• 19 February 2016
Mommy Makeover

Once a woman is done having babies and her children start to gain their independence, it isn’t uncommon for her to look in the mirror and long to see her pre-motherhood body.

While a woman’s body is designed to carry, nurture and feed an infant and newborn baby, becoming a mother does not come without affects on the body.

From sagging breasts, to extra skin, stretch marks, and stubborn abdominal fat, becoming a mother is tough on the body and as a woman ages and has multiple babies, it becomes even more difficult for the body to return to its prenatal form.

A woman’s postpartum shape may be affected by how much weight she gained during pregnancy. The more weight gained, the greater the chance for excess skin and sagging. Many women try diet and exercise to help bring their pre-baby body back, but sometimes this is not enough. A healthy lifestyle and daily strength and resistance training can result in weight loss and a stronger body, but sometimes it does not give a woman their desired results – breasts still appear saggy and extra skin is still noticeable.

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While some women proudly display the marks of motherhood as they continue through life, some women choose to look into having a mommy makeover. Those who are thinking of getting a mommy makeover may feel guilty or selfish prior to doing so, but if a mom is consistently unhappy and lacks the self-confidence and self-love they so rightly deserve, then they need to know it is okay to put themselves first for once and invest in a mommy makeover. While motherhood does not ‘ruin’ a woman’s body, it does inevitably change it and thankfully, if a woman is not happy about it – there is something that can be done to help them.

Simply put, a mommy makeover is a cosmetic procedure or procedures that return a woman’s body to pre-baby state as much as possible. The general result is a more youthful appearance and is known to increase a woman’s self-esteem and confidence, especially in more revealing clothing and swimwear.

Depending on the state and comfort level with one’s body, a mommy makeover can be one procedure or a combination of several surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Some common mommy makeover surgical procedures include:

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

A woman’s stomach and abdominal area is a common place for skin to sag after pregnancy and is also one of the hardest places to tone through exercise. A tummy tuck is designed to tighten the skin around a woman’s middle and also attempts to restore and strengthen any muscles left in the area. The desired result is a flat stomach with no more excess sagging skin that needs to be hidden under baggy shirts and maternity pants.

A tummy tuck is done through an incision just above the pubic bone. The size of the scar depends on the amount of skin needing to be ‘tucked’ and may also be affected by any previous surgical scars, including that one from a c-section. In some cases a vertical incision may be necessary, but a surgeon will always consult with a patient prior to surgery and inform them about the necessary incision location and type.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Once a woman is done breast-feeding they may notice their breasts will lose their elasticity, plumpness and begin to sag. Depending on the size of a woman’s breasts, this may cause strain on their neck and back.

If a woman chooses to have a breast lift, their surgeon will use the patient’s breasts natural contours as a guide to lift and reposition them accordingly, along with the nipples and areolas.

One of the most common techniques for the breast lift procedure involves three incisions, the first incision around the areola, another running vertically from the bottom outline of the areola to the crease beneath the breast, and a third horizontal incision following the crease beneath the breast. Regardless of how the procedure is conducted, the result is perky breasts reminiscent of the patient’s pre-breastfeeding days.

Breast Augmentation (Mammaplasty)

Whether a woman chooses to breastfeed or not, sometimes pregnancy alone can leave a woman’s breasts un-shapely, flat and difficult to fit into swimwear. Breast augmentation surgery can help reconstruct and reshape a woman’s breasts so that they appear more flattering in swimwear as well as help them regain their fullness, firmness, and volume.

Breast augmentation surgery means a woman must first make the decision on the type of implant (saline or silicone) as well as the implant size and location for the implant insertion. The incisions are typically made directly above the crease of the breast, around the lower edge of the areola, and in the armpit. A patient’s surgeon will work with the patient to chose the best method for their individual needs. The result will be fuller, shapelier breasts that will attractively fill swimwear.

Breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries are often combined to create the overall appearance and feel of youthful breasts that will allow a postpartum woman to feel confident and sexy regardless of what she is wearing!

Liposuction (Lipoplasty)

As mentioned before, depending on the amount of weight gained, body type, as well as how many babies a woman has had, sometimes no amount of exercise or proper nutrition can remove the fat or excess skin from certain unwanted areas. If a mom finds herself with stubborn pockets of fat that are not responding to their healthy lifestyle, a lipoplasty procedure, more commonly known as liposuction can help.

Liposuction is one of the most common surgical cosmetic procedures. Using a suction device called a “cannula,” fat can easily be removed from specific areas of the body.

In addition to traditional liposuction, there are other variations available as well, including Smart Lipo, Vaser and other forms of ultrasonic liposuction designed for denser areas of fat. Ultrasonic liposuction procedures heat up the tissues in an effort to improve contraction of the surrounding skin.

Eyelift (Blepharoplasty)

Sleepless nights are inevitable, especially as a new mom, and unfortunately, depending on a woman’s physiology and genetic makeup, sometimes the look of sleepless nights around the eyes is permanent. If a mom looks more tired than she feels then she may want to look into an eyelid lift procedure, as known as blepharoplasty.

An eyelid lift procedure removes the excess skin around the eye area and tightens up any skin in the area that may have lost its elasticity. It also removes any fatty tissue that may have accumulated under the loose skin, causing the appearance of puffy eyes.

This is accomplished through discreet incisions made along the natural creases in the upper eyelid, and depending on the surgery itself, also along the outer lower rim of the eye. It is not uncommon for the incisions to reach the outside corners of the eyes, but thankfully following a couple of weeks of swelling and redness, the incision locations should be virtually unnoticeable. The result of an eyelift is often a rejuvenated, rested and alert appearance.

While the majority of changes to a woman’s body during pregnancy and motherhood affect their muscles and connective tissue, there are some changes that can be improved through non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Some common non-surgical mommy makeover procedures include:

Sclerotherapy

Whether it is due to excess weight or a hormonal imbalance, some women, especially those who have been pregnant, are prone to the appearance of dark root-like veins appearing on their legs. Commonly referred to as spider veins, they are a cluster of dilated blood vessels that sit under the skin. The redish blue color of these veins take on a web-like appearance below the surface of the skin, which can cause a women to become self-conscious of their appearance in skirts, shorts and bathing suits.

Luckily, most spider and varicose veins are treatable without surgery. Sclerotherapy is the most commonly used non-surgical treatment option for spider veins. The procedure involves the injection of a chemical into the targeted area, which then causes the web of blood vessels to collapse.

Microdermabrasion and Light Peels

Microdermabrasion and light peels are often confused and mistaken as the same treatment. Both of these non-invasive procedures produce similar results and have the common goal of removing dead or dull skin cells on the skin’s surface.

The difference between microdermabrasion and light peels is that in a microdermabrasion procedure, small crystals are sprinkled onto the skin to get rid of the dead surface cells. The crystals are then removed using a vacuum-type tip. While this treatment is going on, the patient’s skin is usually treated with moisture and pore-cleaning agents that result in a rejuvenating appearance.

The benefit of using a light peel or microdermabrasion is that this procedure does not involve any recovery time. Once the procedure is finished a mother can return to her little ones immediately (a perfect procedure to be done while the kids are at school!). It is possible, however to experience some redness or inflammation, and peeling (especially with the light peel) immediately following the procedure. The results of these non-surgical mommy makeover procedures are everlasting and are known to improve a patient’s skin texture, tone, and outlook.

Thermage

After a pregnancy or pregnancies, and once the pregnancy weight has been lost, some mother’s notice extra skin on their knees and upper legs. Depending on the amount of excess skin, sometimes the only option is a surgical knee or thigh lift, but if a woman is merely looking to smooth out the skin, than a thermage procedure might be enough.

Thermage is a non-invasive way to smooth out the skin on knees and upper legs. This procedure involves heating the skin’s collagen, which in turn causes it to contract and tighten skin over a period of time. One specific treatment can produce results over a time period of six months, and last up to two years. A consultation with a surgeon will reveal the best treatment plan.

Botox and Dermal Fillers

With motherhood come worries and stresses unthought-of before having children. Whether it is lack of sleep or repeated facial expressions, noticeable lines and wrinkles will inevitably show up on every mother’s face. Luckily, Botox is the most effective, non-surgical cosmetic procedure to erase the wrinkles that appear when a person repetitively squints, smiles or frowns. Botox is the most popular cosmetic procedure available today.

Botox is inserted through tiny needle injections that temporarily immobile the muscles that cause wrinkles. The result is a relaxed, smooth appearance of skin – reminiscent of a mother’s youth. The procedure is not painful and should take no more than a few minutes per session. A patient will notice a change within a couple of days and in a few weeks see the full effect.

Dermal fillers are used to plump up areas of the face that have lost volume, such as the lips or to fill in wrinkles and folds. There are different types of filler used depending on the depth of the line as some respond better than others. Both Botox and dermal fillers only take a few minutes to inject and while some discomfort may be experienced, the result should last from six months to two years.

If a woman is unsure of what mommy makeover procedures are best for her, it is highly recommended that she do her research and book a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. A patient should make a list of areas she would like help with and have realistic expectations in mind prior to her first appointment A surgeon will then design a custom mommy makeover package that is best for her shape, size, health, lifestyle, and skin type.

It is also very important that a patient talk about the mommy makeover procedures with their spouse or significant other.Remember that following any mommy makeover procedure; a patient will most likely not be able to lift their children or do intense chores, including cleaning and laundry, for a determined amount of time. Mommy makeover patients should have childcare and assistance available to them once they return home. Allowing the appropriate amount of time to rest and heal will bring a patient closer to the post-baby body they can feel great about for years to come!