After having a child, many moms become dissatisfied with their “post-baby” body. When they decide to do something about it, such as a tummy tuck at my Albany, NY practice, they’ve already thoroughly researched the procedure online and arrive at their consultations prepared with questions. Why? Because moms are superwomen.
It’s natural to have a lot of questions about something like surgery. I often field many questions about the procedure itself, such as where I make the incision, how long the operation lasts, and whether a patient will spend the night at a hospital or go home the day of the procedure.
If you’ve recently given birth, though, I often ask you to consider a few other things before committing to surgery:
Is it the right time for me?
Reach your goal weight first: You may read or hear that it’s important to wait at least 6 months after your child is born before having a tummy tuck. That’s not bad advice, but I tell my patients that It’s more important to reach a comfortable weight that you’re able to consistently maintain. After having a baby, it usually takes several months for your weight to stabilize.
Finish having children: I also recommend postponing a tummy tuck until a patient isn’t planning to have any more children. Undergoing tummy tuck surgery doesn’t prevent you from having another child, of course, but if you do become pregnant again, it will likely have an adverse effect on your results.
Is it the right time for my family? Can I recover properly?
You’ll need their help: Especially in the first week after surgery, you will need to lean on your loved ones for help around the house after a tummy tuck. Women who have infants or toddlers at home should also realize that they will not be able to lift their children for several weeks after the operation. You’ll also need to take at least 2 weeks off from work. Some physical and emotional stress is normal during the recovery from plastic surgery, so I encourage my patients to be sure they have a good support system at home.
Should I combine procedures?
Getting a mommy makeover: Combining a tummy tuck with liposuction and a breast lift (with or without implants) is a fairly common choice for women. While a tummy tuck addresses the midsection, pregnancy and breastfeeding also causes changes to a women’s breasts, and many moms choose to improve both at once.
One of the benefits of combining procedures in a single operation is that there is only one recovery period. You’ll generally save on the cost, as well, because certain fees (e.g., use of the surgical facility, anesthesia) are only charged once. If you’re interested in combining procedures, it’s something to bring up during the consultation with your plastic surgeon.