Having a child will, obviously, change your life forever. But what you may not have expected was the way it would change your figure forever. The localized gain and loss of weight, breastfeeding, and hormonal changes all combine to create areas of sagging, stretched skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise.
Fortunately, a mommy makeover with Dr. Bershof can give you your pre-baby body back.
What is a mommy makeover?
Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding present a unique set of problems for a woman’s figure. Localized weight gain causes the skin, muscles, and support tissues of the abdomen area to stretch to a degree that the area often doesn’t tighten and firm back up after the child is born. The same is true with the breasts, as the rapid increase and then decrease in size, coupled with breastfeeding, tend to permanently stretch the tissues.
A mommy makeover targets these issues directly by combining a series of surgical procedures into one surgical session with Dr. Bershof.
A tummy tuck tightens the abdomen, often bringing muscles that have separated back to the center. Depending on your circumstances, a tummy tuck can target both the lower abdomen and the area just above the navel. A breast lift brings the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest, removing excess skin as necessary. Often augmentation with implants is included along with the lift to regain volume that was lost with breastfeeding. Liposuction is usually also a part of our mommy makeovers to remove stubborn pockets of fat that accumulated during pregnancy and seem virtually impossible to get rid of.
Who is a good candidate for a mommy makeover?
You don’t have to be a mommy to have a mommy makeover, but this combination of surgeries with Dr. Bershof target the effects pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding have on a woman’s body. These are characteristics of patients who opt for mommy makeovers at Bershof Plastic Surgery:
- Your breasts have sagging, and the nipples may point downward
- Your breasts have lost volume and flattened
- Your lower stomach has a permanent pooch
- You have pockets of stubborn fat on the abdomen and possibly the thighs
Mommy makeover patients should have lost most of their pregnancy weight (should be within 10% of ideal weight) and be in overall good general health. Good candidates will need to have finished with breastfeeding for at least three months prior to having a mommy makeover. This allows the breasts to return to their normal cup size.
Should I have a mommy makeover now if I plan on having additional children?
Dr. Bershof strongly advises his patients considering a mommy makeover to be sure they are not going to have any more children. This is because if you again become pregnant and deliver a child, your body will go through all the changes again. This will wipe out all the benefits of your surgery. Plus, your incision scars can become distorted with the kind of stretching pregnancy creates.
What are the procedures performed with a mommy makeover?
As with all of surgeries Dr. Bershof performs, every patient seeking a mommy makeover is unique. Each has different issues, so every procedure is tailored by Dr. Bershof to those individual needs. Still, so that you can get an overall idea of what’s involved, these are the procedures Dr. Bershof usually performs:
- Tummy tuck — A tummy tuck targets loose skin and underlying stretched or separated muscles on the abdomen. An incision is made along the bikini line, usually from hipbone to hipbone. The underlying muscles, which have been separated by the localized weight gain of pregnancy, are pulled together and sutured in place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin is then pulled down and excess is trimmed away. Your tuck may just involve the lower incision, or it may also include an incision near the belly button to address sagging above the navel.
- Breast lift — The breast lift seeks to bring the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest. The incisions needed depend on the amount of sagging. Dr. Bershof may be able to accomplish the lift with an incision around the areola of each breast. But if more skin must be trimmed, the incision could need to extend down to the breast crease, and sometimes outward along that crease. This is known as an “anchor incision.” A lift doesn’t return lost breast volume; if you want to add volume Dr. Bershof can add augmentation through breast implants to your breast lift. Augmentation at this time is not difficult as the implants can be placed though the incisions already made for the breast lift.
- Liposuction — Stubborn pockets of fat in your abdomen and possibly your outer thighs and buttocks are the targets of the liposuction portion of your mommy makeover. These areas are almost impossible to target with exercise or diet. This procedure uses a cannula inserted through tiny incisions to suction out pockets of unwanted fat and slim your contour. Dr. Bershof uses tumescent liposuction, where a liquid solution of saline combined with adrenaline and anesthetic is injected into the treatment areas to minimize bruising, blood loss, and to help loosen the fat.
What will my recovery be like after a mommy makeover?
The tummy tuck portion of a mommy makeover is the most difficult part of your recovery. The lengthy incision and repositioning of separated abdominal muscles mean you won’t be lifting anything with much weight for a few weeks. Stairs will be out of the question for a couple of weeks. Full recovery from your tummy tuck can take up to six months, but you can return to a light level of activity in one to two weeks. For your breast lift, you’ll need to be very diligent about wearing your surgical bra/support bra. You’ll need to wear these bras for 24 hours a day for the first month. This is important to keep from placing any stress on your incisions. In general, your first week after your surgeries will be difficult, but things will become much easier from there.
How should I prepare for my mommy makeover?
As with any surgery, you’ll need to stop taking any blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medications, along with most herbal supplements, a week or so prior to your surgery. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, as smoking reduces circulation and impedes healing. Dr. Bershof and our team will discuss these things with you.
Your preparation should revolve around your recovery. You’ll be out of commission for at least a full week or two, so you need to plan for that. Climbing stairs will be out of the question for a couple weeks. You won’t be able to lift anything more than a jug of milk for a few weeks. So, you want to create a recovery nest filled with comfort and entertainment. Comfy pillow and blankets. Great books. The remote. An iPad or your laptop. If you normally sleep upstairs, you’ll want to create at least a temporary place downstairs so you can avoid the stairs.
Also, prepare by enlisting help. This isn’t any time to tough it out. Have your partner, family, and friends help with the kids, cooking, and the rest. The easier you take your initial week or two of your recovery, the better the entire process will go.
Want to learn more about a Mommy Makeover?
For more information about The Plastic Surgery Group, please call us at 303.399.7662 or fill out the consultation request form on this page. Dr. John F. Bershof and his staff serves patients in Denver and the surrounding Colorado areas.