Fitting a Mommy Makeover Into Your Family Plans
By: Eric Mariotti, M.D. (April 2014)
Dr. Eric Mariotti, a plastic surgeon near Walnut Creek, discusses how to fit Mommy Makeover surgery into your plans for your future and your family.
I routinely perform Mommy Makeovers on patients from Walnut Creek and throughout the East Bay. These busy moms typically have lots of questions about scheduling, recovery, and how surgery will fit into their active lives. The answers to these questions are different for every woman, of course, but there are some general guidelines I like to share with my patients.
If you're interested in getting a Mommy Makeover and are wondering how it might affect your family plans, consider the following issues:
When Is the 'Right' Time After Pregnancy?
A lot of mothers I see are eager to reverse the negative physical effects of pregnancy and childbirth as soon as they can after having kids. A Mommy Makeover allows them to accomplish this in a single surgical procedure by combining breast enhancement with a tummy tuck and liposuction. I advise my patients to wait at least 6 to 9 months before having surgery because these areas of the body are still changing for some time after childbirth. Patients should be at a stable weight and be done breastfeeding.
On the other end of the spectrum are mothers whose children are grown, who often have wanted to restore their bodies for many years. A Mommy Makeover can be a great option for such patients; in fact, I've found these mothers to be among my most satisfied as they fulfilled a longtime goal of getting their bodies back. I tell my patients that how long it's been since they had children is not as big of a deciding factor as whether they plan to have children again.
Considering More Children?
Getting a Mommy Makeover is an investment in terms of time, money, and effort. The results, however, can be dramatic and satisfying, truly changing the lives of the women who undergo them. Unfortunately, a pregnancy can put these amazing cosmetic results at risk. I tell my patients that it's perfectly safe for them to have another child after getting a Mommy Makeover, but they should understand that they may need revision surgery afterward. A future pregnancy will have similar effects on a woman's body as past ones had: stretched abdominal skin, breast size changes and sagging, fat accumulation in certain areas, and so on. These changes would, of course, affect a patient's good surgical results.
Some women decide to go ahead with a Mommy Makeover even if they think they might have another child in the future because they don't want to wait for the transformation. Many patients of mine who want breast augmentation as part of their procedure have also asked about whether they would be able to breastfeed if they had another child. The answer is almost always yes, but it's important patients bring this up before surgery so we can choose an incision that avoids the glands and ducts needed for breastfeeding.
Who Else Will Your Surgery Affect?
This consideration is one of the biggest for most of my Mommy Makeover patients. Some have feelings of guilt over spending time and money on themselves rather than their children. My advice to these women, who clearly exhibit signs that they love and care for their kids, is that it is a good thing to care for themselves, too. If a woman feels insecure every time she takes her children to the pool or appears in a family photo, then she is likely not exhibiting the level of feminine strength and confidence she would like to. Energy spent building someone's confidence is energy well-spent.
On another level, many of my patients wonder about the logistics of the surgery and how long they will be required to avoid certain activities. There are questions of childcare in the time just after surgery and of activity restrictions (such as not lifting a young child for several weeks). My patients who have handled these challenges most successfully tell me they relied on a strong support system of family and friends, who gave them emotional encouragement and tangible help with chores, errands, and so on.
All of these factors are a lot to consider for any woman, so I like to take the time with each of my potential patients discussing each facet. Once a patient feels confident about each issue, then she knows the time is right for her transformation.