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How to Plan Your Mommy Makeover from Flabby to Fab

Pregnancy changes your body in a number of ways, and you may not be happy with all of them. While working out and eating right can help you shed a lot of those pregnancy pounds, there are some things that can’t be fixed with squats and granola bars. Many women choose to have a mommy makeover, a combination of procedures that are aimed at the areas of the body hit hardest by pregnancy and childbirth. A good mommy makeover is tailored very specifically to the person having it.

Many women are elated about motherhood, but not so thrilled with their post-baby body.

If you’re considering a mommy makeover, thoughtful planning is the first step. Figuring out which procedures are right for you, choosing your surgeon, planning your recovery… there’s a lot to do before you have a mommy makeover. Use this guide to help you navigate mommy makeover preparation.

Choosing Your Plastic Surgeon

Getting a mommy makeover is a big decision, and it’s important to carefully research plastic surgeons before settling on one:

  1. Look at ratings and reviews. This should be an early step in your mommy makeover preparation. Check around online for patient ratings, reviews and testimonials for plastic surgeons you’re considering. Of course, no practice or plastic surgeon will have 100 percent 5-star reviews, but look for patterns of consistently positive feedback and experiences. You can visit RealSelf.com to see testimonials and reviews of top plastic surgeons in your area.
  2. Schedule a mommy makeover consultation. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, book consultations with plastic surgeons you’re considering. At your plastic surgery consultation, be especially observant. Note whether the practice is clean and organized, and whether the staff is helpful and welcoming. Most importantly, make sure you have a good rapport with the plastic surgeon.

A plastic surgery consultation is a chance for you to learn more about the procedures and treatments that are most likely to help you meet your appearance goals. To help you do this, a plastic surgeon will examine you physically and will ask you a series of questions. By finding out more about your unique lifestyle, anatomy, history and hopes for your mommy makeover, a plastic surgeon can help you understand which procedures should be included.

You should be able to communicate easily and openly with your plastic surgeon.

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

While you’re at your mommy makeover consultation, ask your prospective plastic surgeon lots of questions:

Are you board certified?

If a plastic surgeon is not certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), consider it a deal-breaker. Certification really matters. To become board certified, a plastic surgeon must complete additional years of specialized education. Board certified plastic surgeons work under stringent standards of quality and safety. While any surgeon can perform plastic surgery, only a board certified plastic surgeon has advanced expertise and training.

Am I a good candidate for these surgeries?

Before you can go forward with your mommy makeover, your candidacy for surgery will have to be evaluated. Your plastic surgeon can assess whether you are healthy enough for surgery and advise you accordingly. If he or she sees any red flags indicating that your physical health does not support the surgery or your expectations are not realistic, you may not be considered a good candidate.

How often do you perform mommy makeovers and how long have you been doing them?

It’s best to choose a surgeon who has significant experience performing mommy makeovers. This doesn’t just mean that he or she has been doing them for a certain number of years. Look for someone who routinely does mommy makeovers, and practices those skills frequently.

Do you have a before-and-after photo portfolio?

Looking at before and after photos of past mommy makeover patients is a critical part of your surgical consultation. This way, you can actually see a plastic surgeon’s work and get an idea of what kind of results you might expect from your own procedure. It’s important to know what to look for in before and after photos:

    1. There should be no digital manipulations. Pictures that appear to have been edited cannot give you an accurate idea of plastic surgery results.
    2. The lighting should be the same. The light source and the direction it’s coming from should be the same in each pair of before-and-after shots. Lighting plays a big role in how things appear in a photograph, so this is a really important factor in getting an objective look at a plastic surgeon’s work.
    3. The person should be in the same position. In each set of before-and-after pictures, the subject should be in the same pose. You can’t make an realistic assessment of surgical results if the person is situated differently in each shot.
    4. Focus on people similar to you. In order to get the best idea of how a procedure might look on you, try to focus on people who started out with a body that is similar to yours and had the procedures you’re most interested in. Make sure it’s clearly stated exactly which procedures the person had.
    5. There should be more than a few pictures. Someone who is experienced doing mommy makeovers and who is proud of their work will likely have a fairly extensive portfolio of before-and-after pictures.

    Where do you operate?

    This is a really important question that sometimes goes unasked. Most people assume that all surgical procedures are done in a top-notch surgical facility. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly true and it’s a good idea to make sure. Select a plastic surgeon who only operates in accredited facilities.

    Why does the choice of surgical facility matter? Accredited facilities must meet very high standards for safety and quality of care. All personnel working in an accredited facility must be credentialed, meaning you won’t have to worry about the qualifications of surgical assistants or anesthesiologists. There are many reasons to insist on having your mommy makeover done in an accredited surgical facility.

    How to Decide What to Include in Your Mommy Makeover

    Each mommy makeover is different, depending on a woman’s body and personal cosmetic goals, but some procedures are commonly included:

    Mommy makeovers involve multiple procedures, each one of which is tailored specifically to the woman having it.

    1. Tummy Tuck:A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a part of most mommy makeovers because pregnancy often leaves women with excess abdominal skin. During abdominoplasty, your plastic surgeon will remove sagging skin and tighten abdominal muscles. Having a tummy tuck used to mean going home with cumbersome (and sometimes painful) surgical drains, but today’s techniques are more advanced. Ask your plastic surgeon if he or she offers drain-free tummy tucks.
    2. Liposuction: Another common issue after pregnancy is fat that lingers around certain areas, often the stomach, thighs and buttocks. Liposuction can be used to selectively remove fat cells. Note that liposuction does not treat cellulite.
    3. Breast Augmentation: Many women opt for breast augmentation as part of their mommy makeover. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can change a woman’s breasts, leaving them with a deflated appearance or with less fullness than before. Breast augmentation uses silicone or saline breast implants to add volume to your breasts. There are many ways to personalize your breast augmentation procedure, so talk to your plastic surgeon about your options.
    4. Breast Lift: Sometimes your plastic surgeon may recommend a breast lift, or mastopexy, to raise and reshape sagging breasts. Breast lifts can be done with or without augmentation. What’s best for you depends on your existing amount of breast tissue and your desired outcome.
    5. Breast Reduction:  Not all women experience a loss of breast volume after pregnancy and nursing. In fact, disproportionately large breasts can be an issue for some mothers. During breast reduction, your plastic surgeon removes excess breast tissue to decrease breast size, along with removing any excess skin.

    Non-Surgical Body Contouring

    Talk to your plastic surgeon about whether there are non-surgical procedures that could work for you. Non-surgical body contouring procedures can complement plastic surgery procedures. They can also be an option for people who aren’t good surgical candidates or who don’t want to have surgery.

    1. UltraShape® Power: UltraShape® Power uses ultrasound technology to target and eliminate unwanted fat.* The ultrasonic waves, which are applied using a non-invasive wand, rupture the fat cells.* The cells are then eliminated through the body’s natural metabolic process.* UltraShape®III treatments can take from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area or areas being treated.* Most people schedule a series of 3 or 4 treatments.*
    2. VelaShape™ III: VelaShape™ III uses a combination of vacuum, radiofrequency waves and infrared technology to dissolve fat cells and treat cellulite.* VelaShape™ III can be done as a single 60 to 75-minute treatment session, or as a series of shorter sessions performed 2 weeks apart.*

A Mommy Makeover for Your Face

Facial rejuvenation treatments are becoming a popular addition to the mommy makeover.

While the most obvious effects of pregnancy and childbirth tend to show up on the body, don’t forget about your face when going through your mommy makeover preparation. Lifestyle habits (like waking up throughout the night to feed a baby) along with the natural aging process can make you look constantly tired or prematurely aged. Depending on your cosmetic goals, you may want to consider adding facial rejuvenation procedures to your mommy makeover.

  1. BOTOX®: BOTOX® is FDA-approved to temporarily treat moderate to severe dynamic wrinkles.* This injectable treatment works by relaxing the muscles that contribute to the development of frown lines and crow’s feet.* Many people opt for a combination of BOTOX® and injectable fillers.
  2. Juvéderm®: A popular hyaluronic acid (HA) filler, Juvéderm® is FDA-approved to temporarily treat deep lines and wrinkles.* Juvéderm® can also be used to enhance the lips and fill in minor facial scars.*
  3. Restylane®: Restylane is another highly sought-after HA filler that’s been FDA-approved for temporary wrinkle treatment and lip augmentation.* If you think an HA filler is right for you, your plastic surgeon can help you decide whether Juvéderm® or Restylane® is the better choice.
  4. RADIESSE®: RADIESSE® is an injectable filler containing calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a naturally-occurring substance already found in your body. RADIESSE® is commonly used for deep lines.* Although individual results vary, some patients have noticed their RADIESSE® treatments last for up to a year.*   
  5. Kybella®: While a so-called double chin may not be an aftereffect of pregnancy, if you are unhappy with fat under your chin you may want to consider having Kybella® as part of your mommy makeover. During Kybella®, injections are administered to the area under your jaw. The number of injections will vary depending on your unique situation. Generally, Kybella® treatments take 20 minutes or less to complete.*

Your Mommy Makeover Preparation Checklist

Before your surgery date, get yourself and your home ready for your mommy makeover and your recovery. Make a list of things you need to buy or do in order to be ready for your mommy makeover. Though your actual to-do list may vary depending on your circumstances and the procedures you had done, here are some possible checklist items to get you started.

Arrange for time off. Talk to your employer as early as possible to schedule time off for your recovery. Finish up any work projects that need to be completed before your surgery and recovery, or leave your colleagues with instructions so that you can rest without interruption while you recuperate.

Make your recovery space a comfortable one. Wherever you’ll be recuperating, make sure it’s clean, organized and cozy. You’ll need to just relax and rest during the initial stages of your recovery.

Gather your supplies. Pick up everything you’ll need but won’t be able to go get while you recover. Make sure to get any medical supplies or medications ahead of time, if possible stock up on healthy snacks to give your body good nutrition while you heal. Also, don’t forget to fill up your Kindle with good things to read and make sure your Netflix account is paid up.

Talk to your plastic surgeon about any medications you’ll need to pick up or supplies you should have on hand for your recovery.

Eat right and work out. As you’re probably aware, consistent exercise is good for your health in general. The same is true of eating a nutritious diet. Taking care of your body is a part of your mommy makeover preparation process that shouldn’t be overlooked. Being at your best puts you at a better starting point as you begin your journey through surgery and recovery.

Don’t smoke. If you smoke, your plastic surgeon will recommend that you quit for a period before your mommy makeover surgery. This is because nicotine restricts blood flow, significantly increasing the risk of surgical complications. It’s best to refrain from smoking after your mommy makeover, too. Avoiding smoking during your recovery sets up good habits that will decrease your chances of developing a number of health problems over the course of your lifetime.

Recovering from a Mommy Makeover

Your recovery experience will be unique, depending largely on which procedures you had. In general, most women plan for 1 to 2 weeks of downtime after their mommy makeover.* During this initial recovery period, you will likely have significant activity restrictions and may be taking prescription medications to manage your pain and discomfort.* Following this, you will probably have several weeks of extended recovery during which you can gradually return to your regular activities.* Your plastic surgeon will give you very specific recovery instructions. Be sure to follow these closely, and to call your plastic surgeon if you have questions or concerns during your recovery.

*This information is for education only, and is not meant as a guarantee of results. Your results may vary.