5 Things to Know Before Having a Mommy MakeoverFew changes are as fulfilling, meaningful and powerful as giving birth to a child. It’s a great big change to your life, to your family and to the world itself.
But it also means a bunch of small changes for your body, as well. You may end up with more weight, you may get stretchmarks, or your breasts may change shape or lose volume. You feel grateful for the big change you’ve brought into the world but wishing you still had the body you had before it happened.
But like the old saying goes: change is good. Mothers who want to get back in touch with the active bodies they had before pregnancy may not have access to a time machine, but they have the next best thing available to them: a mommy makeover! A series of surgical procedures, mommy makeovers use a combination of tummy tucks, liposuction and breast surgeries to restore mothers back to their pre-childbirth bodies.
At the offices of Dr. Richard J. Brown, we’ve done our fair share of mommy makeovers over the years. Are you thinking of getting one done? Here are five things you should know before having a mommy makeover.
1. A mommy makeover is a small piece of the puzzle, not the whole thing.
A mommy makeover can help change your life, but it isn’t a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. The procedure is meant to fix the things you can’t fix on your own: pockets of fat that no amount of exercise will remove; stretch marks; excess skin and asymmetrical breasts. If you treat it like a magic cure-all, you’ll be sorely disappointed: Some of the changes a mommy makeover brings can be erased if you don’t take care of yourself. It’s just one of the many pieces that need to come together to get your body back.
Before you get your mommy makeover, you should get yourself into good shape. Being in good shape will make the recovery process a lot easier, for one thing, and it will help your doctor find the parts of you that NEED a mommy makeover. A good guideline is to get yourself down to your best weight and maintain it for at least three months before getting your work done. You’ll also want to have finished breastfeeding for two to three months so your breasts will return to normal size. Work on your cardio and back muscles, too, as building your endurance and back strength will be a huge help when you begin healing.
2. It leaves a mark.
Modern surgical techniques can work wonders, but they also leave scars. One thing you’ll have to make peace with when getting a mommy makeover is that you will probably have a few marks on your body as souvenirs of your personal rejuvenation and transformation. Skilled surgeons make the scars as mild and small as possible, and are often strategically placed in areas that your clothes will cover up, like your bikini line. Great plastic surgeons like Dr. Brown go out of their way to make their work look as seamless as possible. The scars you may end up with will be easy to miss, even to the most inquisitive of eagle eyes.
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But mommy makeovers can be exhausting as well. You’ll probably go through a whole spectrum of emotions as you come to terms with your new body. This can make for a pretty stressful environment, so it’s crucial that you get plenty of rest, and that you take it easy on yourself. You’re going through a momentous change, and sometimes your nerves will be sensitive and your moods will be wild. Let your loved ones know what you’re going through so they can support you and give you your space when you need it.
As a mom, you’re there for everyone all the time. This is YOUR time for your family to be there for YOU.
3. You’ll need lots of beauty sleep.
A mommy makeover can radically change your body and restore it to the strength, shape and vitality that you were used to before childbirth. A mommy makeover is also an intensive series of surgical procedures that will require some serious recovery time. You can’t get a mommy makeover on Monday and wake up on Tuesday ready to do your usual routine.
Your recovery time may vary, depending on what you get done as part of your makeover. General recovery time for most mommy makeovers are going to take at least six weeks. The first week is the most taxing, and you will probably be bedridden for most of it. It’s important that you have someone who can drive you to and from the doctor’s office when you get the procedure done, and that someone can be with you for the first 24 hours to make sure you’re okay. If you have small children, you’ll want to make sure that someone else can watch them for a few days as you focus on healing.
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The key to healing is to get lots of rest, try to be as free of stress as possible, and to reduce the amount of physical activity you do. While it’s good to get out of bed and walk for a bit to keep your muscles working, you don’t want to be engaging in any activity that is too strenuous or demanding. After the first two weeks, depending on how you feel, you can start driving and doing more physical activities again so long as they’re done safely and in moderation. You shouldn’t start exercising, though, until you get cleared to do so by Dr. Brown.
After five to six weeks, you should be close to functioning normally again. It’s important that before you return to your active lifestyle, you check with Dr. Brown to make sure your healing is going well and that you won’t run the risk of damaging any of the work you spent weeks recovering from.
Related: Can I Get a Mommy Makeover Twice?
4. Objects in the mirror are smaller than they appear.
After undergoing the procedure, you may be shocked at the changes your body has undergone. Your breasts in particular might seem to be HUGE, far bigger than you expected. Before you get buyer’s remorse, keep this in mind: They’re not actually going to be THAT big. Parts of your body will swell up considerably after the surgery, and this is especially the case with your augmented breasts.
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For the first month of your recovery, you won’t have an accurate idea of what your body is going to look like. So rather than fret that you picked implants that were too large or rue procedures that you didn’t get, be patient. Wait for the swelling to subside. As you get deeper into your recovery and your body adjusts to the radical changes that happened to it, it will start to take on the shape it’s supposed to. In time your body’s new, gorgeous shape will reveal itself as surely as a restored painting’s brilliance will shine forth when all the dust and debris coating it is swept away.
5. It’s OK if there’s another bun in the oven.
It’s recommended that you get a mommy makeover when you feel like you’ve finished having children. Sometimes, however, our biological clocks keep ticking and you and your family might start missing the pitter-patter of little feet running around the house. So if you’re wondering if you can still have children after getting a mommy makeover, the answer is yes … but there are some things you should keep in mind.
The biggest hurdle to having more children after a mommy makeover is the tummy tuck. The tuck tightens up your abdominal muscles by suturing the stomach muscles together. Giving birth to another child could undo the tuck, so you might need another one in the future if you wanted to maintain that pre-pregnancy shape.
Dr. Richard J. Brown is the premiere plastic surgeon in Scottsdale for mommy makeovers and many other plastic surgery procedures. If you have any questions about mommy makeovers, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brown, call our office at 480-568-3804.