When Ellie of Lake Worth, Florida, took a train trip with her seven and three-year-old children, she looked up and smiled pleasantly at the woman seated across from her. All of a sudden, the stranger dropped a remark that stuck in Ellie’s mind.” You have such beautiful grandchildren.”the woman said.
“Like many women, I wanted to be the perfect mother and gave virtually all my time and attention to the children,” Ellie said. “I got to the point where I had put myself at the bottom of my priorities and even went around without makeup. In a word, I had become a frump.”
Ellie also started thinking how her appearance might affect her children. After all, the children see loads of ideal beauties every day, thanks primarily to the media, and then make comparisons to mom, the real woman they see daily.
“If I lose respect for myself, my kids may also lose respect for me and then themselves,” Ellie thought,” Perhaps the children would have a better role model if they saw me as more outgoing and confident – and not so frumpy.”
Eventually, Ellie decided her outward appearance should match the youthful, attractive person she felt to be deep down inside. A mommy makeover was the ticket. “Mommy! You look really good” said her 7 year old.
Mommy Makeovers Counter the Physical Effects of Pregnancy
On average, most women gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. This weight is stored as fatty tissue in the breasts, abdomen, flanks (love-handles), hips, lower back, buttocks and thighs. The breasts also grow due to weight gain and to prepare for nursing. But don’t despair; a mommy makeover can help you look your best again.
As the baby grows, so does the abdomen and this may result in a weakening and separation of the abdominal muscles, and stretching of the abdominal skin. This stretching may cause a breakage of the skin collagen, thereafter seen as stretch marks. These unsightly marks are purple-red in color and concentrated around the belly button and lower abdomen. These effects often become even more apparent after childbirth and nursing. A mommy makeover can help reverse these effects.
Many new moms do lose the excess weight – eventually. Unfortunately, the weight loss is not proportional to the amount of fatty tissue in a given area. That means for some, more weight may be lost from the breasts or buttocks than the abdomen and waist.
The result? Smaller breasts despite fullness of the waist and abdomen. In these cases, a mommy makeover may be in order. Once a woman finishes breastfeeding, the breasts deflate even further and begin to sag. The weak abdominal muscles and the excess abdominal fat appear as fullness and bulging of the belly. Many new moms may still look pregnant even as their child is taking his or her first steps. Once again, a mommy makeover can help.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A mommy makeover is performed using a unique combination of plastic surgery procedures designed to counteract the physical effects of childbearing, and restore and enhance your body. The mommy makeover trend is becoming so pervasive that there is even a children’s book – My Beautiful Mommy – by Florida plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer that helps moms explain the procedures to their children.
In general, a mommy makeover may include:
* Breast augmentation
* Breast lift
* Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
* Butt lift
Mommy makeovers can include any or all of these body contouring procedures depending on your wishes and needs.
For example, some women need breast augmentation to correct severely deflated “pancake” breasts, while others may need breast implants in combination with a breast lift. Still, some women may actually desire a breast reduction with a lift.
In the abdominal area, many women need a full abdominoplasty with tightening of the muscle layer as well as removal of the excess skin and fat, while some may need a mini-abdominoplasty. Some women may also benefit from liposuction to sculpt the back, hips and thighs; and smooth out their contours. Finally, an increasing number of women have also been requesting a buttock lift as part of their mommy makeover. The length of the surgery varies based on the amount and type of procedures performed. Some surgeons may perform a mommy makeover as two or more separate operations.
Want a personal perspective? Read about Christy Carlson’s real life mommy makeover experience.
Preparing for Your Mommy Makeover
It is important to ask yourself certain questions before deciding to have a mommy makeover.
Are you done having children?
If you plan to have more children, wait. The vertical muscles in the abdomen (which are tightened during a tummy tuck) can re-separate.
Are you at a stable weight?
Being at a stable weight before surgery can help maximize the results. Lose all your baby weight with diet and exercise before having plastic surgery.
Are you finished breastfeeding?
You should wait until you are finished breastfeeding before having breast surgery because the enlarged ducts and increased blood vessel activity of the breast during nursing increases bleeding and the risk of infection