When’s the Best Time for a “Mommy Makeover”

A mommy makeover is a group of surgical procedures performed on women who have given birth to help them get their pre-baby figures back. The makeover typically consists of abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, a breast enhancement which includes both lifting and augmentation and liposuction to remove excess fat. Surgeons can perform these procedures at different times or combine them into one long surgical session.

Plastic surgery, including mommy makeovers, has become increasingly popular among younger women. In 2006, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, 36 percent of cosmetic procedures were performed on patients between the ages of 30 and 39; 29 percent of procedures were performed on patients ages 20 to 29. Many women who are interested in mommy makeovers are not sure of the best time to undergo surgery. The following tips can help answer that question.

After the Last Child is Born

Surgeons recommend that a woman wait until her family is complete before undergoing a tummy tuck. This is because a second or third tummy tuck following subsequent pregnancies may not be as effective or as aesthetically pleasing.

After Breast Feeding is Completed

A woman who is breast feeding her infant obviously is not a good candidate for breast enhancement surgery. Even surgery that does not involve the breasts is best avoided because certain medications such as pain medication and antibiotics can get into the breast milk and affect the nursing baby.

When a Woman’s Weight Has Reached a Plateau

Significant weight gain or weight loss following surgery can make the final result of the mommy makeover less appealing. Ideally, weight should be stable for three to six months prior to having plastic surgery. After undergoing these procedures, a woman should plan a regular program of diet and exercise to avoid weight fluctuations.

When Help at Home Is Available

Following a tummy tuck, doctors recommend that a woman avoid heavy lifting for two to four weeks. This includes lifting an infant or a toddler. Thus, a woman should postpone her mommy makeover until her children are old enough that they do not need to be lifted and carried or until a family member or friend is available to help her for the first few weeks after surgery.

When Taking Time Off Work is Feasible

A woman who works at a desk job may be able to return to work in as little as a week, although two to four weeks is more realistic. A woman who has a more active job will require a longer time to heal before returning to work.

A mommy makeover can rejuvenate a woman’s body and send self-esteem soaring, but it should not be undertaken lightly. The three surgical procedures it involves are serious business. It’s important to wait for the right time before getting started.