makeover” for a relatively short time, all the procedures involved have a lengthy history of success and safety. For example, a typical makeover might include a tummy tuck, a breast procedure such as a lift or reduction, a labiaplasty and liposuction of the legs, arms or buttocks.
● Belly procedures: An abdominoplasty – also called a tummy tuck – with or without liposuction can give you a flatter stomach by reducing loose or sagging skin. The procedure can also help tighten abdominal muscles that have become strained and stretched under the prolonged stress of carrying a baby.
● Breast procedures: Pregnancy and breastfeeding both result in hormonal changes that enlarge the breasts and sometimes cause them to sag or flatten. Postpartum women typically benefit from either a breast lift or a breast augmentation to create shapelier, younger-looking breasts.
● Labiaplasty: This vaginal rejuvenation procedure reduces the size of the labia by removing excess skin and improving the look of long or asymmetrical labial folds.
● Liposuction: Some pockets of body fat are resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction is an option to effectively re-contour and improve the overall shape and appearance of almost any area of your body, including your abdomen, buttocks, arms, neck and legs.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?
Mommy makeover surgery is a highly individualized set of procedures that Dr. Lynam can tailor to meet the needs of any woman who wants to restore her body to a more youthful, pre-pregnancy appearance. We recommend considering the surgeries only after you have finished childbearing and breastfeeding, and have allowed your body at least one full year of recovery time after delivering your baby.
If childbirth has left you with the following complaints, you may want to consider undergoing a mommy makeover.
● Your belly has loose or sagging skin and stretch marks, and your waistline is thicker and less defined
● You have fat deposits that do not respond to diet and exercise
● You have flattened or uneven breasts, drooping nipples or stretched areolas
● Due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts are now so large that they are disproportionate to your frame, limiting your physical activities and causing you back pain and discomfort
● You have a flap of skin overhanging a scar from one or more C-sections
● You feel frustrated, self-conscious or even depressed about the changes pregnancy and breastfeeding have made to your body
The best candidates for a mommy makeover should also be in good physical health, within their target body weight and have a positive outlook and realistic expectations for their surgical outcomes.
How to Prepare for Your Mommy Makeover
Patients interested in learning more about their options for a mommy makeover should schedule a consultation at our Richmond clinic. Dr. Lynam will meet with you in person to discuss what you hope to achieve, evaluate you as a candidate for a mommy makeover and explain what combination of procedures may benefit you most. After gaining a clear understanding of your goals, Dr. Lynam will create an individualized treatment plan to address your specific concerns.
Approach the consultation with the mindset that it is an open and honest conversation between you and your surgeon, and bring a list of questions you have about the procedures you are planning to undergo.
Dr. Lynam may ask you questions such as:
● What is your medical history?
● Are you allergic to any drugs?
● Have you had any previous surgeries?
● Are you currently taking any medications or nutritional supplements?
● How often do you use alcohol, tobacco or other recreational drugs?
● What results do you hope the surgery will help you achieve?
● What is the primary reason you want to undergo a mommy makeover?
We may also:
● Take photos for your medical records
● Evaluate your health status, including pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
● Assess your skin’s elasticity
● Tell you about likely outcomes, including risks or potential complications
● Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used during the surgery
As you get ready for your mommy makeover surgery, Dr. Lynam may ask you to:
● Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
● Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
● Quit smoking
● Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they can increase the risk of bleeding
Recovering From a Mommy Makeover
The recovery time for a mommy makeover surgery is typically between four to six weeks, depending on what procedures you choose to have done. However, each woman’s body will recover differently, taking either more or less time to heal completely. Be sure to follow all instructions and recommendations Dr. Lynam gives you for your specific needs.
Here are some tips to help you have the most successful recovery from a mommy makeover.
● Get support: It’s a good idea to ask your spouse, friend, a close family member or even hire a caregiver to help you out for your first several days following your surgery. Don’t try to go it alone. Recovering from surgery can be tough, and you’ll need someone there to assist you in your day-to-day tasks like going to the bathroom, maintaining good hygiene, preparing your meals and taking your medication.
● Plan for your children: For the most effective recovery, ensure you have someone to watch over your children during and after your mommy makeover surgery. Remember to respect your body and give yourself plenty of healing time.
● Request time off work: Make sure you have planned enough time off from work to allow your body time to heal. A minimum of a couple of weeks should be enough, but if you need more time, request it. You don’t want to overexert yourself by going back to work before you’re ready, especially if your job involves any strenuous physical activity.
● Expect to be emotional: In addition to the trauma of undergoing surgery, pain medication can put you on an emotional rollercoaster. You might go from tears to elation to tears again within just a few minutes. Be prepared that your emotions are going to be unpredictable for a little while.
● Rest and take care of yourself: You can’t rush your body’s healing process. You may start to feel frustrated when you can’t jump right back into your typical daily routine, but don’t lose sight of the fact that a mommy makeover is an investment in your self-esteem and appearance. You owe it to yourself to give your body and mind time to recover from the stresses of surgery.
FAQs About Mommy Makeovers
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions we hear about mommy makeover procedures.
Q: How do I decide on the right mommy makeover surgeon?
A: As with any cosmetic procedure, the physician’s experience and expertise should be the primary factors in selecting the right doctor for you. You’ll want to work with a cosmetic surgeon who is board-certified and has performed the procedure often, with safe and proven results.
Q: What can I expect on the day of my surgery?
A: Dr. Lynam and his medical team will prepare you for your surgery, following your agreed-upon surgical plan. Typically, they’ll use general anesthesia to put you to sleep so you will not feel any pain during your surgery. After your procedure, you’ll proceed to the recovery area, where we will keep a close eye on your vital signs and condition. You will need to have someone drive you home after your surgery.
Q: What results can I expect from my mommy makeover?
A: You’ll have a tighter, flatter stomach from your tummy tuck, and the procedure could eliminate some of your stretch marks. However, you shouldn’t expect significant weight loss to accompany your results. Your stomach should stay flat and firm for many years, unless you become pregnant or have a substantial fluctuation in your weight. After several years, if you’re no longer satisfied with your tummy’s appearance because of aging or gravity, you do have the option of undergoing a second surgery to restore a younger-looking body contour.
Breast implant results, in most cases, have long-lasting results. However, if you choose to get implants, you will need to get them monitored regularly to avoid complications, such as a ruptured implant or capsular contraction.
If you choose to get a labiaplasty, you can expect smaller, thinner, more comfortable and very natural-looking labia, with no change in sensitivity or sexual function.
Q: What are the risks of mommy makeover surgery?
A: The risks are similar to most major operations, and include wound healing, bleeding, infection and swelling.
Q: Do I have to wait to have sex after my procedure?
A: You should avoid any sexual activity for at least a couple weeks after your mommy makeover, and even longer if Dr. Lynam advises you to.
Q: Can I have more kids after my mommy makeover?
A: The procedure will not hinder your ability to become pregnant or carry a child to full term; however, if you plan to have any more children, you should put off having the surgery, especially an abdominoplasty. If you stretch the tissues with another pregnancy, you could reverse the results of your mommy makeover.
Q: If I have had a C-section or hysterectomy, will that affect my mommy makeover results?
A: No. The incision for the abdominoplasty will be in the same region as your C-section or hysterectomy incision, on the lower abdomen. Some women are troubled by a fold of excess skin that hangs over their C-section or hysterectomy scar. An abdominoplasty can remove this skin to create a smoother contour.
Get Your Mommy Makeover at Richmond Surgical Arts
As one of the leading cosmetic surgeons in the Richmond area, Dr. Lynam provides an outstanding level of care and personal attention to all his patients. With his years of training and expertise in surgical procedures, he offers each mommy makeover patient an individualized experience with the most natural-looking results.
If you’re ready to return your body to your pre-pregnancy shape and get that firm, youthful figure you’ve been dreaming of, a mommy makeover may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Contact our office today and request a consultation to discuss your goals and the best options for you.