Becoming a mother is one of the most gratifying gifts you will ever receive. Motherhood introduces you to many exciting and wonderful changes, including unconditional love, patience, and incredible joy. Having a baby is a beautiful experience and you end up with a new baby, a new experience, and a new you. Unfortunately however, pregnancy can also change your body in ways that do not bring happiness and you end up not liking the “new you.” A Mommy Makeover is the combination of cosmetic surgery procedures used to reverse the changes in the areas of your body that need to be restored after childbirth. Weight gain, heartburn, morning sickness, skin changes, and fatigue are just a few of the things that occur during pregnancy making you feel like your body no longer belongs to you. When your body doesn’t return to its pre-pregnancy physique by the time your “little one” starts sleeping, walking, and attending pre-school, you realize recovering your pre-baby size might be impossible to achieve. There is a solution however, as the Mommy Makeover was created to help you regain your pre-pregnancy confidence by helping you look and feel your best.
Pregnancy and childbirth are remarkable events but they also create changes throughout your body with the most dramatic transformations occurring in your breasts and abdomen. On average, women gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy and this added weight is stored as fatty tissue in your breasts, abdomen, flanks (love-handles), mid-section, hips, lower back, buttocks, and thighs. Skin, muscle, and other tissue must stretch to accommodate your growing child and after childbirth, some of your tissue loses its ability to “bounce back.” This can leave you with a flabby, stomach, saggy breasts, stretched skin, and general fat deposits that you never thought possible. Not only does your body change hormonally after delivery, your self-esteem and self-image are connected to your emotions, which make the changes more stressful and sometimes overwhelming. With all of the other pressures being a mother entails, the last thing on your mind should be how you are going to get your shape back and the Mommy Makeover will help you regain control.
Most mothers rightly conclude that the extra skin they developed on their abdomens to accommodate their growing baby inside refuses to tighten back to its pre-pregnancy tone. During pregnancy, as your baby grows so does your abdomen. This may result in a weakening and separation of your abdominal muscles and stretching of your abdominal skin. This stretching may cause a breakage of your skin collagen resulting in stretch marks. Stretch marks are concentrated around your belly button and lower abdomen and are an unsightly purple-red in color. After pregnancy, many women are left with lax muscle tone and fatty deposits that protrude from their abdomen. Usually, this protrusion results from an injury to your rectus, or “six-pack” muscles and they are no longer connected to each other in the midline. This allows your intestines and other abdominal contents to protrude outward, resembling a large hernia. In most cases, no amount of crunches or dieting will help repair the damage that pregnancy has done to this part of your body but fortunately there is an option. Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck surgery, can provide dramatic results by retightening your abdominal muscles while eliminating your excess skin. Combined with liposuction, removing the stubborn fat in your midsection will result in a more slender and youthful abdominal area. The hidden success behind an abdominoplasty procedure has to do with the muscle repair and tightening that goes on beneath your skin. A Mommy Makeover goes beyond improving the appearance of your midsection.
Your breasts undergo significant changes during and after your pregnancy. Your breasts grow due to weight gain as well as to prepare you for breast-feeding. Many mothers are disappointed with the changes in their breasts after pregnancy because a softer, fatty tissue replaces a diminishing amount of firm breast gland tissue. This can result in a deflated look or a smaller breast size with the same amount of skin wrinkled over the tissues underneath. A breast augmentation is a popular option for women who want to enhance their breast volume. A breast augmentation will restore the volume and re-inflate the wrinkled skin envelope while giving back lost fullness, which creates a more voluptuous look.
Once a woman finishes breastfeeding, the breasts deflate even further and begin to sag. A breast lift, or mastopexy, does just what it says by elevating your breasts to a more youthful position. It is for women who are satisfied with the size of their breasts but desire a firmer, more elevated appearance. In this procedure, excess skin is eliminated and your entire breast is lifted and tightened. A breast reduction is for a woman who feels her breasts are overly large. This procedure is very similar to a breast lift, but removes a greater amount of tissue in addition to the excess skin.
Mommy Makeovers are normally performed as an outpatient procedure requiring general anesthesia. Now that cosmetic surgery is less invasive, you can usually return home the same day depending on your procedure. You may be required to wear a surgical garment after your surgery to prevent blood clots and promote healing. Most patients are on pain medication for at least the first few days but discomfort usually subsides quickly. Swelling subsides within a few weeks and results can be seen shortly after your procedure. Physical activity may be restricted for up to six weeks for heavy lifting, jogging or other strenuous activities. Patients are often restricted from showering for the first few days and if you receive drainage tubes during surgery, they are often removed at a follow-up visit approximately one week later.
Your surgery experience will vary greatly based on what procedures are performed. During your consultation, you will be given a list of pre-operative instructions to follow prior to your surgery. Close adherence to the directions you receive will make a difference in the outcome of your surgery. If more than one procedure is performed, the time of the surgery and your recovery time will be longer. Recovery also varies depending on the Mommy Makeover surgeries you choose. Like any surgical procedure, there are some risks involved but fortunately complications are rare and will be further diminished by following the guidelines given to you by Dr. Moelleken. Some possible risks include bleeding, swelling, infections, and unfavorable scarring.