That sweet little bundle of joy you’ve carried around for 9 months is already bouncing around the house, and it couldn’t be more delightful. Except for the nagging belly fat, that just keeps reminding us of the extra weight we carried around to bring our babies into the world. You’ve dieted and exercised and for some of you, perhaps you’re almost back to optimal weight. But if you had a big baby, gained a lot of weight, got stretch marks or a new stubborn fat pocket, it can be pretty frustrating.
Pat McGuire, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon at Parkcrest Plastic Surgery in St. Louis, Missouri, gets it! She’s had children, and knows the challenges we face getting back to that beautiful body shape. McGuire has even had a tummy tuck herself.
“Childbirth keeps me in business, nobody likes how they look after they have a baby!” says McGuire.
How far we go with a mommy makeover needs to be individualized though, before moving forward. For some women, the skin remains stretched out and diet and exercise just doesn’t do the trick, especially in the mid-section, add to that the hormonal changes, and it’s the perfect storm.
Diet Before Surgery
Perhaps nursing, cardio like running and walking, even weight lifting is helping you feel better. But diet also plays a huge role: Post-baby and pre-surgery. “When diet and exercise is combined with surgery; those results last the longest,” says McGuire.
McGuire practices what she preaches, and teaches! She maintains, and even lost weight after her surgery by exercise and monitoring her diet.
Dieting and exercise also puts you in the best physical shape prior to receiving general anesthesia and can aid in a more comfortable recovery.
Mini v. Full Tummy Tuck
If there’s a lot of loose skin, extra tissue and the muscle is split from a big baby or even twins, a full tummy tuck is generally going to be the optimal choice. However, if you have a lot of responsibilities and can’t afford the 2 to 3 week recovery that accompanies a full tummy tuck, a mini can be a good option.
“If a patient has stretch marks and significant skin that needs to be removed, she’s going to require a full abdominoplasty,” says McGuire. “If you opt for a mini tummy tuck, it’s okay, but don’t set the bar too high, you may end up with mini results.”
For a lot of us, it’s about confidence!
“Because of the self-esteem boost after liposuction, I put myself stricter on diet and lost weight – it’s worth it so I emphasize that with my patients!”