MOMMY MAKEOVER, Written by: Dr Nerina Wilkinson – Plastic Surgeon
Motherhood is a beautiful experience and every mother deserves to look as beautiful as she did before giving birth to her little one(s).
This month I am honouring the corner stones of our community, mothers, and together we celebrate the beauty of motherhood! After all, our mothers play an essential role in our lives; they are always there for us through thick and thin, encouraging us and giving advice when we need it the most.
Over the past 25 years as a plastic surgeon I have been privileged to cherish the special moments in my patients lives – from meeting their soulmates, getting married, to the births of their children – all such beautiful milestones in their lives.
Motherhood is a very special time in any woman’s life. It is therefore difficult to see how some of my beautiful patients lose their confidence due to the effects that pregnancy and breast feeding have on their bodies. I know, however, that I can help them regain this confidence and help improve their relationships with their husband, their children and most importantly themselves.
For many patients, a Mommy Makeover is a life changing procedure. I hear the same story time and time again: “After the birth of my kids I have attempted so many diets and exercise routines, but no matter how hard I try, nothing improves my stretched tummy and shape of my breasts…“
To me a Mommy Makeover is possibly one of the most satisfying procedures I perform in my practice. By combining various surgical techniques, I can help my patients regain their pre-pregnancy body and, sometimes even a better shape than what they had before their pregnancies.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR A MOMMY MAKEOVER?
The ideal patient is a mother who is not planning any further pregnancies and who wants to regain her pre-pregnancy body. If you were still planning more children, I would recommend that you delay your surgery, as a pregnancy would undo the favourable results achieved from a Mommy Makeover.
After dedicating months and years to your children, you deserve some selfcare.
WHICH BODILY CHANGES ARE TARGETED WITH A MOMMY MAKEOVER?
You may require one or multiple corrections to improve the effects of having a child, these might include:
- CHANGES TO THE BREASTS: during pregnancy, the breasts prepare for milk production, resulting in the milk glands increasing in size and therefore the lovely fullness of the breasts that so many patients love. After childbirth these glands shrink leaving the breasts empty and sagging. The nipple may also droop and the areola skin (dark skin around the nipple) can become stretched.
- CHANGES TO THE ABDOMEN: Expanded abdominal skin, stretch marks and separated tummy muscles result in an undefined waistline. These changes are due to hormonal changes during pregnancy that serve to allow the abdominal muscles to relax to accommodate the baby. Genetics also play a huge role as some patients find their abdominal skin returns to normal whereas other women experience severe skin and muscle laxity as well as the unsightly stretch marks.
- CHANGES TO THE BODY: Hormonal changes also result in unwanted fatty deposits around the thighs and love handles. These localized fatty deposits are resistant to diet and exercise.
- CHANGES TO THE FACE: Tired looking skin and eyes can be due to poor sleep patterns.
- CHANGES TO THE VAGINAL TISSUES: Stretched labia and vaginal tissues are the results of hormonal changes and can even be noted in patients who did not have a vaginal delivery.
WHICH PROCEDURES ARE INVOLVED IN A MOMMY MAKEOVER?
I always customise each Mommy Makeover to address all patients’ specific concerns. A Mommy Makeover can combine a variety of procedures designed to reverse the effects of pregnancy and may include any of the following procedures:
- Breast surgery – either a breast augmentation, breast lift or breast reduction to revive and restore breast shape and volume.
- Body contouring surgery – a tummy tuck and liposuction: this procedure helps return the abdomen to its pre-pregnancy shape by tightening stretched abdominal muscles, sculpting the waist, and removing excess skin and fat.
- Facial – Muscle Relaxing Injections, Dermal fillers, Chemical Peels and/or Skin Lasers restore youthful facial appearances to moms who have limited time to look good.
- Genital rejuvenation – Labiaplasty, vaginal tightening and the O-Shot to improve intimate sensation and function.
HOW IS A MOMMY MAKEOVER PERFORMED ?
The specific steps that I take during surgery will vary depending on which procedures are included as part of your Mommy Makeover. I will discuss all your options with you during your consultation, as well as go into greater detail about what to expect during surgery and recovery.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE RECOVERY OF A MOMMY MAKEOVER?
The length of your recovery period will depend on which procedures performed. Although you might want to start caring for your family right away, you will need to rest to allow proper healing and attain optimal results. You will usually need to allow a few weeks for recovery, and it is important to arrange to have someone help you with your family during this time.
You can expect to feel some discomfort, but this can usually be well managed with the help of prescription medication. You should be able to return to most activities after about 7 to 10 days and resume more vigorous exercise at 2 to 4 weeks. Although the healing time for each woman will vary depending on which procedures are included, you should be able to see your final results by 4-6 months after your Mommy Makeover.
WHICH RESULTS CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A MOMMY MAKEOVER?
You can expect more perky, shapely breasts and a flat, tighter tummy. Body sculpturing helps your clothes and swimwear fit better and your body and face will regain a more youthful appearance after undergoing a Mommy Makeover. The ultimate results of the combination procedures will allow you to embrace motherhood feeling more confidant, attractive and comfortable in your body.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful” – Sophia Loren.