Pregnancy is tough. After a baby is born the mother’s body is left to deal with a whole host of physical changes. Stretch marks, loose skin and deflated breasts are just a few of the struggles new moms may face. Ask any mom and she will tell you that they all yearn for their bodies to return to their pre-pregnancy shape. The battle is one that weight loss alone will not win. As a result, women are turning to plastic surgery to help restore both their figures and their self confidence.
In the past decade, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard A. Baxter has seen a significant rise in the popularity of Mommy Makeover procedures. “Interestingly, at the same time, there’s been an increase in Mothers of Multiples,” Dr. Baxter shares. “Twins pregnancies, and higher order births are also increasing, so we are seeing more of these women in our practice.”
Having twins or triplets emphasizes the very same problems that every post-pregnancy woman deals with, but more so. “Mothers of Multiples have the same issues as other moms,” explains Baxter, “just to a greater degree.” A regular Mommy Makeover is often not the best solution for Mothers of Multiples, referred to as MOMs for short. To deliver the best long-term results after a woman has given birth to twins or triplets, Dr. Baxter recommends taking several extra measures during both the surgery and the recovery.
Reinforcing a MOM’s Tight Tummy
Due to the additional stress a multiple pregnancy has placed on the mother’s body, the skin has usually undergone a much greater stretch. In the deeper layers of the abdomen below the skin, the pressure from the babies also causes the muscles to separate beyond what Dr. Baxter typically sees in a single-baby pregnancy.
“With pregnancy, there is often a separation of the muscles in the abdomen called a diastasis,” Baxter explains. “It’s similar to a hernia. It’s not a true hernia, but it’s similar. There isn’t any exercise that pulls them back into alignment.” During a tummy tuck, Dr. Baxter returns the muscles to their pre-baby position, where they are sutured into position.
In a regular Mommy Makeover, the sutures in the surrounding tissues offer enough support to maintain the result. For a mother of twins or triplets, Baxter may choose to add an additional layer of support inside of the abdomen.
“What we like to do is add support with a mesh material,” shares Dr. Baxter. “The mesh we use is called GalaFLEX. It’s been used for a long time in other applications, such as hernias. It’s a very safe material and we have a lot of confidence in it. It slowly dissolves over time, but it does maintain that strength that we get by putting it in.”
By adding the additional layer of support, Baxter is able to achieve a result that holds up better over time.
Adding Stability to a MOM’s Rejuvenated Breasts
Tummy tuck and breast surgery are the two standard components of every Mommy Makeover. The breast portion of the surgery may include implants to restore lost volume, a surgical lift to restore youthful shape, or it could be a combination of the two.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding both cause women’s breasts to deflate and droop. Twin pregnancies and multiple births amplify those changes. If the skin has stretched too much, an implant alone can not restore a breast’s shape. In those cases, a breast lift is necessary.
To add stability to the lift, Dr. Baxter may recommend adding GalaFLEX in the breasts – the same absorbable mesh material he uses in the abdomen for additional support during a tummy tuck. “We also use this material as an internal bra,” says Baxter. “It’s a concept that’s really catching on and really proving itself.”
Recovery for a Busy MOM
Mothers dealing with twins or triplets will require a lot of help with childcare as they heal. “They need to make sure they have the support at home so they can focus on healing,” says Baxter. He requires that his patients take a break from all responsibilities for at least a week.
After the first week they can resume most light activities, but any strenuous activities or heavy lifting are restricted for at least four to six weeks. “Mom’s who are considering a mommy makeover and have young children at home really need to understand they are not going to be able to lift their child for several weeks,” he adds.
Big Surgery, Big Reward
“Mommy Makeover patients are so happy,” Dr. Baxter says, explaining why he loves performing the procedure. “They really do get control of their bodies again. They get their old body back and they feel better about themselves. It really enhances their quality of life.”