After children, women often feel like a deflated balloon. I mean, this kid pops out, and basically now you have pancake boobs, a stomach that hangs down to your knees, and you’re saggy in places you weren’t saggy in before.
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You are freaking out because you look like a 70-year-old version of yourself, your emotional as you are adjusting to life with a little one and you don’t feel sexy at all. Like there is no way that you could turn the head of Bigfoot at this point. You need to get your mojo back...
Hence the mommy makeover.
We have all heard of this term by now, unless you are living under a bridge. No, even people under a bridge have heard of a mommy makeover.
However, a mommy makeover isn’t what you think. It's not as much a set group of procedures as it is a marketing term. Yes, I don’t think it comes as a surprise that us women aren’t so happy with our body as we age and especially after we have kids.
Don’t get all mad at me - it's the truth. Marketers profit from a need, and us women kinda wanna look hot all the time, even after we have kids. Ever heard of a MILF?
Mostly, though, the mommy makeover includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and a breast augmentation or lift. Some surgeons include vaginal rejuvenation and liposuction to legs and arms in their mommy makeovers, but we are going to be talking about just tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and liposuction, which are really the mainstay of a mommy makeover.
A mommy makeover is usually a way to do multiple surgical procedures at once. This can lower surgical center costs and anesthesia costs as you don’t have to go back multiple times, or at least fewer than anticipated.
By far I think the biggest demographic of people that are getting surgery now are moms. I say this because they are the ones that are having extreme body changes.
And let me tell you, those body changes can be devastating for some.
After my son was born, even though I was fat, I was now fat and... Gelatinous. I had stretch marks and dimples in places other than my cheeks, if you know what I mean. I was taken aback with how fast my body went to hell in a handbasket.
Back then, in the 80s, plastic surgery was still mainly for the rich and famous. Now, any schmo off the street can get plastic surgery through financing options. It also does not have a negative stigma associated with it any longer, which, back in my day, it certainly did.
So let's talk about what usually consists of a mommy makeover.
What Constitutes a Mommy Makeover?
There are two types of tummy tucks - a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck is for someone who has extra skin hanging either from weight loss or pregnancy. Also, it is likely if you had a c-section your abdominal muscles would need to be repaired due to separation (which can happen with plain old pregnancy or weight gain as well).
Liposuction can be performed at the same time with either the mini tummy tuck or the full tummy tuck to contour the waist. The belly button stalk is removed and placed elsewhere in a full tummy tuck. You will need 2-4 hours of being under anesthesia at a surgical center.
What to expect after surgery: You will likely have drains placed to drain excess fluid after surgery. A compression garment is worn to keep the area in place. Most surgeons state you should have at least 2 weeks off work depending if you have drains, pain level, and healing.
You will likely be able to resume exercise by 4 weeks post op, and may have to wear a compression garment longer than four weeks. These things are all things that your surgeon will talk to you about prior to the surgery.
Complications: Infection in the incision area, seromas, which are a collection of fluid under the skin can occur as well as hematomas, which is a collection of blood under the skin. Excessive bleeding and anesthesia reactions can occur as well.
If you are attempting to engage in vigorous physical activity, you may have some dehiscing-a fancy word that just means separation of your incision. Blood clots are rare but can happen, which can lead to a pulmonary embolus, which is a blood clot that goes to your lungs. Again, these are rare but it can happen with any surgical procedure.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck can be done for someone who has some extra skin below the bellybutton, but not a lot of extra skin. The area of skin being removed small. The stalk of the belly button is not removed and placed elsewhere but stays in its original place.
The lower abdominal muscles can be repaired, but not the ones above the belly button. It can be done under local anesthesia and only takes 1-1.5 hours.
Basically, the difference is this - they don't move the bellybutton. The surgeon will only repair the lower abdominal muscles (if needed). A mini tummy tuck is for someone who has a slight amount of lower abdominal extra skin only. Most people will likely need a full tummy tuck, however, as most physicians state that clients may not notice a dramatic difference with the mini tummy tuck.
The same complications that occur with a full tummy tuck can occur with the mini tummy tuck, to a lesser degree. Any surgical procedure has risks of complications, and that is exactly why they have you sign a consent form for everything.
With either of these procedures, liposuction can be an option to contour the area of the waist or make the abdomen look flatter after the surgery, if needed. Liposuction is used by making a small incision and basically sucking out fat cells with a cannula (it's like a straw, no joke) from the area to shape and mold it to look smooth.
After your surgeon performs liposuction, those fat cells are no longer there and it is more difficult to gain fat in those areas - well, unless you're gaining weight like gangbusters and eating a ton, then you gain weight everywhere, with the liposuctioned area being the slowest to gain.
Liposuction does not cure cottage cheese areas - it doesn’t get rid of cellulite, unfortunately. Some say that cellulite is genetic, but as a side note, things that DO help cellulite is hydration, healthy diet with healthy fats and exercise.
Some of us are just downright blessed with cellulite and we are vulnerable to miracle cures such as the facia blaster and some certain creams. I myself have tried everything, but have yet to find the miracle cure...
The complications that occur with liposuction are an infection, excessive bleeding, and anesthesia reactions. You also can have some contour issues, places that appear lumpy or wavy and your skin may have difficulty healing. Sounds fab, right?
Let's move on to boobs. Yes, boobs. After children and breastfeeding, its like they are deflated feedbags. Seriously, I wasn’t enthused about them before, but after kids? Holy moly, could they get any floppier? No longer full, they were what I called “sad sacks of sadness.”
A breast lift does just that - lifts the nipples so they aren’t pointed toward your toes and gives you a more “youthful” look. After having children, lifting the breast is often needed, however, I know very few people that chose to only have a breast lift, as fullness vanishes after children and breastfeeding. Usually, a breast lift and a breast augmentation go hand in hand, so let's get into that.
OK, here is where I will likely spend the bulk of my time. Boob sagging is a real thing, and losing volume to your breasts after kids is also a real thing.
Many who decide to undergo breast augmentation also want a breast lift at the same time, which makes sense if your boobs are saggy and your nipples point toward the floor. If you are going to fill in fullness, you will need breast augmentation, not just a lift.
If you have fullness but want your nipples in a normal place, then that's when you have a breast lift only. Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that is done quite frequently and is not as scary as it once was.
You and your doctor can decide if saline or silicone is right for you. The main difference is that saline doesn’t feel as smooth or natural as silicone, but easier to detect if there is a leak; silicone feels more natural, but doesn’t pucker etc if there is a leak.
Also, it is important to note that breast implants don’t last forever. It is likely if you are in your late 20s getting them done, you will absolutely have to have a redo somewhere along the line; maybe even a few redos, as usually over time you lose volume or you have leakage, or its just time to replace them.
You and your physician will decide what implants are right for you and what your end goal is. If you want more natural looking implants, they will go underneath your pectoral muscle; be aware, it hurts more after the procedure. It depends on how you want your chest to look afterward.
I have seen both ways and both can look good; definitely the implant under the pec muscle looks “more natural,” however, breast augmentation can look good on top of the pec muscle if the subject likes the more rounded fuller look to the top of the breast.
Let's talk drains. Drains from what I can decipher from my research is done more when your implant is under the muscle, although this does not seem to be a hard and fast rule. If you accumulate fluid faster, they will place drains. Surgeons don’t like gushy surgical areas as this signifies fluid accumulation somewhere.
You will likely need to drain your drains at least twice a day (every 12 hours most likely) and the fluid will need to be measured. Drains can stay in up to a week or more, although the longer they stay in the higher the infection rate, so physicians like to get them out when your drainage is less than 30cc total for the day or whatever measurement they feel comfortable with. Antibiotics are given as well to hopefully curb any infection after this surgical procedure.
A hard bra is worn... Not really, just a supportive bra is worn for a designated period of time after the physician takes off the bandages.
Massaging may be needed depending on the type of implant you get. This is done to get the implant to settle into the muscle as a capsule is forming.
Our body naturally forms a capsule around a foreign body, and the reason for massaging is to settle the implant while it is being encapsulated and so it doesn’t ride “high” and look all weird. You aren’t trying to look like Dolly Pardon, well, unless you want to. Plus, you don't want your implants to ride under your chin, so there is that.
Any surgery has the risk of infection, hematomas and post-surgical bleeding. In breast augmentation, some unique complications can occur. Capsular contraction, reoperation, implant removal and rupture can occur, although it is not that common, it can still happen.
Your surgeon should go over all of these issues and tell you what you need to look for, especially in the first week. You will be keeping in constant contact with your doctor, so any changes should be brought to his attention immediately - really. Better safe than sorry.
OK, let's talk about making it rain... Giving over those Benjamin's for this trio or duo of surgical procedures can be hard, to say the least. Charges will vary on the individual, as you may need more or less lipo, maybe you want another procedure that isn’t necessarily in the mommy makeover realm, etc.
I live in California, land of the surgically enhanced, and even then, there are differing prices. You do have to take into account the surgery center that you will be having your surgery at costs money as well as the anesthesiologist. There may be 3 separate charges but you may be able to get financing for one big charge.
I say big, because it is a good chunk of change.
Not one single physician will commit to a cost - I called. This is because they need to see you and know what it is you are wanting - silicone or saline, liposuction, mini or full tummy tuck. Each mommy makeover is individual.
However, the total cost is usually between 10,000-15,000 dollars. It also depends on the area, the surgeon, the surgery center, and the anesthesiology costs. If you want more procedures done, it will likely go up to 20,000 dollars total.
Options now are endless as far as financing. Most people don’t go to the surgeon's office for a consult and hand over 10 grand. Usually, it is either financed or put on a credit card.
Think first. This is the single most important take away from this article. Now that you have all the info, you need to give yourself some time. I say this, because you may be surprised how your body can bounce back in a year or two with hard work and perseverance - oh, and did I mention all that money that you could save?
I am not trying to discourage you from getting surgery. Far from it. However, I want you to be smart about it.
Know that you are being marketed to. Know that you have risks associated with surgery - any surgery.
I also want you to know that you are vulnerable during the first two years after childbirth. No joke. All the hormones, all the changes can be overwhelming.
A woman’s body after childbirth is pretty much the prettiest thing I have ever seen. I know, you think I am a weirdo - but you no longer have the body of a teen, you now have the body of a woman who has had a beautiful life inside her.
Our society doesn’t value that, and they should - you should. If you have soul-searched and still feel surgery is for you, then go for it. Not one person can tell you what is right for you.
Only you can do that.