Motherhood is one of the greatest joys of life, but it surely takes a toll on the female body. Moms, you know the effects I’m talking about: new fat pockets, sagging skin, and separated abdominal muscles, not to mention a few more lines and wrinkles. The truth is, many women require help restoring their bodies after giving birth, as diet and exercise alone simply can’t address these concerns. As both a board certified female plastic surgeon and a mother, I’m dedicating this month’s blog to explaining how a mommy makeover can restore your pre-pregnancy figure.
What is a mommy makeover?
A mommy makeover is a customizable combination of breast and body procedures designed to help you reshape your figure following pregnancy. Depending on your aesthetic goals and your unique body type, a mommy makeover may include some or all of the following procedures:
What concerns can a mommy makeover address?
If you’re considering a mommy makeover, it’s important to know what the surgeries can (and can’t!) address. Most mommy makeover candidates are women who were in relatively good shape before their pregnancy and are now struggling with extra fat and loose tissues on their belly, hips, thighs, and/or breasts.
A mommy makeover can address:
- Separated abdominal muscles. Pregnancy can cause your abdominal muscles to weaken and separate, a condition clinically referred to as diastasis recti. As a result, the belly may protrude, making it appear bloated, even in very thin women. A tummy tuck can repair diastasis recti by reattaching the abdominal muscles using permanent sutures.
- Fat deposits. Stubborn fat deposits on the abdomen (“belly pooch”), hips, flanks (“love handles”), and thighs (“banana rolls”) can be the result of hormone changes, lack of proper diet and exercise, and normal weight gain from pregnancy. A mommy makeover can eliminate post-pregnancy fat using liposuction and surgical excision.
- Sagging tissues. After giving birth, it’s common for the skin on the abdomen, breasts, and buttocks to lose elasticity, causing sagging and folds. A mommy makeover (specifically a tummy tuck, breast lift, and or butt lift) can remove and tighten excess tissues in these areas, and even improve the appearance of cellulite in some patients.
A mommy makeover can address stubborn fat deposits, separated abdominal muscles, and sagging tissues on your belly, hips, thighs, and breasts.
A mommy makeover cannot address:
- Significant amounts of body fat. (Patients with a BMI greater than 35 should first consider bariatric surgery; a mommy makeover can help you sculpt your body after you have lost a significant amount of weight.)
Can a mommy makeover include Botox or fillers? What about labiaplasty?
Yes, yes, and yes! A mommy makeover is your chance to address any aesthetic concerns you may have so that you can look and feel fully rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. Here are a few common procedures you may wish to add to your list of mommy makeover procedures:
- Botox and fillers. If you have fine lines, wrinkles, or deep facial folds you’re bothered by (and let’s be real: who doesn’t?), Botox® and dermal filler injections can be included in your mommy makeover. At Restore SD Plastic Surgery, we take a personalized approach to cosmetic injections, using them to enhance—not change—your appearance.
- Labiaplasty. Naturally, the skin of your labia can become stretched and distorted from childbirth, which can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. Labiaplasty can be included in your set of mommy makeover procedures if you wish to remove the excess tissue of the labia and clitoral hood and improve its appearance; it can also make sex and exercise more enjoyable.
What happens during a mommy makeover consultation?
When you arrive at our San Diego plastic surgery office for your mommy makeover consultation, you will be welcomed by our all-female team. We will make sure we have your medical history and details, which can be uploaded ahead of time via our patient portal. You will then be guided to a private exam room where you will meet with our patient care coordinator, who will photograph your area(s) of concern (we use advanced 3D Vectra imaging at Restore SD Plastic Surgery).
Finally, I will meet with you to discuss your areas of concern, check for diastasis recti, assess your skin elasticity, and more. During this time, I often ask my patients what they most liked about their bodies pre-pregnancy and what they most want to improve now. This should be a completely honest conversation, with the purpose of helping you feel comfortable and empowered in your body; I want you to be confident and assured when sharing your aesthetic goals.
During your consultation, you will be shown before and after photos of patients similar to you who have had your desired mommy makeover procedures. By discussing these results with me, I will gain a better understanding of your aesthetic vision, and you will get a clearer picture of the kind of results they may be able to provide for you.
Having a clear idea of your needs and unique traits, I will then present a procedure plan that fits your goals and timeframe and answer any questions you may have.
Lastly, you will spend time with your patient care coordinator, who can answer many practical questions and discuss payment and financing options with you, as well as timing. If you find you are comfortable with the plan, you may choose to schedule your procedures and reserve your spot on the surgical calendar.
Your mommy makeover consultation should be a completely honest conversation with your plastic surgeon, with the goal of helping you feel comfortable and empowered in your body.
Who is a good candidate for mommy makeover surgery?
Mommy makeover surgery can be life-changing, but not all women are good candidates. Here are a few qualifications you should meet:
- You should be at least 6 months postpartum and finished giving birth for the foreseeable future. While getting pregnant again after your mommy makeover isn’t a health risk, it will stretch the tissues in your treatment areas, potentially undoing your results.
- You should be in good overall health and close to your ideal weight. (I ask that my patients are no more than 25 pounds over their goal weight.)
- You should be a non-smoker, or be able to refrain from smoking for at least 2 weeks before and after your surgeries.
- You should understand the costs associated with your procedure—including the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, and operating room costs. A mommy makeover at Restore SD Plastic Surgery in San Diego starts at $17,000 for a typical patient receiving a breast augmentation, breast lift, and tummy tuck. Patients often choose to finance their procedures with budget-friendly monthly payments.
How can I prepare for a mommy makeover?
- Make sure you have help. The recovery from a mommy makeover is extensive, and you’ll need someone to help with your “mother duties” for several months following your surgery. As I pointed out in a recent interview with the Aesthetic Authority, “Usually the hang-up with my mom patients is, who is going to drive the kids around during the recovery period—who is going to get them to school and back?” Make sure you have a loved one, relative, or good friend that can stay with you during the first few weeks of your recovery to help with these details.
- Understand your recovery time. You should anticipate your mommy makeover recovery to take 4-8 weeks, though most women may only need help with daily tasks and child care for the first 2 weeks. Your recovery time may be shorter if you are undergoing a mini tummy tuck (mini tummy tucks usually require just 2-4 weeks of healing time), though this procedure is reserved for women who solely want to improve their lower abdomens.
Start your mommy makeover journey with La Jolla plastic surgeon Dr. Gallus
Reclaim your pre-pregnancy body with a customized mommy makeover. As the Director of Restore SD Plastic Surgery, board certified female plastic surgeon Dr. Katerina Gallus has over 15 years of experience helping San Diego women enjoy full-body rejuvenation with breast and body procedures. Schedule your mommy makeover consultation online or call (858) 224-2281 today.