What is a Mommy Makeover?
A “Mommy Makeover” is a term that is used to describe a combination of procedures that help a mom restore her pre-pregnancy body and self-confidence. Pregnancy and nursing can result in significant changes to a woman’s body, including, but not limited to, stretching of the skin and muscles of the abdomen, excess fat, and deflation of the breasts.
The “Mommy Makeover” typically combines one or more of the following surgical procedures: breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, tummy tuck and/or liposuction. San Antonio plastic surgeon Dr. Belz will assist you in determining which combination of procedures will help you achieve your goals.
Candidates for Mommy Makeover Surgery
Unlike typical weight gain across the body, pregnancy creates very localized weight gain, both in the abdomen and the breasts. This can stretch the muscles and skin to a degree they cannot rebound back to their former degree of tautness afterwards. The size increase in the breasts, coupled with breastfeeding often leaves them flattened, sagging, and with less volume. Plus, even if you’ve worked hard to lose your baby weight, it’s likely a few pockets of stubborn fat have developed in the abdomen and maybe the outer thighs.
If your stretched stomach skin has created a pooch, Dr. Belz can address that with a tummy tuck. If your breasts have lost volume and seem flatter, a breast lift (with or without augmentation) will address that. And for those pockets of fat on your abdomen and maybe your thighs, liposuction can remove those. Put them all together, and you have a mommy makeover with Dr. Belz.
If you’re considering a mommy makeover with Dr. Belz, however, you need to be at or near your ideal weight first. These are body-contouring procedures, not weight-loss procedures.
What Procedures are Involved in a Mommy Makeover?
Every patient’s situation is unique, but Dr. Belz usually combines these procedures for her mommy makeovers:
- Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck targets the skin and muscles that have been stretched by pregnancy. The muscles in the center of the abdomen may even have become separated. A tummy tuck trims excess sagging skin and repositions separated muscles to give you back a flat stomach.
- Breast Lift
Because the breasts gain size and weight during pregnancy, the skin and support tissue can stretch, making the breasts flatten and sag. A breast lift removes excess skin and brings the breastsback up higher on the chest. Often, Dr. Belz will relocate the nipples higher to correspond to how much stretched skin was removed.
- Breast Augmentation
Breastfeeding tends to decrease breast volume. Women who want to return volume, particularly to the upper part of the breasts, or who simply would like larger breasts, can opt to have breast implants inserted after the breast lift procedure. This is a convenient time to add implants, as Dr. Belz will already have made the necessary incisions with your lift.
The weight gain of pregnancy can leave stubborn pockets of fat afterwards, even if you’re at or near your ideal weight. These pockets can be almost impossible to target effectively with exercise. Liposuction removes these pockets on the inner and outer thighs, hips, and abdomen.
See What Our Patients Are Saying!
"Dr. Belz is Fantastic!!! She really takes the time to get to know her patients and understands what you are trying to accomplish. She is a wonderful Doctor and has an amazing staff on board to help whenever you might need. She called me the day I had my surgery to check up with me and then I had a follow-up the next day where she really addressed any concerns that I had. I was so surprised at how easy and natural the healing process was. 6 Weeks following surgery and the results are exactly what I was looking for" – M. U.
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How Long Should I Wait After My Last Child Before I Have a Mommy Makeover?
The changes wrought by pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding can change a mother’s body to a degree that it can be depressing. To reverse the changes, mothers sometimes want to have a mommy makeover with Dr. Belz immediately. But she advises patience. Here’s the timeline.
Mommy makeover candidates will need to have finished breastfeeding at least six months before having a mommy makeover. This is enough time for your breasts to return to their normal, natural size. As mentioned above, your weight also needs to be within 10 percent of your ideal weight, so you may need to take some time to lose more weight before your mommy makeover.
I’m Not Sure if I’m Done Having Children. Can I Still Have a Mommy Makeover?
Dr. Belz stresses to patients that they must be certain they are not interested in having any more children if they are going to have a mommy makeover. The logic should be clear — if you become pregnant and deliver again, your body will gain weight in the same spots creating the same issues. You’ll wipe out all the gains made by your mommy makeover. Plus, incision scars can stretch. So, if you’re on the fence about having more children, now’s not the time for a mommy makeover.
What Will My Recovery from a Mommy Makeover Be Like?
A mommy makeover with Dr. Belz is a major undertaking, and we’re not going to sugarcoat your recovery — it’s not a walk in the park. You will have had surgery on at least two areas of your body, along with liposuction on possible other spots. These procedures will involve removing excess skin and repositioning muscles where necessary. Of the procedures, the tummy tuck has the most involved recovery. This is because the length of the incision, along with the tightening of your abdominal muscles that have become separated.
Your first week after surgery is difficult. You won’t be able to do much of anything around the house and with the kids, so you’ll need to line up some help. Dr. Belz will have you in a compression garment for 6-8 weeks for your tummy tuck and liposuction. This minimizes swelling, but it also helps your body adapt to its new slimmer contours. You’ll wear a support bra for at least one month, maybe longer, to take pressure off your breast lift sutures. This will be a 24-hours-a-day requirement.
Because of the hipbone-to-hipbone incision, a tummy tuck can take a full six months to completely heal. You can’t lift anything more than 10 pounds for a period of six weeks or more. You’ll be able to begin a light level of activity after one to two weeks, but any strenuous activity or exercise will need to wait for 6-8 weeks.
While your recovery is not easy, your new body will make it all worthwhile.
Why is it Best to Have These Procedures at One Time Instead of Individually?
A mommy makeover with Dr. Belz may involve three or four surgical procedures at one time — the thought of that can freak some patients out. But this is also the beauty of a mommy makeover. While your recovery will be more involved, you will only have a single surgical session and a single recovery, rather than three or four of each if you decided to have these procedures separately down the road. You’ll only be doing all of this once, rather than several different times.