What are the top 5 procedures to get you back in shape and feeling great after pregnancy? Dr. Holly Casey Wall, a board certified plastic surgeon from Shreveport, Louisiana, offers her advice as both a surgeon and a mother on how to get back to your pre-pregnancy figure and youthfulness.
What is seen most on your body? Your Face!
The steps to postpartum rejuvenation start with the most important part of your body: your face. While you may have problem areas elsewhere, your face is the first thing you see in the morning, and the first thing others see. Many new mothers say not only do they feel tired, but they look tired. Age, the stress of pregnancy and motherhood, along with the hormonal changes the body undergoes throughout the entire process can often culminate into a tired looking face.
“This appearance is sometimes caused by a loss of fat in the face, allowing the area beneath the eyes to lower, as well as your cheeks,” says Dr. Wall. “Botox and fillers are a great, quick fix for these problems as they simply fill in the areas and breathe new life into your face. Bringing the cheeks up with some filler causes the lower lids to appear shorter, eliminating most of the tired look.”
Properly done, injectable procedures will not stand out and look abnormal. “In fact, your husband may not even be able to tell what’s different, but your tired appearance will be gone,” says Wall. “Seeing yourself in the mirror will no longer be a disheartening experience. It will provide you the self-confidence needed to journey forward in life with your family. ”
Lifting those Breasts
Pregnancy can affect the breasts more than any other part of the body, and a breast rejuvenation can really help a woman’s confidence. When your days of conceiving are over, taking a look at implant options can do a number of things to rejuvenate yourself and often gain back the confidence you once had before children.
“Many women can get away with just implants, but some will need a lift,” says Wall. “A breast lift procedure has a very rapid recovery rate to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Normally you’ll have very little down time; just a few days of taking it easy. Bringing your breasts back to where they used to be does not change you as a person, it restores your confidence. You shouldn’t even have to get new clothes! Many women find the clothes they wore before still fit, but now they fit a little better.”
Repairing your Abdominal Muscles
One of the most devastating changes that can happen to women after pregnancy is the stomach muscles and the abdominal skin gets stretched out. The expanded belly stretches the muscles far beyond anything they’ve experienced before, and the muscles don’t normally return to their original state.
How can we go about fixing this? “If I can, I would prefer to do a tummy tuck with some liposuction,” says Wall. “These two procedures can provide such an amazing change to your midsection. It really is the final push after doing everything you can at the gym and with diets in order to get your body back to where it used to be.”
Getting rid of the Muffin Top
There are a number of patients who are already in great shape, but still have some problem areas where fat refuses to go away. Usually located around the lower midsection and the fat pockets above the hips, lovingly known as “muffin top”, these areas are difficult to treat with exercise and can resist your best efforts to slim down.
To treat this common problem, plastic surgeons have a new device that works to reduce fat pockets without surgery. The technology is called Coolsculpting, and it works by freezing fat cells in these areas forcing them to die off. The non-invasive procedure involves a clamp-like device that suctions itself to the problem area. “The procedure is painless and takes about one hour. I typically advise my patients to bring a book when they come in, or simply close their eyes and rest,” says Wall. “The changes we’ve seen so far are fantastic, and only take a few months to be seen. This is an easy, non-invasive procedure that can eliminate those problem areas and get your body exactly where you want it!”
To round out your rejuvenation, it’s time to focus on your thighs; another hard to reduce area for many women. “If a patient isn’t a good candidate for Coolsculpting on their thighs, I always advise a liposuction treatment,” says Wall. “While Coolsculpting is a fantastic device with real results, as it stands now, liposuction still gives the most dramatic results in those patients who have more fat to lose. It is invasive, but besides feeling like you’ve had the squats work-out of your life, you’re up and doing most normal activities within a few days.”