While motherhood is one of life’s richest blessings, the physical reminders of the nine months of growing a human as well as the delivery may be less so. New mothers face the challenge of accepting their postnatal bodies − both physically and mentally, which has been shown to have a significant effect on a new mom’s self-esteem. Having recognised these effects, Cape Town-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Clare Neser is providing women with the option to sculpt their bodies back and giving women a rejuvenated sense of confidence with the mommy makeover.
Benefits of the mommy makeover surgery
The great news about the mommy makeover procedure is the benefits don’t only improve confidence, it has functional benefits, too.
- Included in the mommy makeover surgeries is a tummy tuck with rectus plication, a surgical technique to repair the separated abdominal muscles. Separation or divarication of the abdominal muscles is very common after pregnancy and this abdominal muscle repair approach tightens the abdominal core like a corset. This is one theory behind the improvement of back pain and incontinence symptoms.
- The mommy makeover also addresses breast changes. During pregnancy and breastfeeding the breast tissue grows in size due to hormones produced by the body – and the postnatal effects can result in multiple physical changes in the breast. This is easily remedied with mastopexy, breast augmentation and/or augmentation-mastopexy.
Although the results of the mommy makeover are remarkable, it’s important to discuss your medical history with a qualified and registered plastic surgeon who will advise you on the best surgical preparation. Dr Neser recommends waiting at least six months after breastfeeding before having any restorative surgery. “This period lets breasts return to their baseline without residual swelling and allows for a period of weight shedding. It also assists in getting mother and baby into a routine that will make the surgery recovery easier,” she says.
Recovery from the mommy makeover typically takes around six weeks, with most women able to resume working at a desk after about three weeks. More physically strenuous jobs, exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for a period of two to three months after, while no smoking is permitted six weeks prior to the mommy makeover.
To minimise side-effects, it’s critical to be open and honest with a plastic surgeon about your surgery goals and expectations. The surgery itself takes five hours, after which you will spend two to three nights in hospital. During the post-operative convalescing period, bruising, swelling and pain are expected.
When can you have the surgery?
Dr Neser recommends only having the surgery once you have completed your family and no longer plan to have more children, so no further surgery will be required. “Although it’s possible to have a successful pregnancy after a mommy makeover, the changes that occur from pregnancy and breastfeeding after surgery would, in some cases, negate the initial mommy makeover surgery benefits,” she says.
Visit www.clareneser.co.za for more information.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.