The amazing moment of looking at your little one for the first time and holding their tiny hand is an unparalleled experience.
While motherhood brings endless joy, the pregnancy process leads to certain changes in a woman's body. The changes in the breasts, abdominal shape, and stretch marks are common concerns for most people post-delivery.
Pregnancy comes with weight gain and the amount varies greatly from person to person. Most of the weight is seen in the form of fat accumulated in the abdomen, legs, buttocks, and breasts. Some of this weight is also the baby and placenta, etc.
While the baby and uterus are growing during pregnancy, they need space to live! Stretch marks appear on the skin as it expands and the muscles of the abdomen stretch and separate, which can lead to a weakened abdominal wall after delivery.
While some women feel empowered by these signs of motherhood, some women feel a dip in self-esteem and become eager to get their pre-pregnancy body back.
What is Mommy Makeover?
The Mommy Makeover is a generic term for a series of procedures that restore the woman's body to its pre-pregnancy state and improve her confidence. It often includes breast surgery and abdominal surgery but varies from patient to patient. Which procedures are included depends on the patient’s goals and body changes.
The Mommy Makeover can comprise the following procedures:
Breast Augmentation and/or Breast Lift
One of the significant post-baby symptoms is the onset of breast changes. During pregnancy, breast tissue expands in size and stretches the internal structure of the breast as well as the skin. After delivery (breastfeeding, if done) breasts change in size and shape, often leading to a lower position of the nipple and extra skin. Many women dream of having their perky compact breasts back.
Breast augmentation works to enlarge the breasts through silicone or saline implants to create a youthful, fuller bust. While some women would like to have their pre-pregnancy size, others might opt for a larger size.
A breast lift repositions the nipple and breast tissue while removing excess skin. This can be done alone or with the addition of an implant, depending on your sizing goal.
Pregnancy can lead to excessive weight gain in some people and the development of hard-to-lose fat pockets in certain areas. Adopting a healthy lifestyle by eating mindfully and exercising sheds off some of the fat, but there can be stubborn areas that won’t cooperate.
Liposuction is a sculpting procedure, rather than weight loss surgery. It works to remove excess fat and sculpt the body back to its ideal shape. The skin then shrinks down to the new contour and can make the body look more fit and toned.
Liposuction works best in areas of good, tight skin without stretch marks. It relies on the skin’s ability to shrink down to its new shape and if extra skin is already present, may leave behind even more loose skin. If this is the case, surgical excision of the skin may be required for optimal shape.
Pregnancy usually leads to a decrease of muscle tone of the abdominal area as well as loose skin and excess fat.
Abdominoplasty or a Tummy Tuck is a surgical procedure to tighten the abdominal muscles back to their pre-pregnancy shape and remove extra, stretched skin.
Every patient’s pregnancy journey is different and this can leave them with different anatomy. Some patients do not have much or any extra skin but still have stretched muscles. Other patients have more extra skin. Each of these needs a slightly different surgery for the best results. A customized tummy tuck for these special situations is something that Dr. Couvillion specializes in.
When is the Right Time to Have a Mommy Makeover?
The urge to have a pre-pregnancy body back can be tempting. The right time to undergo the Mommy Makeover depends upon certain factors such as:
Undergoing surgical procedures immediately after birth can be damaging. It is essential to give your body time to heal naturally before opting for surgeries. Letting your body heal naturally for a while after birth gives your body time to recover on its own and for the hormone changes of pregnancy to resolve.
Waiting six months to one-year post-birth is recommended before a Mommy Makeover to get the desired results.
Another important thing to understand is that the quality of the results depends upon your current weight. If you plan on losing additional weight after surgery, you may end up with more extra skin. It's better to get to a stable weight before surgery, so you get the absolute best result possible.
Post-Mommy Makeover Recovery Period
In the initial months post-delivery, the baby requires full-time attention and constant care. After undergoing a Mommy Makeover procedure, the body needs adequate rest to recover properly. For the first few weeks, you’re restricted from lifting heavy objects, usually anything over about 10 pounds. Most babies are going to be in this weight range when you’re initially recovered enough to begin to think about surgery.
One of the most notable factors for Mommy Makeover candidacy is the number of children you want. Undergoing Mommy Makeover surgeries and having additional pregnancies afterward will change your result. Ideally, you’re finished having children prior to surgery.
Pregnancy after a tummy tuck is absolutely possible, it just may change your result.
Out of all seasons, fall and winter are considered the perfect seasons to undergo a Mommy Makeover as the children are in school, you will have plenty of time to rest, heal, and recover quickly.
Also, you can wear loose clothing and oversized sweaters during the cooler days of fall and winter. Wearing binders or compression garments after surgery is essential. Cool-weather and oversized clothing make this more comfortable and easily concealed.
In addition, the extra vacation time during Thanksgiving or December holidays can be used for extra recovery days.
Taking time off from strenuous, outdoor activities is also needed after surgery.
If you enjoy summer/springtime outdoor activities or sports, fall and winter are great times to have surgery.
Women breastfeeding their babies undergo significant changes in their breast shape, size, texture, elasticity, and nipple size. After finishing breastfeeding, Dr. Couvillion usually prefers a 6 month waiting period before undergoing breast surgery. It’s kind of like the recommendation above about being at a stable weight – we want everything to be as stable as possible before we start making changes
Benefits of a Mommy Makeover
Every woman has the right to feel confident and comfortable in her skin. If your post-pregnancy body is making you feel down, then the Mommy Makeover can do wonders for your body and make you feel empowered again.
- Boost Self Esteem
With a Mommy Makeover, you can get the body back that you had pre-pregnancy.
- Single Day Procedure
Most Mommy Makeovers can be done in a single surgery. You can get everything from liposuction to breast augmentation done in a single day.
- Long-Lasting Results
With the Mommy Makeover, you changes that are made are there for life, as long as your weight remains relatively stable.
- Personalized Procedures
The Mommy Makeover is carried out by keeping you in mind. All the procedures are done according to your needs so that you can get the results according to what you desire.
How to Prepare for a Mommy Makeover?
If you're thinking about undergoing a Mommy Makeover there are a few things to think about to prepare for the process.
Nicotine is harmful to healing as the chemical itself makes your blood vessels smaller, which decreases blood flow. After surgery, less blood flow leads to less nutrition and oxygen delivered to your healing tissues. This can lead to wound healing problems and fluid collections, which may be totally preventable. We recommend that nicotine use of any kind stop completely for 4 weeks before and after surgery to optimize your body’s ability to heal.
Have a Consultation
It is necessary to meet with Dr. Couvillion before undergoing surgery to disclose your medical history, medications, supplements, and treatments. Some medicines contain blood-thinning properties, which can lead to bleeding complications. At the consultation, he will help you come up with a personalized plan to help you achieve your goals.
Dr. Couvillion sees all of his surgery patients twice before surgery. This means you have an initial consultation and then a separate preoperative appointment. This gives you more time to have all of your questions answered. You also receive your preoperative and postoperative instructions before surgery, so you can be as prepared as possible once the day arrives.
After Your Mommy-Makeover
We perform surgeries in a hospital setting and under general anesthesia. The surgery is almost always carried out on an outpatient basis, which means you can return home after the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home from surgery and an adult to be present for at least the first 24 hours.
Help with childcare is also a consideration after surgery. The recovery process can be tiring and needs to be all about you! It can be very difficult to take care of yourself while also caring for children.
You will also be called for follow-up appointments, the first of which is usually about a week after surgery. After that, it varies from patient to patient, but you will usually have between three and eight follow-up appointments within the first three months post-Mommy Makeover.
If you are interested in a mommy makeover please reach out to Dr. Ryan Couvillion's Aesthetic Consultant, Rosa Gonzalez at 713.850.0240 x. 1146 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Couvillion, MD
double board certified plastic surgeon
Dr. Ryan Couvillion is an experienced Houston, TX plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic procedures for the breasts, body, face, and skin. A native Houstonian, Dr. Couvillion has been recognized for his passion and dedication to achieving the best possible results for his patients. His drive to pursue training in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery began at a young age, and he is honored to have been mentored by some of the nation’s most recognized surgeons.
For every aesthetic need, Dr. Couvillion incorporates a patient-centered approach with everyone he encounters and makes each client a part of the decision-making process. According to Dr. Couvillion, "The most gratifying part of my day is when I get to talk to a happy patient. It is such a privilege to care for my patients and give them the results they want."