‘Mommy Makeover:’ How To Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back
Any new mom will tell you that having a baby changes you — mentally, emotionally and physically. And in the years after giving birth, many women struggle with their body image. While diet and exercise are always the appropriate first steps, body-contouring surgery is another option.
How Your Body Changes
Your pregnancy will affect every part of your body, but nowhere are these changes more evident than in your breasts and abdomen. Rapid weight gain and loss, nursing and muscular damage can leave a woman with a variety of permanent physical issues ranging from excess skin to scarring.
Breasts. During and after pregnancy, your breasts will swell due to weight gain and milk production. Your nipples may become stretched out or damaged and may deflate or sag after breastfeeding. Fat loss and stretched skin will not substantially change with diet or exercise.
The Fix: Augmentation or a breast lift can reshape or improve the breasts’ appearance. This can be accomplished using implants or via a fat transfer procedure, which uses liposuction to remove and relocate a woman's own fat tissue.
Abdomen. How your body responds to your expanding belly varies based on factors such as total weight gain, skin and muscle elasticity, genetics and delivery challenges. Cesarean births will leave scars. Stretch marks, extra fat and loose skin may remain long after your baby is born. And some women will discover a lingering division in their stomach muscles (a condition called diastasis recti), which may not properly realign after pregnancy expansion.
The Fix: Body-contouring options such as liposuction and abdominoplasty (commonly referred to as a tummy tuck) can remove excess fat stores and sagging or loose skin, and can repair misaligned stomach muscles.
Other body parts. Not every woman is affected the same way by the changes that occur after pregnancy. A mommy makeover can be whatever you want to make you more comfortable with your body.
Are You a Good Fit for a Mommy Makeover?
Most body contouring solutions are surgical, and they come with a degree of risk and will require you to take the appropriate recovery steps. Some factors to consider include:
Are there any other health conditions, such as diabetes, that need to be managed or resolved first?
Are you close to your ideal body weight and is your body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 32?
Are you still breastfeeding or considering additional children?
Are your children old enough to not require carrying since you won’t be able to lift heavy objects for several weeks?
Are you in good health and maintaining an active lifestyle?
Proper Care After Surgery
Depending on the treatment and surgeries you have, there are a few common-sense restrictions and potential complications that you’ll need to watch out for.
To avoid blood clots, your doctor might prescribe compression garments and encourage you to be up and walking as soon as possible.
As with any surgery, wound care is important. Stay aware of any changes to color, swelling or warmth near your incision. Other signs of infection may include fever and nausea. Allergic reactions may cause a rash or itching.
Some procedures may require drainage. Watch for signs of fluid buildup near the areas affected as it could be a sign of seroma and require additional drain care.
Bringing children into the world is life-altering, and your body’s changes are a testament to its incredible capabilities. But if you want to recover some of your pre-pregnancy appearance, safe and effective options are available.
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