There is no standard Mommy Makeover procedure. Rather, the term refers to a combination of procedures that are designed to return the patient’s body to her pre-pregnancy state. And just like every woman is unique, the right Mommy Makeover is going to depend on how your body reacted to both pregnancy and the aging process.
Did it cause your breasts to lose volume? To sag? Is there excess skin on your tummy? Are your abdominal muscles stretched beyond the help of diet and exercise? Dr. Shaun Parson of Scottsdale, Arizona discusses the various procedures that constitute a Mommy Makeover and how it can help change not just your body, but your life.
Mommy Makeover Options
“All moms are different, so a Mommy Makeover for one person is different than a Mommy Makeover for someone else,” explains Dr. Parson. There really is no standard procedure. Instead, a Mommy Makeover should only include what the patient needs it to include.
As a plastic surgeon, one of Dr. Parson’s greatest responsibilities, “is to make it make sense.” Some moms come in more concerned about their breasts; maybe they’re sagging and making her feel older than her years. Some moms come in and they’re more concerned about their tummies, and some come in for both.
Bottom line, “we need to offer a consortium of different procedures to really restore mom to how she was prior to having kids,” says Parson.
In general, a Mommy Makeover is going to include some type of procedure for the breast and some type of procedure for the stomach. For many moms, their main concern is a loss of volume in the breast, so a breast augmentation is an ideal solution. Other moms, particularly those who have breastfed, suffer from both a loss of volume as well as breasts that are sagging. For these patients, the right procedure is a breast lift with an implant. In other words, the solution must fit the need.
One of the biggest fears for many moms who are considering a breast lift is the scars. Scars will always be present when an incision is made, but honed surgical techniques and post-operative scar management technologies offer scars more subtle than ever before. “As a plastic surgeon, I’m very concerned about making sure that we minimize scars,” says Parson. A lifted, perky breast is a younger looking breast, so don’t let a fear of scars stand in your way.
A Tummy Tuck WILL Restore Your Waist
For many women, pregnancy – and especially multiple pregnancies – cause the abdominal muscles spread. By 40 weeks, the baby is up at the mom’s belly button, so all of the abdominal muscles have had to stretch to make room.
The problem comes about after babies are born and these muscles decide not to bounce back, leaving a loose abdomen behind. Endless crunches and diet will not restore the muscles, so patients look to an abdominoplasty – or tummy tuck – to bring the muscles back to where they once were. In addition, surgeons remove excess skin and fat, taking care of stretch marks at the same time.
In the past, the downtime needed for a tummy tuck was considerable. Today, however, there are more sophisticated ways to manage pain. Exparel is a long-lasting pain medication injected at the time of surgery that keeps pain away for up to 72 hours post-op. Avoiding pain and narcotic pain killers considerably speed recovery. Most of Parson’s tummy tuck patients are exercising again by 3 weeks post op.
With this kind of recovery and pain management, he has no problem with a mom being a mom. In general, his patients take a week off. Then, in the second week, they start to get back into their normal routines. At 3 weeks, they’re back to moderate exercise and are fully recovered by 5-6 weeks.
When Is the Right Time for a Mommy Makeover?
“Babies are always going to win when it comes to the tummy,” says Parson. He doesn’t think it wise to take the time or spend the money to fix your tummy until you are done having kids.
“Breasts are different,” he explains. Some women may decide to have an augmentation or lift before they’re done having kids. There really is no one answer for everyone. Once you do decide to schedule your Mommy Makeover, you want to be at a healthy weight that you can maintain. “I think it’s important to set realistic goals,” explains Parson. His patients who have had a Mommy Makeover not only boast about increased self-esteem, but they describe themselves as ready, “to attack life again.”