What Are "Mommy Makeovers"?

Mommy makeovers refer to a group of surgeries indicated for women after pregnancy. Learn more in the following article.
What Are "Mommy Makeovers"?
Diego Pereira

Reviewed and approved by el médico Diego Pereira.

Last update: 18 February, 2023

After pregnancy, mothers must temporarily or permanently deal with a series of physiological, chemical, and hormonal changes. Some of these reverse after a few months, while others continue for years. Increasingly popular mommy makeovers refer to a series of plastic surgeries aimed at returning the body contour to its pre-pregnancy state.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a standard procedure. In fact, and as Stanford Medicine reminds us, the mommy makeover is adjusted to the needs of each patient. There are basic interventions that make up changes of this type, but the actual number is conditioned by each case. In the following paragraphs, we’ll tell you what the basic package is and what are the risks associated with surgery.

What do “mommy makeovers” include?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that the goal of a mommy makeover is to restore the appearance of a woman’s body to its ideal state before going through pregnancy.

The genitals, abdomen, buttocks, waist, and breasts are the main areas that are affected by all the physiological and hormonal changes that pregnancy entails. As expected, these changes translate into nonconformity with respect to the body itself.

Researchers have found that dissatisfaction of this type peaks up to 12 months after delivery. Immediately after this until the first year, women must deal with physical changes, many of these unknown to her.

Despite the suggestions to maintain a healthy diet and exercise, the truth is that the evidence indicates a low level of adherence in these circumstances.

For all these reasons, plastic surgery is emerging as an interesting, fast, and opportune option for many women. Social pressure, as the researchers point out, plays a role in wanting to recover the ideal body.

Mommy makeovers don’t consist of a group of specific surgeries, so the following is just an example of what interventions it can include.

1. Abdominoplasty

Pregnancy involves weight gain in a short period of time. In most women, there’s a progressive separation of some abdominal muscles. The amount of stretching is correlated with the increase in the circumference of the abdomen. The higher this is, the more stretch there will be.

From a medical point of view, it’s known as diastasis recti abdominis. Sometimes it’s associated with urinary incontinence, digestive problems, back pain, and umbilical hernias. This can’t be corrected with diet, so the best way to reverse it is through surgery. The most used is abdominoplasty.

This is a procedure in which part of the skin and adipose tissue are removed. It’s done right in the lower abdomen, resulting in an overall tightening effect in this area.

In the process, weakened and separated muscles are also restored, thus reversing the effects described above. To maintain the results, patients should avoid weight fluctuations after the intervention.

2. Liposuction

The mommy makeover includes a tummy tuck.
Those women who’ve suffered from excess weight or obesity problems even before pregnancy can benefit from liposuction.

Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure in which fatty tissue is removed from particularly stubborn areas. It’s done through suction technology and it’s chosen when you want to reshape the body.

The areas where it’s usually applied are on the hips, abdomen, arms, buttocks, waist, and legs. It’s not an intervention to lose weight, but to adjust the contour to a silhouette that will be difficult to achieve through exercise and diet.

It’s also not a procedure that deals with cellulite, sagging skin, loose skin, and other such conditions. This is why a mommy makeover comprises several interventions, as one alone isn’t enough to return the body to its pre-pregnancy state. It can be applied to almost all areas of the body, including the ankles, chin, and knees.

3. Breast augmentation/lift

Due to hormonal changes, weight gain during pregnancy, and lactation, the structure of the breasts is altered. These can appear deflated, partly because the skin covering them has been stretched. Breast augmentation surgery helps to give them fullness, symmetry, and size through saline or silicone implants.

Patients may also opt for breast lift surgery, also known as a mastopexy. In these cases, a reduction of the skin envelope is made, as well as a repositioning of the areola and the nipple for a more natural appearance. It can be used in conjunction with the previous procedure or on its own and doesn’t involve the removal of breast tissue.

4. Vaginal rejuvenation surgery

Vaginal rejuvenation surgery is intended to improve the shape, size, and function of the vaginal area. It’s a complete intervention in which a vaginoplasty, labiaplasty, monsplasty, labia majoraplasty, and reduction of the clitoral hood are performed.

You can choose to do any of these interventions independently of the others. It all depends on the needs and preferences of the patient.

These are the most commonly used surgeries in the mommy makeover package. We reiterate that it’s not a standard intervention. Therefore, according to the specialist and the characteristics to be improved, some procedures may be prioritized while others are unnecessary.

Each case is individualized, although the surgeries described serve to determine what type of areas and improvements are made in this very popular package.

What are the risks of “mommy makeovers”?

The mommy makeover involves plastic surgeries.
For patients, it’s important to know to what extent it’s better to resort to plastic surgery than to accept the nature of their new body.

Mommy makeovers have continued to grow in popularity in recent decades. This has led to a growing interest on the part of the specialists who offer these services, who promote surgeries at a very attractive price in relation to other professionals.

This is the main risk of having a mommy makeover: Prioritizing the price of interventions over the training and experience of the person who performs them.

Despite the fight against them, illegal clinics of this type number in the thousands. Professional assumptions offer incomparable packages with that of certified clinics, so many patients resort to them because they don’t have a larger budget.

Needless to say, surgeries of this type are associated with increased episodes of poor healing, infections, asymmetries, deformities, and the development of life-threatening conditions.

This is why the mommy makeover package should only be done in clinics that have the respective licenses, as well as with professionals who have sufficient training and experience.

Patients should also be informed about the recovery process. Depending on the intervention, it can be for a couple of weeks or up to 6 months. Almost all surgeries are related to a temporary limitation of activities. Consult with a qualified professional to assess the pros, cons, and budget for the mommy makeover you want.

  • Coker, E., & Abraham, S. Body weight dissatisfaction before, during and after pregnancy: a comparison of women with and without eating disorders. Eating and Weight Disorders-Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity. 2015; 20(1): 71-79.
  • McKinley, M. C., Allen-Walker, V., McGirr, C., Rooney, C., & Woodside, J. V. Weight loss after pregnancy: challenges and opportunities. Nutrition research reviews. 2018; 31(2): 225-238.
  • Upton, R. L., & Han, S. S. Maternity and Its Discontents: “Getting The Body Back” After Pregnancy. Journal of contemporary ethnography. 2004; 32(6): 670-692.

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