Having a baby is the highlight of many women’s lives. To bring a child into the world is no small feat. Many of us spend years preparing our bodies just for this amazing miracle. Then after our first, or second, or third child, we realize that pregnancy has taken quite a toll on those bodies. Whether it’s sagging breasts, extra abdominal skin, stretched labia, or any number of unwelcome changes, our new body doesn’t feel like us anymore, and despite well-intentioned workouts and clean eating, it seems like it’s here to stay.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
That’s where Mommy Makeovers come in. Designed for women post-pregnancy, they combine a number of common surgical procedures in one package. This helps reduce recovery time, decrease costs, and help a woman to achieve her complete pre-pregnancy body. While a woman can choose any combination of procedures, here are the ones most commonly paired for a Mommy Makeover:
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Breast Reduction
- Tummy Tuck
- Mini Tummy Tuck
- Butt Lift
- Other Non-surgical Procedures
When it comes to recovery time, you’ll plan based on the surgery that has the longest one. That’s usually the tummy tuck. Fortunately, by combining procedures, you’ll recover in far less time than it would take to have them all individually done. However, you will still need to take some time to let your body heal. Your recovery time is based upon a couple of factors, including the procedure with the longest recovery time and also your particular body. With more procedures comes more healing time. Here are some typical recovery times:
- Breast Lift and/or Augmentation: Return to work within a few days; after six weeks, you can lift and perform more strenuous exercise
- Liposuction: Return to work the next day; after six weeks, you can lift and perform more strenuous exercise
- Tummy Tuck: Return to work after two weeks; after at least six weeks, you can lift and perform more strenuous exercise
Whether you choose one or a combination of these procedures, read on for a number of pre-surgery steps you can take to ensure a successful Mommy Makeover recovery time.
How to Prep Before Surgery
You had approximately nine months to plan for your little one, and you likely thought ahead to the basics to have clothes, diapers, food, and all the comforts of home ready ahead of time. Preparing for this type of surgery is similar, although now you can focus on you! Here are some Mommy Makeover recovery tips you can use while you’re getting ready:
1. Prepare a Rest and Recovery Spot: This is a place we should all enjoy all the time! Get your bed or your recliner set up so that you have everything you’ll need within reach: body pillows for full support, drinks, food, tissues, reading material, any sewing, knitting or other pastimes, a container for washing, your phone, and anything you’d like to have close. If you include a tummy tuck, you’ll also need to stay bent at the waist for about two weeks to heal properly. A recliner helps with this. When you sleep, we recommend sleeping on your back or your side to aid recovery.
2. Arrange for Childcare: Since your successful recovery depends on adequate rest, it’s important to plan for childcare. It’s not recommended that you do anything more than helping with cooking or other light activities, so see if you can find someone to help with your child/ren. For a week after surgery, you may be on pain medications that will prevent you from helping with the carpool. And you’re not able to lift anything more than five pounds for six weeks or more, so the daily tasks of hurling bookbags and cellos around need to be on hold for a bit. Take this time and focus on your body so that it heals properly.
3. Prep Meals: This is an ongoing task that you’ll need to think about before your surgery. It’s best to have meals either prepped in advance or handled by someone else for at least the first few days of your recovery period. If you love to cook and you want to stockpile soups and other prepared meals, go for it! Or you can enlist the help of friends and family members to take on this role while you heal. If your children are old enough, it’s a great time to have them pitch in on family meals too. The more you plan ahead, the easier it will be when the time comes.
A Mommy Makeover Recovery Kit Helps with the Healing
There are some other steps you can take to ensure a great recovery experience. Many places have put together Mommy Makeover recovery kits that are spalike items designed just for women recovering from Mommy Makeovers, with special thoughtful touches, like the following:
- Post-Surgical Recovery Bra: This wire-free front-closure bra also features inner pockets that can hold ice/gel packs or prosthetics. It’s made with soft cotton fabric that’s gentle on incisions and has a large band for support and a velcro close for easy on and off.
- Surgery Recovery Robe: This robe with four pockets for JP drains and/or ice packs is also designed with a soft material that is kind to surgical incisions. It has ¾ length sleeves for easier IV access.
- Pocketed Pillow: Soft and cozy, it has a special pocket for hot/cold gel packs to keep you comfortable.
- Post-Surgical Drain Holder Belt: The belt has moisture-wicking fabric to dry quickly and hold drains while you shower independently. It holds up to four post-operative fluid drains and discreetly hides them under your clothing.
- Hot/Cold Gel Therapy Packs: These can keep you hot or cold, and they feature a plush side for extra comfort.
- Cooling Neck Wrap: This simple band helps you keep your cool when things get too warm.
- Guide to Surgical Recovery: Use the book to help support a rapid, safe recovery.
Store these items by your rest and recovery spot for a truly enjoyable recovery!
Mommy Makeover Recovery Time: Tips for Faster Healing
There are also some other things you can do to move your recovery along safely, easily, and with less stress. Here’s what we often tell our patients:
- Ask for Help: This is difficult for a lot of us, but the truth is that people love to feel helpful and needed. So please ask for help. You’ll especially need help with some of the simpler care tasks in the beginning, so have someone help you with bathing, medication, and going to the bathroom.
- Rest, Rest, and Rest Some More: It’s a lot like when you first had your baby. Conventional wisdom told you to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” While it’s a great idea in theory, it doesn’t always work. That’s usually when you want to “get things done,” and if you have another little one underfoot, sleeping might not even be an option. With this surgery, it’s essential that you give your body the rest that it needs to heal properly. You are “getting things done” as your body miraculously undertakes the healing process. Respect it and enjoy the much-needed rest.
- It’s Ok to Cry: Many of us experienced a virtual roller coaster of emotions after birth, and this is similar. You’ve made some small changes to your body, and you may be experiencing pain too. It’s easy to experience both highs and lows. And it’s completely normal. Please reach out to us if you’re having trouble, and we can help and provide you with more resources.
- Don’t Go Back to Work Too Soon: This goes along with the rest, rest, rest idea. You can jeopardize your healing by trying to do too much—opening stitches, inviting infections, and actually prolonging your healing. Give yourself a couple of weeks to rest before you return to work, especially if there is more physical activity involved.
Get Ready for Your Mommy Makeover!
Women go through a lot to bring a baby into the world. At the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery, it’s a real honor to help them regain their pre-pregnancy shape or even enhance what they had previously. It is a joy to experience the physical and emotional transformation. We have helped countless patients over the years love their bodies again. If you’re considering a Mommy Makeover, talk to us! You didn’t lose your body to pregnancy. All of the beauty is still there, and we can help you uncover it.