“I Want My Pre-Baby Body Back!” Is a Mommy Makeover the Answer?
Dr. Paul Zwiebel—a board-certified plastic surgeon with a long history of transforming bodies and lives—has a message for moms who feel self-conscious about their post-pregnancy bodies: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help getting back your pre-baby body!
“Motherhood is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but the lingering physical effects of pregnancy leave many moms feeling unhappy with their self-image,” Dr. Zwiebel explains. “The fact of the matter is that pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding result in physical changes like sagging breasts, excess skin in the abdominal area, and fat deposits around the hips and thighs. But there are emotional changes, too.”
Enter the Mommy Makeover.
According to Dr. Zwiebel, a Mommy Makeover is a fully-customized combination of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments intended to address the physical effects of pregnancy and childbirth. “Although every mother is different, a Mommy Makeover typically includes a combination of several procedures,” Dr. Zwiebel explains. These procedures could include:
- Breast augmentation
- Breast reduction
- Breast lift
- Body lift
- Tummy tuck
- Vaginal rejuvenation
- Skin tightening
Although a Mommy Makeover clearly has the power to transform the patient’s body, it can also impact their spirit. “I’ve had moms come to my office in tears because they felt self-conscious,” Dr. Zwiebel explains. “Then, after the surgery, they were happier and more self-assured. There was renewed beauty inside and out. That’s a wonderful feeling…for the patient and for me.”
Although a Mommy Makeover clearly has the power to transform the patient’s body, it can also impact their spirit.
But is a Mommy Makeover the right choice for all moms?
“That’s a really interesting question,” Dr. Zwiebel responds. “During an initial consultation with Mommy Makeover candidates, it’s critical to draw out their objectives and concerns, and fully understand their expectations. Without that knowledge, it’s impossible to know if the patient is ready for a Mommy Makeover or if the procedures will bring about the desired results.”
To gain this understanding of his patients, Dr. Zwiebel has fielded all kinds of questions from moms considering a Mommy Makeover:
- Will implants lift the breast?
- Will I look fake?
- Is silicone safe?
- When do the implants need to be replaced?
- Will there be visible scars?
- When can I go back to work?
- What recovery is required to assure a successful outcome?
- Will I still have stretch marks after a tummy tuck?
- How is the pain controlled?
- Where is the surgery performed?
- What kind of anesthesia is used?
- How long does bruising and swelling last?
- What are the risks?
- Is financing available?
- What kind of garments are worn?
“Once I have a deep sense of their physical and mental state, I can determine if they’re ready,” Dr. Zwiebel explains. “Is it easy to tell a mom that the surgery might not be right for them? Of course not. But no doctor should perform plastic surgery without 100% confidence the patient is prepared for the changes that will take place.”
Remember, too, that not every doctor is equipped to actually perform plastic surgery. So, be careful who you choose to take on the task. Dr. Zwiebel encourages all plastic surgery patients to heavily consider the surgeon’s credentials.
“Many of the procedures in a Mommy Makeover are invasive surgery that require extensive education, training and experience to be executed safely and effectively,” he explains. “If the surgeon you’re considering isn’t certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), that’s a red flag.” Board certification is important because membership requires the doctor to pass stringent testing for admission. Only the finest plastic surgeons can be members.
Before-and-after photos of the surgeon’s work can also be helpful; so can patient testimonials.
In the end, though, the success of a Mommy Makeover is based on a variety of factors—the patient’s health and expectations; the strength of their support system; and the knowledge, training, experience, and skill of their plastic surgeon.