There’s no doubt that pregnancy is an amazing experience. However, following pregnancy, many women experience bodily changes like stretch marks, loose skin, sagging breasts, stretched out abdominal muscles, stubborn pockets of unwanted fat, and changes to the labia. Even after returning to their pre-baby weight through diet and exercise, most women notice these changes aren’t resolved.
A mommy makeover is typically an ideal solution for patients who are looking to rejuvenate their figures following pregnancy and breastfeeding. Treatments may include body contouring procedures like breast enhancements, liposuction, or tummy tucks performed in one trip to the operating room. While having these surgeries simultaneously may sound convenient, what does a mommy makeover recovery look like?
With the board-certified experts at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, we’ve put information together to answer your questions about mommy makeover to resolve your concerns about recovery. We want you to help you feel refreshed and confident following your mommy makeover recovery. Here is some information about mommy makeover recovery along with a few of our favorite tips.
What Is a Mommy Makeover and How Is It Performed?
A mommy makeover is a collection of surgical procedures that aim to restore the body after having children. Pregnancy affects multiple areas of the body—breasts, abdomen, and labia. Procedures to restore the body can be performed during one trip to the operating room for appropriate patients but may involve two separate procedures, if necessary for safety and recovery.
The procedures in your mommy makeover are determined based on your individual goals and the unique changes you experienced during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. A mommy makeover may include some of the following procedures.
Often women lose breast volume during pregnancy. Breast augmentation uses implants to increase size and enhance breast shape. With many sizes available, breast augmentation can be customized to help you meet your goals.
Breast sagging is one of the most common post-pregnancy complaints. A breast lift reshapes and repositions the breast mound and nipples to rejuvenate the breasts. Excess skin is removed, and the breast is raised to a higher position on the chest wall.
The abdomen is one of the areas most impacted by pregnancy. A tummy tuck transforms the abdomen with an incision across your lower belly to remove excess skin and fat and tighten the abdominal muscles. Some patients will benefit from our PowerTuck, a tummy tuck and liposuction combination that provides 360-degree enhancement.
Liposuction is a procedure to remove stubborn, exercise-resistant fat from the waist, hips, thighs, or abdomen. With small incisions, unwanted fat is eliminated to recontour each area.
Stretched out labia are common after pregnancy. A labiaplasty helps restore comfort and improve the aesthetic appearance of the labia by resizing the labia minora or majora.
How Long Does Recovery Take After a Mommy Makeover?
Recovery after a mommy makeover is greatly dependent on the number of procedures you have. The more procedures you have, the longer your recovery will take. However, as multiple surgeries are performed during one procedure, you will have a significantly shorter recovery than compared to having each procedure performed separately.
In the first few days following your mommy makeover, you will experience pain and discomfort. However, after a week or so, your pain should be manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. You may experience bruising and swelling that takes up to two to three weeks to resolve. Residual swelling may take six months to completely resolve.
Most patients will need approximately two weeks off work for the initial recovery. If you have a physically demanding job, you may need more time. During this time, you will need more rest than normal.
For four to six weeks, you should avoid heavy lifting and intense exercise. During this time, you will also not be able to lift small children. Your surgeon will advise you as to when you can resume lifting and carrying your children.
What Should You Expect During the First Few Days of Mommy Makeover Recovery?
The first few days of your mommy makeover recovery will depend on the procedures included in your procedure and your body’s recovery rate.
Immediately following surgery, you may be groggy or nauseous as the anesthesia wears off, which typically takes a few hours.
For the first few days, pain and discomfort is most pronounced. Be sure to take your prescribed pain medication as directed. During these first days, expect to get a lot of rest to avoid causing additional discomfort. When you are awake, you may experience soreness and tenderness.
You may notice swelling and bruising around the treated areas. Be sure to wear your compression garments as directed to help minimize swelling and encourage healing. Cold compresses may help manage discomfort.
When Can You Return to Work and Normal Activities After a Mommy Makeover?
Your return to work and normal activities following a mommy makeover is greatly dependent on which procedures are included in your procedure.
Typically, we recommend patients take one to two weeks off work to allow time to rest and heal. For patients who have more strenuous jobs, they will require more time off or should request modified duties for a few weeks.
At this time, you can resume most normal activities. However, you will need to continue avoiding strenuous activities, such as demanding workouts, running, or swimming, for at least six weeks.
What Are the Most Common Side Effects During Mommy Makeover Recovery?
Following a mommy makeover procedure, you may experience a few side effects as you would with any other surgical experience.
- Immediately following your surgery, you may experience grogginess, nausea, or dizziness due to the anesthesia.
- Pain and discomfort following a mommy makeover is most prominent in the first few days. You should receive a prescription for medication to help manage pain. Over-the-counter pain medication may be taken after the severe discomfort eases.
- You may experience bruising around the incision sites that lasts two to three weeks. To mitigate bruising, you’re encouraged to walk around a little each day to promote circulation. Walking also helps avoid blood clots from forming in the legs.
- Swelling often accompanies bruising. For about two weeks, you may experience significant swelling, with residual swelling lasting two to three weeks. A cold compress may help manage swelling. Compression garments help minimize swelling and encourage healing your new contours.
- Numbness and tingling near the incisions are common.
- Following breast enhancement surgery, nipple sensitivity and breast sensitivity may be impacted for several weeks.
- Scarring is unavoidable following surgery. In the first few weeks following surgery, the scarring may be quite noticeable. Our experts will guide you through caring for your incisions and subsequent scars to help them heal and fade. Many of the scars from a mommy makeover can be concealed under clothing.
How Can You Minimize Discomfort and Promote Healing After a Mommy Makeover?
As mommy makeover can be a significant procedure, depending on the number of surgeries included, it’s important to prepare for your recovery. There are quite a few things you can do to help yourself have a successful recovery before you have your surgery.
Here are a few of our favorite tips:
- Don’t tough it out. Take your pain medication as directed to avoid being in pain.
- Use cold compresses on the affected areas to alleviate discomfort and minimize swelling.
- Allow yourself time to rest. You’ve just experienced significant surgery, so take at least a week or two off from work, and don’t rush back into your normal routine.
- Rest and sleep in comfortable, neutral positions, and use pillows to elevate your head and shoulders. If you can, sleep in a recliner.
- Schedule help around the house to help with chores or care for children, pets, or others under your care. You will not be able to lift anything over ten pounds, including small children, for six weeks.
- Consider cooking and freezing healthy meals for easy preparation.
- Arrange a clean and comfortable space to rest as you heal.
- Wear your support garments as directed by your surgeon to minimize swelling and support your new contours.
- Avoid smoking, being around smoke, or using any nicotine products until your healing is complete. Nicotine can delay healing and create complications.
What Are the Risks and Complications Associated with Mommy Makeover Recovery?
Mommy makeovers are no riskier than most other invasive surgeries. The main difference is that mommy makeovers consist of multiple procedures performed simultaneously. The experts at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery know the number of procedures they can safely perform together. They will be honest about what is anatomically accomplishable in the timeframe allowed.
Our highly skilled, board-certified surgeons and their expert team perform surgeries in accredited surgical centers to ensure patient safety and comfort.
Risks associated with surgical procedures may include:
- Poor incision healing
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Inability to breastfeed
- Fat necrosis
- Deep venous thrombosis
- Cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Anesthesia risks
Is a Mommy Makeover Right for You? Factors to Consider Before Surgery
One of the most important factors to consider prior to a mommy makeover procedure is future pregnancies. While a mommy makeover will not affect your fertility, becoming pregnant may negate some of the results of your mommy makeover, requiring a secondary surgery to restore your results. Due to this fact, many women postpone their mommy makeover procedures until they are certain they do not want to become pregnant again.
Other factors you may consider are:
- Recovery can be lengthy and difficult. Numbness and swelling may persist up to a year following surgery.
- Make sure you have time to recover, not just time off for your surgery. You will need assistance caring for your children, pets, or others and caring for your household.
- Compression garments are extremely helpful. While they may be difficult to put on or uncomfortable, compression garments help limit swelling and promote healing.
- Eat a healthy diet before and after your procedure. Your body needs healthy, nutritious foods to fuel your recovery, so begin your recovery before your surgery. Make sure you eat lean protein, high fiber, low salt foods. Avoid sugary, processed, or fried foods as they can hinder healing.
Generally, good candidates for a mommy makeover are women who are unhappy with their body following pregnancy. The best candidates are not planning future pregnancies, are finished breastfeeding, and are near their goal weight.
We recommend candidates for mommy makeover should:
- Be in good medical health
- Live a healthy lifestyle with a BMI under 30
- Be non-smokers, or willing to quit 4 weeks prior to and after surgery
- Have no medical conditions that impair healing
- Understand the surgical risks
- Have a positive outlook and realistic expectations
- Be willing to thoroughly follow instructions
Partnering with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Choosing the right plastic surgeon is one of the most important decisions of your mommy makeover journey. The first factor you should consider when choosing a plastic surgeon is board certification. When you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon, you are selecting a doctor who values and maintains extremely high standards of education, knowledge, and skills.
Along with board-certification, it’s important to look at your plastic surgeon’s performance record and reputation. If they have an extensive successful performance record and an impeccable reputation, you can rest assured that your plastic surgeon will provide the appropriate care throughout your cosmetic surgery journey.
Another important factor to consider when choosing your mommy makeover surgeon is that your plastic surgeon should present themselves as a professional, honest, and compassionate person with whom you feel comfortable. You should feel confident trusting your surgeon and openly communicating with them.
Choosing Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery as Your Mommy Makeover Experts
No matter which procedures you’re looking to complete in your mommy makeover, our expert surgeons at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery aim to help you rejuvenate your figure and renew your self-image. Our experts, Dr. Tiffany Ballard and Dr. Pramit Malhotra, will work with you to develop a unique treatment plan to ensure you achieve beautiful, natural-looking results.
Schedule Your Mommy Makeover Consultation Today!
Restore your pre-pregnancy appearance and reclaim your confidence when you partner with the mommy makeover specialists at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery!