Although many women enjoy the experience of being pregnant and even of childbirth, it’s common for them to feel less than satisfied with the way their body looks after these life-changing events. Pregnancy can lead to stretch marks and sagging skin in the abdominal area. It can cause the abdominal muscles to separate and can leave stubborn fatty deposits behind. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also permanently change the size and shape of the breasts.
A mommy makeover consists of a group of surgeries that are designed to restore the body to its pre-pregnancy look. Since pregnancy changes women’s bodies in somewhat different ways, the mommy makeover is fully customizable. Some women opt for a breast lift and tummy tuck, while others choose a tummy tuck, liposuction, and vaginoplasty.
Since mommy makeovers combine multiple surgeries, the recovery afterward is typically longer than for a single procedure. Recovery can also be somewhat challenging because of the intended audience: moms. You’ve been told that you need to put your children and others first. But after a mommy makeover, it’s vital that you put some focus on yourself. Here’s what you can do to help make your recovery after a mommy makeover a success.
Make Time for Yourself
One of the most important things to do as part of your recovery after a mommy makeover is to carve out time for yourself. During the initial recovery, it’s usually a good idea to have your children stay somewhere else and be cared for by someone you trust. Your initial recovery period can be a great excuse for the kids to go have a sleepover at their grandparent’s house or to stay with their cousins or close friends for about a week.
To be sure that you have adequate quiet time during your initial recovery, you might want to do as much as possible to prepare before surgery. Contact relatives or friends to make arrangements for your children and any pets during that first week or two after surgery. Prepare meals for yourself to eat during recovery or schedule a meal delivery service. Enlist your spouse or partner to help, if possible.
Even after the initial recovery is over, don’t feel that you need to immediately jump back into being super mom or that you need to make up for lost time as a parent. Continue to work with others for support and assistance, especially where the kids are concerned. You might hire a babysitter to look after the kids at the end of the school day or arrange for them to spend a few hours at the homes of relatives or friends after school.
Most importantly: don’t feel guilty about giving yourself time to heal or about deciding to have a mommy makeover in the first place. Taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to feel confident and happy about who you are will help you to be the best mom possible to your children.
Find Someone to Talk to
Many people focus on the physical part of recovering from plastic surgery. What’s not discussed as much are the emotional and mental aspects of the recovery process. After a mommy makeover, you might find yourself dealing with a range of emotions. You might feel guilty one moment, or unsure about whether you made the right decision the next. You might cry at some points and not really be sure why.
As you recover from your surgery, it’s a good idea to find someone you can talk to about what you’re feeling. That person can be a close friend or a therapist. It might also be helpful to keep a journal so that you can privately and freely express what you’re thinking and feeling.
Be Prepared for Some Weirdness
Since you’ve already had at least one baby and might have had the experience of breastfeeding, you’re probably well aware of the fact that the body can do strange things. During recovery after a mommy makeover, don’t be surprised if some weird things happen.
Some of those weird things might be feelings of numbness or phantom itching. Certain areas, such as the breasts or tummy, might be swollen one day and fine the next. If you’re concerned or puzzled about anything that’s going on during your recovery, feel free to ask your plastic surgeon. They’ll be happy to reassure you that what’s happening is most likely completely normal.
Follow All Instructions From Your Surgeon
After any type of plastic surgery, it’s standard for surgeons to give their patients a list of recovery instructions. These instructions might recommend wearing a compression garment for a certain amount of time, give advice on how to wash the area right after surgery, and provide tips to help improve your comfort levels in the days and weeks following the procedure.
Even if some of the advice seems extreme or like something you can skip, it’s a good idea to follow the instructions to the letter. If you have any questions about why something is recommended or want more clarification on an issue, feel free to ask your surgeon for more details or an explanation.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon who offers mommy makeovers and other body plastic surgeries at his practice in Houston, Texas. If you’re interested in learning more about what to expect during and after a mommy makeover or have questions about how to make the recovery process go smoothly, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.