9 Things You Should Know About Mommy Makeovers Before Taking the PlungePublished October 20, 2020 by Dr. Kirby
If you are researching mommy makeovers, you have already accomplished something that every mother struggles with: taking a little time to care for herself. If a mommy makeover is what you are considering, then it’s time to talk frankly about what it involves.
You are likely caring for children, juggling a career, and potentially feeling a little guilty about doing something for yourself, but these obstacles are manageable and do not have to stand in your way. Knowing how to handle each step of the mommy makeover process will empower you to thrive before, during, and after your procedure.
Let’s talk about what you need to know before you schedule your surgery, as well as some tips for fitting this procedure into your busy lifestyle.
- Who is a good candidate for a mommy makeover?
- What procedures are included in a mommy makeover?
- Should I wait until I’m done having kids to get a mommy makeover?
- Is it better to have the mommy makeover procedures all at once?
- What pain medication will I take for surgery?
- How do I prepare for mommy makeover surgery and recovery?
- How long is mommy makeover recovery?
- What is the best time for a mommy makeover?
- How should I tell my kids I’m having surgery?
Who is a good candidate for a mommy makeover?
To be a good candidate for a mommy makeover, you should generally be in good health and identify with all of the following:
- You are a non-smoker or able to abstain in the weeks before and after surgery
- Your weight is stable (a mommy makeover is not a weight loss procedure) and you are at or near your goal weight
- You have persistent fat deposits that are difficult to reduce with diet or exercise
- You have extra, loose skin on your abdomen, possibly with stretch marks
- Your breasts appear too big or too small, uneven, or deflated
- You are not currently breastfeeding
Our mommy makeover patients have another feature in common: they are ready to be free from their post-baby body hang-up. They are ready to have more energy to devote to the things in life that matter most.
What procedures are included in a mommy makeover?
The procedures included in a mommy makeover are those necessary to help you feel confident in your body. In other words, the mommy makeover will be customized to your goals.
Since most women experience stretched abdominal muscles and skin, breast sagging, and unwanted fat deposits after pregnancy, many women choose this route:
- Tummy tuck tightens and repositions stretched muscles and sagging skin on the abdomen, reversing the postpartum pooch. A tummy tuck is also the only way to treat diastasis recti, in which abdominal muscles are stretched at the center of the abdomen and fail to return to their original position, maintaining a relaxed position, allowing everything to fall forward or “pooch out.”
- Breast surgery may include breast lift, breast augmentation, breast lift with augmentation, or breast reduction to restore stability and shape to the breasts. Many mothers want a breast lift, but some women benefit from augmentation alone.
- Liposuction addresses localized deposits of fat throughout the body, typically on the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, back, knees, or neck.
Changes caused by pregnancy are unique for each mother, so we may add or subtract from this list of procedures to address your breast and body contouring goals. Many moms also express concern about looking tired and want to refresh their facial appearance as well.
Should I wait until I’m done having kids to get a mommy makeover?
Depending on the procedure, the answer may be yes. Tummy tuck is best after you are done having children. Rest assured, however, that pregnancy after body contouring surgery is safe for both you and the baby, and your abdominal muscles and skin will be able to accommodate growth throughout pregnancy. It just may not be cosmetically ideal—you may feel like you never had your tummy tucked if you are blessed with another pregnancy after body contouring.
Breast and liposuction procedures can be done any time, even when you think you might have additional pregnancies in the future. Depending on your pregnancy and breastfeeding path, you then may or may not desire additional procedures to restore your results after another pregnancy. If you prefer to maintain your look without reinvesting in secondary procedures, plan your mommy makeover after you are finished having children.
If you anticipate another pregnancy, you may consider non-surgical procedures instead of a full mommy makeover. Consider what body contouring with liposuction alone can do for you, or explore your nonsurgical options like skin tightening and CoolSculpting fat reduction, both of which are available at Kalos Medical Spa at Kirby Plastic Surgery.
Is it better to have the mommy makeover procedures all at once?
There’s a reason mommy makeovers are so popular—busy moms benefit from having several procedures all in one sitting, under one anesthetic, with one recovery period. You can usually save money on operating room and anesthesia fees, as well. Then there’s convenience: you’ll only need to set up childcare and logistics one time.
On the other hand, a full mommy makeover isn’t for everyone. The recovery is more demanding than that of the individual procedures and usually requires at least two weeks off work and daily activities. And, while patient financing can help with paying for a full mommy makeover, some women prefer budgeting for individual surgeries at intervals.
What pain medication will I take for mommy makeover surgery?
In our facility, patient recovery is enhanced with a non-narcotic cocktail of medications that you are given before, during, and after surgery. You will also have a prescription for narcotic pain medication that is taken, if needed, after the other medication has worked its magic. Additionally, I place a TAP nerve block during your tummy tuck surgery, which alleviates some of your pain at its source, along the nerves. Patients who receive the TAP block tend to use less of their pain medication and use it for a shorter period of time. The TAP block numbs the lower abdominal musculature and tissue and continues to reduce post-surgical pain for 24+ hours, helping patients return to normal activities more quickly.
How do I prepare for mommy makeover surgery and recovery?
The best way to plan a smooth mommy makeover recovery is to prepare ahead of time. Set yourself up for a healthy, peaceful recovery by putting the following measures in place:
1. Plan to take about 2 weeks off work if you work at a desk, and longer if your job requires more physical activity.
Many women choose to save up vacation days or to plan their surgery around a work holiday in order to miss fewer days on the job. Additionally, for 4-6 weeks after surgery, you should not lift anything over 10 pounds—including your children.
2. Plan ahead for help with the kids, even if they are older.
A healthy recovery requires that you relax and focus on yourself, especially during the first 1-2 weeks. If you do not have a family member or friend who can help, make plans to hire a sitter. Even if your kids are a bit older, a few hours a day of supervision and help with homework can keep things running smoothly. Also, remember that you won’t be able to drive safely for several days, so find someone who can cover for you, if necessary.
3. Set up your recovery paradise with pillows, PJs, and prepared meals.
Practice creating a “pillow throne” on your bed, so that you can rest, supported in a semi-reclined position. Place pillows under your arms, behind your back, and under your knees. Make sure you have comfortable, loose pajamas that button down the front so that you can get dressed without lifting your arms. Freeze meals for yourself and your family ahead of time. Place items you will need to reach yourself at waist-level. It’s also a good idea to deep clean your home before surgery, most especially your recovery space—it will help you feel calm and prevent any boredom-induced temptation to Kondo your space (bending and lifting can easily strain your healing incisions).
4. Run errands ahead of time.
Not only should you avoid shopping so that you can rest, you will most likely be on prescription pain medication for the first few days following surgery. You cannot drive while taking these medications, and because your belly and breasts will be healing, you will want to minimize seatbelt time, too. So remember to take care of any essential errands ahead of time, like restocking prescriptions and taking your dog to the groomer.
How long is mommy makeover recovery?
This is the bottom line on recovering from your mommy makeover: You should not be responsible for any person, work, event, or social commitment for at least two weeks (if a tummy tuck was part of the surgery). This recovery requires complete selfishness (and you, as a mom, deserve it)!
If your mommy makeover includes a tummy tuck, expect 3-5 days of very limited activity and resting. You will soon be able to continue going about some daily activities, like making coffee and reading the mail, but you must avoid anything that requires more vigorous movement, bending, twisting, and all lifting over 10 pounds for 4 to 6 weeks.
These restrictions do not mean that you should be as sedentary as possible. Patients who are up and moving in the first few days have an easier, faster return to normal, and slow, continued movement also helps to prevent blood clots from forming. Because of the tightened abdominal muscles, you may find it difficult to stand fully upright at first. This lasts about 2 weeks. Still, focus on completing simple tasks. This is normal, and it will get better.
A special note about recovering while working from home:
Our mommy makeover patients find that this spell of forced relaxation is a breeze after spending so much of 2020 stuck at home! Still, plan to give your body the time it needs, even if you work from home. Ensure that your calendar is clear of obligations or appointments for 2 full weeks, if tummy tuck was part of your mommy makeover.
What is the best time for a mommy makeover?
Schedule your procedure to be the most convenient for you. I advise my patients to consider some of the following factors before putting the date on the calendar:
- When are sitters or your family available to help with childcare?
- Would you prefer to recover in cooler weather so that you can wear clothing that covers your bandages and compression garments?
- When will you have work holidays or accumulated PTO?
- Will your kids be at camp during the summer?
- Do you anticipate a slow season at work?
The most important factor you control is ensuring that you have no obligations—no work deadlines and no childcare responsibilities—during the first couple of weeks after surgery.
How should I tell my kids I’m having surgery?
You can be honest with your children while also reassuring them. Remember that while you may have many complex emotions about having surgery, younger children won’t make it a big deal if you don’t. Simply tell them that your body was stretched during pregnancy and that the doctor is going to help your body feel strong and healthy. If your kids are older and particularly curious or concerned about the process, direct them to learn more about the mechanics of surgery in general—it might even get them interested in a medical career.
While your kids cannot give you a big bear hug when you come home from surgery, you can involve them in your recovery. Encourage them to join you for some calm, quality time listening to books on tape, playing card games, or working on coloring books.
Let us help you customize your Fort Worth mommy makeover
As a mother of two, I know what it is like to consider plastic surgery while raising children. I am here to listen to your needs, discuss your goals, and come up with a plan that allows your mommy makeover to work for you. Most surgeries are performed on-site at our private, fully accredited surgical suite in Fort Worth, located at the same address where we will meet for your consultation.
Ready to take the plunge? Call my office at 817-292-4200 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online.