Getting a mommy makeover is a big decision, but this checklist explains everything you need to know before moving forward.
- 1 The Only Checklist You’ll Need for a Mommy Makeover
The Only Checklist You’ll Need for a Mommy Makeover
Starting your own family can be one of the greatest achievements of a lifetime. As rewarding as motherhood can be, however, not all women are thrilled with its effects on their bodies. A “mommy makeover” gives women the chance to reclaim their pre-baby bodies and rediscover youthfulness at this later stage in life. This customized set of procedures tailored to your figure can deliver dramatic results, but you’ll have a lot of important choices to make along the way.
Here’s a handy mommy makeover checklist to help you get the most out of your procedure.
Plan Your Ideal Mommy Makeover Results
Preparing for your mommy makeover means taking every possible step toward the best outcome, before and after surgery.
It’s no secret that pregnancy can wreak havoc on the female body, not to mention the cumulative stresses of motherhood, fluctuating hormones and age. If you’re interested in getting a mommy makeover, chances are, you already have a good idea of the changes you’d like to see. When planning your procedure, get specific about your desired outcome so you’re well prepared to communicate your goals to your surgeon.
If you’re considering getting a tummy tuck after completing your family, you’re not alone. Since pregnancy causes the belly to extend, the skin becomes stretched and doesn’t always have enough natural elasticity to tighten up again after giving birth. Women who have had more than one child can be particularly at risk of developing loose, excess stomach skin by the time they complete their families. A tummy tuck can trim away this loose skin and leave you with a tauter abdomen.
The midsection is one of the most common parts of the body to cause dissatisfaction, especially after pregnancy.
Loose skin isn’t the only cosmetic concern for the stomach. The abdomen and hips are some of the most common places to store excess fat, and pregnancy weight doesn’t always come off as easily as it packed on. If you think you might have excess fat hanging around your belly, you may be a good candidate for liposuction. At most surgical practices, you can add lipo to your tummy tuck to get the best of both worlds.
Last but not least, examine your abdominal muscles. If your midsection seems too wide or bulky, your abs may be separated. The abdominal muscles are split into two halves, one on each side of the midsection, but multiple pregnancies or drastic fluctuations in weight can pull the two halves apart. This condition is called diastasis recti, and can be impossible to correct without surgery. Your tummy tuck surgeon can tighten your abdominals during your procedure, restoring a youthful and fit look.
Almost every mommy makeover includes some type of breast enhancement so you can embrace your feminine curves once again. One of the most prevalent effects of aging on the breasts is ptosis, or sagging. Over time, our skin loses elasticity and tissue begins to thin. These natural changes combined with gravity can cause the breasts to droop and appear deflated or elongated. Sagging breasts may also have downward-pointing nipples. A breast lift, also called mastopexy, repositions the breasts for a higher, firmer bust line, as well as creates a rounder, more youthful shape. The nipples can be repositioned or resized as desired.
Pregnancy, nursing, hormonal changes, weight loss or gain, and age can all affect the breasts.
Some women also find that they lose breast volume as they age. If your breasts seem smaller after becoming a mother than they did in your younger years, there could be a number of factors at play, including whether or not you nursed, whether you’ve lost weight and your genetics. On the other hand, you may have always felt some level of dissatisfaction with your breast size, and getting a mommy makeover can be the perfect chance to finally get the curves you’ve always wanted. Breast augmentation using implants can create fuller, larger breasts for women seeking a more feminine profile.
Fat transfer breast augmentation offers another option for women seeking a fuller figure. This procedure uses your own fat cells to naturally enlarge the breasts, and is best suited for women seeking a subtle boost. Fat transfer can also be performed on already augmented breasts to enhance the results from breast implants. Also known as fat grafting, fat transfer breast augmentation begins with liposuction of a donor area, usually the hips or abdomen. Viable fat cells are then injected directly into the breast tissue to increase volume and create a round, natural shape.
On the other hand, not every woman is interested in augmenting her curves, and may in fact have the opposite goal. Overly large breasts can feel burdensome and restraining, especially for women who lead active lives. Women with large breasts may have difficulty finding clothing that fits, feel uncomfortable in swimwear or attract unwanted attention. Breast reduction surgery removes breast tissue and excess skin, as well as lifts and reshapes the breasts. As a result, you’ll have lighter and smaller breasts.
The most popular type of buttock enhancement today is the Brazilian butt lift. This two-step procedure uses fat grafting to transfer fat from another area of the body, such as the waist, thighs or arms, directly to the buttocks. Your cosmetic surgeon will first use liposuction to remove fat cells from the donor area, making this a nice opportunity for some minor slimming in a place where you have some fat to spare. After, the fat cells are injected into the buttocks to enhance the shape and size.
Women seeking a smaller posterior, on the other hand, may be interested in liposuction of the buttocks. The thighs, buttocks and love handles are some of the most common target areas for lipo, and slimming these areas down can help streamline your figure and improve the fit and feel of your clothes. Smartlipo™, a liposuction technique that uses laser energy to break apart fat cells and simultaneously heat and tighten the skin, can be especially beneficial for dense areas like the buttocks.
Having a shapely bottom can complement just about any body type and help create the classic hourglass figure.
Finally, a lower body lift is an option for women interested in tightening and toning their entire lower body. This procedure is customized for each individual and includes elements of a thigh lift, tummy tuck and buttock enhancement.
The face never stops changing, much to the chagrin of those particularly attached to youth, but age can also be viewed as a gift. And while you can’t turn back the clock, you can preserve your natural beauty by taking care of yourself and highlighting your best features.
Minor facial surgeries can make a big difference in the overall composition of your features. A mommy makeover might be the right time to finally pursue a treatment you’ve considered in the past, like eyelid surgery or lip augmentation. You may find a small adjustment goes a long way toward highlighting your natural beauty and refreshing your appearance.
Not every woman includes facial procedures in her mommy makeover, but those who do often thank themselves for it.
Last but not least, simple injections like BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport® and facial fillers can smooth out wrinkles, fill in deep creases and replenish thinning facial tissue. Fat transfer to the face can also bring back a more youthful facial contour to match your new figure.
Find Your Mommy Makeover Surgeon
Choosing the best cosmetic surgeon for you is by far the most important step in preparing for your mommy makeover.
Your cosmetic surgeon determines your overall results not only with skill level and degree of expertise, but also with procedural options and the extent of customization. Not every surgeon, for instance, offers fat transfer breast augmentation as a more natural alternative to implants, or performs a range of liposuction techniques for addressing different needs.
When you shop around for the right surgeon for the job, keep these important factors in mind:
- Background and experience. The ideal surgeon should have extensive training under his or her belt, including residency programs and fellowships. Certification with the American Board of Surgery or American Board of Cosmetic Surgery also indicates a dedication to the field.
- Before-and-after photos. Ask to see real patient before-and-after photos to get a realistic idea of the results your surgeon can deliver. You might also be able to talk to previous patients and find out how they felt about their experience.
- How does your surgeon make you feel? Does he or she strive to respond to all of your concerns, inform you about procedure details and understand your cosmetic goals? Ideally, you’ll find a cosmetic surgeon that you can have a lasting relationship with, so it’s okay to be a little picky about how the two of you communicate.
Preparing for Surgery
Preparing thoroughly for a smooth surgery and recovery can help you have a stress-free experience and get the most beautiful results.
Preparing for a mommy makeover isn’t something to cram into a matter of weeks. Ideally, preparing for cosmetic surgery should happen over months or even years before getting your procedure. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prep:
You’ll want to wait a minimum of 6 months after giving birth or nursing before getting any cosmetic surgery. This is because it takes time for your hormones to stabilize, and your hormone levels can affect things like the elasticity of your skin and the quickness of the healing process.
It’s also never too late for a mommy makeover. Some women finally find the time and personal space to prioritize themselves after their children grow up and leave the nest. Others may wait until after retirement or beyond, finally getting cosmetic surgery in their mature years. As long as you are in good overall health and have clearance from your general physician, you can still enjoy beautiful results.
While cosmetic surgery can help you shed excess skin, rolls or stubborn fat cells, the procedures are not replacements for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, those who maintain good health on a day-to-day basis with a nutritious diet and regular exercise tend to see the best results. A healthy body generally responds better to surgery than a body lacking a range of nutrients, not to mention you’ll be doing your part to enhance your natural beauty everyday.
If you smoke, set a goal to quit at least 3 months before surgery. Smoking depletes your skin from important proteins and nutrients, as well as dehydrates your skin and restricts blood flow. There are all factors that can negatively affect your results or your recovery. Many people see cosmetic surgery as an opportunity to make a major lifestyle change, so planning your mommy makeover could provide just the motivation you need to kick a bad habit.
Finally, stocking up on healthy foods before surgery can help you maintain a nutrient-rich diet through your recovery. Eating lots of fiber, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and veggies can help your body immensely in the days and weeks following your mommy makeover.
Speaking of health, a big part of preparing for body contouring procedures, like a tummy tuck or liposuction, is reaching your target weight. Body contouring is meant to reveal your true body shape underneath excess skin or bulges, not for weight loss purposes. Get within a 5- to 10-pound range of your ideal weight and maintain it for at least 6 months. This gives your body time to adjust after weight loss and also challenge you to maintain a stable and healthy weight for some time.
For the longest-lasting results, you’ll need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle long after your procedure recovery. Body contouring goes hand-in-hand with fitness and can be an excellent motivator for keeping weight off and staying in shape. A mommy makeover can be a great way to celebrate your fitness achievements and put the finishing touches on your weight loss success.
While not everyone wants their cosmetic surgery procedures to be public knowledge, it’s important to have a good support system in place. Have at least one good friend or family member who can support you as you prepare for surgery and help out during your recovery.
Talking to your children about your mommy makeover can be a daunting task, but many women find it’s easier than they anticipated. How much you disclose will likely depend on your children’s age and your own personal boundaries. While very young children may be satisfied with a basic explanation, teens may have more questions. However you decide to approach the topic, emphasize the importance of healthy living and loving oneself.
Your Mommy Makeover Recovery
Your mommy makeover isn’t over when you go home after surgery. Your recovery process is another, final stage in achieving your dream results.
Recovering from cosmetic surgery is a process that varies for every individual because there are so many contributing factors. If you’ve taken the steps to plan your procedures carefully, find the right surgeon for the job and prepare for surgery, you’re well on your way to a healthy recovery. Here’s a final checklist for the smoothest mommy makeover recovery:
Your cosmetic surgeon will ask you to wear certain post-surgical compression garments to stimulate blood circulation, minimize swelling and speed up your recovery. Follow his or her instructions and ask if you’re uncertain about anything.
Your incisions should be kept dry for at least 72 hours after surgery. Keep the scars well moisturized, clean and protected from the sun to encourage optimal healing. Your scars will continue to mature for 1 year or more, and many women find that the scars from cosmetic surgery continue to fade for up to 3 years. Ask if your surgeon has any special scar care instructions.
A Recovery Area
As much as you’ve prepped for your mommy makeover, there’s no escaping the fact that undergoing major surgery can be stressful. Your recovery should be a time of decompression and relaxation, as your body will need all the rest it can get. Prepare a recovery area, stocked with comfy pillows, books or magazines, and any of your favorite activities. You should be staying well hydrated, so plan to get up to go to the bathroom often. It’s also a good idea to have a reserve of ice packs or bags of frozen veggies handy so you can use them to reduce swelling and discomfort while you rest.
Finally, you’ll need to take time away from your normal routine. As challenging as it may be, make it a priority to get major tasks and chores out of the way before surgery and avoid scheduling extra responsibilities for the first couple weeks of your recovery. If you can, enlist the help of a friend to run errands or ask a family member to take care of household duties. Most women take 2 to 3 weeks off of work and their usual activities after getting a mommy makeover.