Having children is an exciting and fulfilling experience for women. However, pregnancy can sometimes leave certain undesirable after-effects that no amount of nutrition plans or personal trainers can fix. These most often manifest themselves as sagging breasts and a loose tummy.
The Mummy Makeover was designed as a set of postpartum strategies that help women with their post-pregnancy body issues — reversing some of the undesirable effects of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding through surgical means.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what to expect for a Mummy Makeover and hopefully help you in your decision-making process.
Generally, you are suitable for a Mummy Makeover surgery if you are in good health, have realistic expectations and are at your ideal body weight. There are, however, some other important points to consider before undergoing a Mummy Makeover:
Ideally, it is recommended that you undergo a Mummy Makeover when you no longer plan to have more children. Most procedures do not affect future pregnancies. However, you risk undoing the results of your surgeries if you do have a subsequent pregnancy as it will stretch the skin on your abdomen and breasts again.
Giving birth can put a lot of strain on your body, so it is important that you give it a chance to heal first before undergoing any surgical procedures. The plastic surgeon would recommend that you wait at least three to six months before undergoing your Mommy Makeover, so as to allow the body shape to recover before undergoing any corrective procedure.
As breastfeeding alters the shape of your breasts, it would be best to undergo surgery only after you have stopped breastfeeding and your breasts have settled into a more permanent shape and size.
During your first consultation, it would be good to prepare a list of questions you may have for your doctor and ideas on what procedures or areas of concern you would like to focus on.
In particular, which are the areas of greatest concern, for eg. breasts, tummy, thighs etc. For each area, you should also highlight what are the undesirable aspects bothering you most, such as skin laxity, excess fat, drooping and so on.
Your doctor will then inquire about your medical history and carry out assessments to ensure that you are fit for surgery. A physical examination then follows to discuss the procedures that you would like to have based on your areas of concern and the outcomes that you can expect.
Your doctor will give you a detailed explanation on what to expect post-operation, such as what you should prepare for during your recovery, how long it will take for the scars to heal, and when you can expect to see results. The consultation should also be clear on the surgical goals and what can be achieved and what can not.
When a woman gets pregnant, her breasts increase in size. This size increase accelerates towards the last trimester and during breastfeeding, and the skin will stretch to accommodate the enlarged glands and milk. After pregnancy, you might experience your breasts as flatter, saggier or smaller than they had been.
A Breast Augmentation is a viable option if you would like to have fuller-looking breasts. This can be done by surgically implanting silicone (cohesive-gel) or saline implants. There are also various sizes and shapes to choose from, so it’s best to have a detailed discussion with your surgeon to help you in your decision.
Another option would be to undergo a Breast lift or mastopexy. This procedure can be done with an augmentation with an implant if required. The plastic surgeon raises and reshapes your breasts, repositions the nipple-areolar complex and removes the excess skin around the breast.
It’s a normal occurrence for us to develop new deposits of stubborn fat because of pregnancy hormones. This may lead to the unwanted post-pregnancy “muffin tops” and “love handles”. Liposuction is a procedure where these fat deposits are surgically removed through small puncture holes in the areas of concern. This allows us to remove fat quickly and safely and create pleasing contours for your body shape.
There are various forms of liposuction, such as Power-assisted Liposuction, Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction (VASER), Waterjet Liposuction and Laser-assisted Liposuction.
Women tend to develop extra fat on hips and thighs during pregnancy as well, which can also be removed with liposuction.
Often, a liposuction is done before a Tummy Tuck. Although liposuction can remove fat, it cannot firm a tummy or repair stretched muscles. A Tummy Tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is the only way to address the issue of damaged abdominal muscles.
To accommodate the growing baby, our stomach expands and this causes our skin to stretch and possibly, our abdominal muscles to move far apart from the midline. The surgeon will remove excess fat, stretched skin and correct the splayed abdominal muscles by stitching the torn tissue between the sections of the abdominal muscles for it to heal properly.
Similar to the aforementioned procedure, an abdominal laxity correction procedure helps correct the bulge around our lower abdomen. The procedure for correction involves suturing of the splayed rectus abdominis muscles (diastasis recti) or the placement of permanent barbed sutures to plicate the abdominal muscles together.
Childbirth could also lead to stretched labia skin, causing it to be large or asymmetrical. It may be unsightly but also cause great discomfort due to chafing. A labiaplasty can correct this issue by removing the excess skin from the labia minora.
An alternative would be the use of fat grafting to the labia majora, where the patient’s fat is removed, purified and injected into the labia to replenish its lost volume.
A minimally invasive labiaplasty can be done with hylauronic acid (HA) fillers injected into the labia. However, it is important to note that it is not a permanent solution and will have to be repeated every year or so.
Getting your pre-pregnancy body - and confidence - back is definitely possible, but will take careful consideration and time. It is important to understand that results are not instantaneous and that you plan your surgery when you can commit to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Getting a Mummy Makeover is definitely a tough decision, especially when you have to get into the details of what exactly you would like to have done. Fortunately, you don’t have to make this decision alone. Consult a trusted plastic surgeon for a proper examination and advice on a treatment plan tailored to your desires and concerns.