Everything you need to know – Cleveland Clinic

It’s no secret that pregnancy can have adverse effects on your body. Bringing a child into the world is miraculous, but the physical changes that happen to you after pregnancy? Not really.

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If you’ve tried dieting and exercising and still aren’t happy with the way things look, you might be interested in the growing trend of “mommy makeovers.”

Although mommy makeovers are popular, they are not for everyone and the procedures are not without risk. Plastic surgeon J. Vincente Poblete, MD, offers an overview of the procedures and what to think about if you’re considering surgery.

What is a mommy makeover?

A mommy makeover is a series of cosmetic surgery procedures that some people have after giving birth. It can be a tummy tuck, breast surgery (enhancement, lift or reduction), labiaplasty and/or liposuction.

Data from the Aesthetic Society shows a significant increase in body contouring procedures, with a 66% increase from 2020 – mostly with liposuction and tummy tucks.

What are the procedures of a mommy makeover?

From a tummy tuck to liposuction, a mommy makeover can include the following procedures.


During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles (and skin) stretch to accommodate your growing baby. After pregnancy, you may find that your belly is looser than before.

If you are not comfortable with the look or feel of your abdomen, a tummy tuck helps remove excess skin around your abdomen and tighten your abdominal muscles. It can even improve or eliminate stretch marks and C-section scars.

“Usually the excess is a combination of fat and skin,” says Dr. Poblete. “The optimal procedure may be a lipo-tummy tuck, with the benefits of both liposuction and tummy tuck for improved contouring.”

Mammal augmentation

Whether or not you are breastfeeding, you may want to consider some kind of breast enhancement.

Mammal augmentation

If your breasts have lost mass, breast augmentation, the surgical insertion of breast implants, can help your breasts appear larger.

Breast augmentation is the most popular type of cosmetic surgery, with approximately 350,000 people in the United States undergoing the procedure in 2021.

The most common type of breast implants used for primary augmentation are silicone implants. It’s important to discuss the options with your doctor, who can help you find the best choice based on how you want your breasts to look and feel.

Breast lift

If your breasts are sagging, a surgical breast lift can help lift your breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the breast tissue.

It is important to know that a breast lift does not significantly change the size of your breasts. By removing excess skin and tightening breast tissue, your breasts will appear younger and lifted.

“What has grown in popularity in recent years is breast lift combined with augmentation,” says Dr. Poblete. “This procedure is a more effective way to achieve a lifted appearance and more volume on the upper half of the chest.”

Breast reduction

If your breasts are larger than before pregnancy — and making you uncomfortable or causing back pain — a breast reduction procedure can remove tissue and reshape your breasts.


If you aren’t getting the results you expect from healthy eating and exercise alone, liposuction, the surgical removal of fat from your abdomen, arms, or thighs, is sometimes an option.

This procedure can target the hips, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Many people don’t realize that liposuction does not remove cellulite, only fat.

“Liposuction works best for localized fat deposits,” says Dr. Poblete.


Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of your labia minora, the skin folds that surround your urethra and vagina.

After childbirth, excess labial tissue can be pinched or pulled during exercise and intercourse, making these activities uncomfortable or painful. By removing the extra tissue, your labia minora will look younger and your pain should lessen.

Things to consider before undergoing mommy makeover surgery

If you’re considering a mommy makeover, it’s important to set realistic expectations. Dr. Poblete invites you to consider these aspects before opting for surgery.


How are you going to pay it? Cosmetic surgery is generally not covered by insurance. Covering these procedures out of pocket is often expensive.

Multiple procedures will cost more than a single surgery. But if you have multiple surgeries at the same time, you can save on anesthesia costs and other hospital costs.

recovery time

The time it will take for you to recover depends on several factors such as the number of procedures you have had, your age and your state of health.

Most procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.

Once you get home, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for care, especially for stitches and surgical incisions.

Most people wait about a week before returning to work. And it’s generally recommended that you wait at least six weeks before resuming your regular exercise routine.

You will need help in the first few weeks with daily activities and you should avoid lifting heavy objects, including children. So be sure to plan accordingly.


Do you accept having scars?

Although the scars from the surgery fade slightly over time, it is sometimes difficult to see scars where you have never had them before, psychologically.

Are you done having children?

You should postpone a mommy makeover if you plan to have more children.

Are you in good health?

If you have existing health conditions like diabetes or heart disease, talk with your doctor about the risks of cosmetic surgery.

If you are considering surgery, you will need to quit smoking for at least six weeks before surgery. Smoking has been linked to an increased risk during surgery and may lengthen your healing time.

And for best results, it is ideal to maintain a healthy body weight for the 12 months leading up to surgery.

“Studies have shown that the higher the BMI, the higher the incidence of local and systemic complications,” notes Dr. Poblete.

How to choose a plastic surgeon

When it comes to finding the right plastic surgeon, it’s important to know what to look for.

  • Make sure the American Board of Plastic Surgeons has certified your surgeon.
  • Ask how many procedures the surgeon does. Choose a surgeon who performs the procedure you want hundreds of times each year.
  • Ask to see the results. Seeing photos of people before and after surgery can give you a good idea of ​​what to expect.
  • Make sure your surgeon is up to date with the latest surgical techniques and innovations.
  • Beware of surgeons who suggest having too many procedures at once. Having multiple procedures at the same time will be harder on your body and will tend to lengthen the healing time.

The decision to have plastic surgery is not something to be taken lightly, says Dr. Poblete. Talking with your doctor about the risks, benefits, and expected results is an important first step.

“Many patients are very satisfied with the results of their procedures,” says Dr. Poblete. “Being able to get back into their clothes makes them so happy.”

But first, take the time to learn as much as you can about the procedures and make sure a mommy makeover is right for you.

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