After pregnancy, your body can take quite some time to ‘bounce back’ (a statement most frequently said by people who’ve actually never had a baby). For most women who have children, bar the super-fit athletes or extremely young mums, the body simply refuses to ‘bounce back’. And it’s not because of lack of trying. Rather, the body doesn’t fully ‘recover’ its firmness because pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding are all far more significant events (or body traumas) than most people anticipate.
Many Mums who miss their pre-pregnancy bodies have concerns about three key areas, typically:
- breast and nipple appearance
- abdominal appearance and core strength
- vaginal skin or labia changes
They often ask our Patient Care Coordinators (03 8849 1444) about which surgery they should start with after pregnancy:
- either a breast surgery (breast augmentation, breast lift/masto-augmentation or breast reduction) or
- an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), or
- possibly both at once
Whilst you can sometimes get both breast surgery and tummy tuck surgery performed in one surgery, it’s usually NOT commonly recommended for most patients.
Some surgeries are best performed together and others performed separately for three possible reasons:
- one, that’s a lot of surgery to have and recover from at once, especially with children at home to care for.
- Secondly, covering two surgery’s at once can be costly; and
- Thirdly, you might have a better idea of what you want one area of the body to look like after first having the other body parts re-contoured.
Yet your Surgeon can advise you more precisely on the pros and cons of combining surgeries, and why it’s sometimes better to do one before the other.
Child Birth, Pregnancy and Changes to your Breasts and Body
Carrying a child and going through childbirth impacts everything from your pelvic area bone structure and ligament strength to your core abdominal strength when abdominal muscle damage occurs during pregnancy or delivery.
“If you’ve had more than one child or twins,” affirms our Specialist Plastic Surgeons team, “then you’re highly likely to have torn abdominal muscles and significant changes to other areas of your body. This can make regaining your body nearly impossible without surgical correction of the split abdominal muscles causing the ‘tummy pouch.’
“Additionally, many women who don’t like the post-baby appearance of their breasts would require a breast lift or breast augmentation (or both) to recover the position of the breasts and nipples, as they often appear empty and deflated after breastfeeding.”
“For other women, a breast reduction with a breast lift is their best approach. That’s because women with heavy, large breasts may have even more breast volume after pregnancy. That noted, the tendency after breastfeeding is often towards sagging nipples and empty-looking breasts that sag or droop.”
Everyone’s body is different – some don’t mind the changes, some bounce back, and others need a little help to remove sagging tummy skin and uplift breasts and nipples.
Mummy Makeover – the Two Most Popular Surgeries for Body and Breasts
A Mummy Makeover surgery typically involves combined breast and tummy contouring procedures. Sometimes vaginal laser treatments (with the Mona Lisa Vaginal Laser System) can help restore firmness and contours to the vaginal area.
If weight changes relating to pregnancy and early child rearing years were extreme, you may even want to explore thigh lift and arm lift procedures to your pre-baby body back.
Is it all about vanity? No. It’s about feeling comfortable in your body again.
When you talk to mothers who have had these surgeries, they will tell you it’s not just emotional or physical – it’s both. They note that having their body re-contoured allows them to enjoy motherhood a bit more, feel a bit more confident in their bodies and not fear to look in the mirror or to go to the beach.
Our bodies and how we feel about how they look is intricately linked with our psychological, social and interpersonal lives, note many researchers who study the impact of appearance and self-image on our lives. It seems that if you’re very unhappy with body changes after pregnancy, wear only baggy clothing, hate getting dressed or looking in the mirror, then your day to day quality of life is going to be impacted.
You should ensure you get the emotional and psychological support you need after pregnancy if you have mood changes. You should also know that beauty has many dimensions – beauty within and beauty externally – but there’s nothing wrong with looking after your body in a way that makes you feel better and leaves your body and core muscles stronger and firmer. So long as you can maintain those results with a healthy lifestyle and a stable BMI (Body Mass Index), you can attain satisfactory body surgery results with body contouring and/or breast surgery. Just remember that results vary from patient to patient and that every person’s different.
Many women diet and exercise after pregnancy only to find that their stomach still bulges, sags, and has loose skin. During pregnancy, the abdominal tissues can separate.
It is this muscle tissue disruption that leaves many mums with a bulging or sagging stomach line and ‘flabby waist’ contours even when they diet and exercise.” A tummy tuck can repair the separated muscles (diastasis recti) and give you back your waistline.
Why Women Usually Ask for More than One Procedure
Women often report more than one concern with their body after children – breasts, stomach, arms, thighs, etc. Deciding which procedure to prioritize and have first can be difficult and expensive. A Mummy Makeover combines 2 or more of these procedures into one surgery, but these can also be done sequentially if your Surgeon recommends.
Are you a candidate for Mummy Makeover surgery procedures?
- Are you uncomfortable revealing your stomach, breasts or upper arms?
- Do you have weak abdominal muscles or stress-related incontinence and mild bladder weakness after having children?
- Have your nipples started pointing ‘south’ or hanging below the inframmary line?
- Do your breasts look empty or droopy?
- Do you miss having a firm tummy area or a visible waistline?
- Do you want your breasts back where they are supposed to be?
Mums who are fitness-oriented, Mums of multiple pregnancies or twins, Mums over 40 and even younger Mums who have been missing wearing more fitted styles of clothing report a renewed sense of femininity and restored body confidence after getting their body ‘back again’ through body contouring surgery and excess skin reductions.
Mummy Makeover procedures can:
- Help you get a smoother looking stomach
- Reposition, contour and uplift your breasts to where they were before you had children
- Have you feel more comfortable wearing fitted, tailored clothing again as well as feeling more comfortable in bikinis, swimwear, sleeveless clothing and lingerie
- Remove the bulging appearance that’s commonly called “a muffin top”
- Return your body confidence and sense of femininity
- Restore the contours that help you feel sexier or more desirable and body-confident
What Does A Mummy Makeover Include?
Most women opt for a tummy tuck and breast lift during a Mummy Makeover but it can include other procedures, such as
- Tummy Tuck
- Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
- Liposuction or contouring
- Breast lift (with or without implants)
- Breast reduction
- Upper Arm Lift
- Inner Thigh Lift
- Vaginal tightening by MonaLisa Touch
- even a buttock lift (Brazilian Butt Lift)
A Plastic Surgery Specialist can discuss and help you decide what combination of procedures is right for you. Before and after your surgery or a Mummy Makeover, you will need to commit to maintaining a stable weight and regular exercise routines. That’s because surge results change if your weight or BMI changes (or if you get pregnant again or breastfeed, or even go through menopause).
So keep your expectations realistic and phone us on (03) 8849 1444 to arrange a personal consultation with one of our Specialist Breast or Tummy Surgeons.
- Recovery periods for Mummy Makeovers vary depending on the type and combinations of procedures.
- Many women can expect to need 2 weeks off of normal work or childcare responsibilities, up to 4-6 weeks to recover (sometimes longer or even up to a year for some patients).
- Though this may sound like a long time, particularly if you have children, most women are back on their feet after about 1 to 2 weeks.
- There may be guidelines around physical activity, medication and physical support such as supportive and well-fitting bras or other garments.
Which surgery should you choose first?
The quick answer is that the body area that’s bothering you the most is the one you should typically choose to have operated on first; however, there may be pros and cons to putting one procedure before the other.