A “mommy makeover” is a combination of surgical and/or non-surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures designed to get mothers closer to their pre-pregnancy figure.
No one denies that having children is one of the greatest gifts life can bring us. But I’ve seen firsthand how the physical changes brought on by pregnancy and breastfeeding can take a toll on the physical appearance of mothers – and most importantly, on how they feel about themselves. Many women have great difficulty improving these issues with diet and exercise alone, and so they come to me for a solution.
- What does a Mommy Makeover include?
It can include body contouring procedures, facial rejuvenation, breast enhancement, and other options. My patients are ultimately aiming for a slimmer silhouette, a more contoured body shape, firmer breasts, and a rejuvenated appearance.
The combination of treatments is completely customisable and depends on the needs of the individual. Contouring procedures could include:
- Tummy Tuck: Pregnancy changes can cause stretched muscles and excess skin that are resistant to standard weight loss methods. A tummy tuck improves the dynamics of the abdominal core and smoothens its contour.
- Breast enhancement: Depending on the patient, they may want to have a breast lift alone, a breast augmentation with fat grafting, breast augmentation with implants, or a breast reduction.
- Liposuction: This reduces stubborn fatty deposits which are often resistant to exercise or diet – this technique can be used in many areas of the body.
- Non-invasive procedures: These include anti-wrinkle injections and dermal filler, as well as medical skin treatments for facial rejuvenation.
Depending on the procedures involved, they can be done together in one operation, or over a series of sessions.
- How soon after having their children do you recommend someone has a Mommy Makeover?
I recommend waiting a minimum of six months after giving birth and a minimum of three months after finishing breastfeeding. Hormones affect the elasticity and tone of your skin, so to get the most benefits out of the procedure, you should ideally allow your body to reach equilibrium before having surgery, and be as close to your ideal weight as possible.
- Is it a good idea to have a tummy tuck at the same time as a C-section?
No, it’s a bad idea for these reasons:
3.1 Disappointing results
The skin and muscles are stretched during pregnancy – over the next few months as the hormones in your body change, some of this stretching will retract. If you’re doing a tummy tuck at the same time of your C-section, it’s difficult for your surgeon to judge how much skin to cut out in order to achieve a good result.
Recovering from a tummy tuck or C-secion is difficult. Recovering from both surgeries at the same time, on top of caring for a newborn baby, is complicated and exhausting!
Both procedures have risks, and combining them can increase the potential for complications. Around the time of pregnancy, women are also at increased risk of blood clots and fluid retention, plus there’s a greater risk of infection.
- How soon after a Mommy Makeover can I lift my child?
A Mommy Makeover is a significant procedure, so there needs to be enough recovery time to prevent wound healing problems.
On average, the healing time would need to be 4-6 weeks, but it will depend on how much is done, and how fast you heal. During this time, you can sit with your child on the couch, or with them on your lap (as long as they are calm). It also helps if you go down to your child’s level (i.e bending down to speak to them), so that you feel less of a need to bring them up to yours.
I usually recommend that you start practicing this new way of interacting with your child a week or two before surgery, so that it’s less of a shock for your child when the time comes.
- Why do you like performing Mommy Makeovers?
I always take post-op pictures and good physical results bring me great satisfaction. However, the biggest reward I get from doing this procedure is seeing the change in the way patients look when they walk through the door for follow-up appointments. They seem to wear their clothes differently, I notice a change in their posture, and they seem more comfortable and confident. Giving a woman back her confidence is one of the best things about what I do.
- Tell us more about yourself
I’m an internationally trained plastic surgeon whose ethos is to combine best practice standards with an individualised approach for every patient I treat. I like staying up to speed with the latest developments and innovations in the cosmetic surgery field, and I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with some of the world’s leading specialists. I now offer these to my clients from my practice in Somerset West.
“Having a mommy makeover wasn’t something I had planned or even considered before children, but I had my third child at 38 and really struggled to tone my tummy. I was frustrated with the roll over my jeans and the way my breasts sagged. I will never regret the decision to have this surgery with Dr Dower. He always made me feel comfortable and it’s restored a confidence in myself that I had lost for some time.”
At my surgery, we’re passionate about helping mothers feel their best selves. Find out more at https://www.plasticsurgerycentre.co.za/ or call us on 021 851 4339 with any of your questions.