Having and raising a baby is one of the most exciting and fulfilling moments in a woman’s life. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can, however, create changes to a woman’s body that may not always resolve after the baby is born. The two areas that undergo the biggest changes during this period are the breasts and the abdomen. Many women find that despite exercise and a proper diet, these areas do not return to the same as pre-pregnancy.
The ‘mommy-makeover’ is a popular term used to describe procedures that aim to restore the abdomen and breasts to the way they were, and reverse the long-term effects that pregnancy can have on a woman’s body.
During pregnancy for women, skin on the abdomen will stretch to accommodate the growing baby. The skin will try to shrink back to its original size and position after the baby is born, however it is not always able to do so. In addition, the muscles of the abdomen may spreads apart in the middle due to the pressure place on them. This separation is called a “diastasis” although this does not create a functional problem it contributes to the loss of abdominal flatness after pregnancy.
Similar changes occur in the breasts for women during pregnancy, usually increasing in size in response to the hormones of pregnancy in anticipation of breast-feeding. These changes continue until breast-feeding is completed. After this time, the hormones in the body start to decrease and the breast tissue begins to shrink back down in size. However, the skin has often been stretched beyond its ability to shrink back, which results in more ptosis (drooping) of the breasts. The internal support for the breast tissue is also stretched, which contributes to the drooping of the breasts.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding can cause permanent changes not only to the position of the breast, but also to their size, and this varies widely from woman to woman. Some women find that the breasts have become permanently larger, while other women find that they have smaller breasts than they did before the pregnancy.
During your consultation, Dr. Beber will discuss with you the procedures options to address your individual concerns and goals. Procedures to correct changes in the abdomen will vary depending on the severity of these changes. For some women, their abdominal skin and muscles are able to snap back quite well, but they find the baby weight gained in the lower abdomen is difficult to lose with diet and exercise. For these women, liposuction of the abdomen can be an effective solution. Many women however, find that the abdominal skin or muscles are not able to shrink back, and for them the best solution is a tummy-tuck to remove the excess skin and underlying fat from the abdomen. Tightening of the muscles is also usually performed during a tummy-tuck procedure. Whether patients require a ‘mini’ tummy-tuck or a ‘traditional’ tummy-tuck will depend on the severity and location of the excess skin. A tummy-tuck results in a flatter, smoother, more youthful tummy, and often allows removal of many of the stretch marks located below the level of the belly button.
Dr. Beber will also explain the various procedures to address changes in the breasts. For women who are happy with the size of their breasts but wish to correct the ptosis (drooping) that has occurred, a breast lift can be the perfect solution. During this procedure, the excess skin of the breast is removed to correct the ptosis, while at the same time moving the nipple position back up onto the front of the breast. Women who find their breasts have become larger and wish to reduce the size of their breasts often choose to have a breast lift in combination with a breast reduction. Finally, women who wish to increase the overall size of the breasts can combine a lift with a breast augmentation. For these women, the augmentation can be done either at the time of the lift or at a later date.
A mommy-makeover can be a powerful tool to reverse many effects pregnancy has on a woman’s body. No matter what your areas of concern are, Dr. Beber will work with you to help you chose the procedures that best address your individual anatomy and cosmetic goals.