If you just had a baby, we’re not surprised you’re here researching tummy tucks. This ab-altering procedure is a popular choice among postpartum moms.
However, there are some important things to consider before committing to surgical intervention to get your pre-pregnancy body back. At Rick J. Smith, MD, located in East Lansing, Michigan, our team of medical specialists help moms achieve their ideal body image through a variety of cosmetic treatments that can transform your aging skin and physique.
If you have your heart set on a tummy tuck, you’re in good hands with Dr. Rick Smith, our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Here’s what he wants you to know about when to schedule your post-pregnancy tummy tuck.
Pregnancy stretches your skin and muscles, packs on a few extra pounds, spreads your hips, and transforms your breasts. Many women barely recognize their bodies after having a baby or two (or more). For some, that’s just fine. But if you’re one of the many women who’d like to get rid of your sagging belly and tighten up those loose abs, a tummy tuck might be just what you are looking for.
Here’s what you need to consider.
Most women gain weight during their pregnancy, and it often hangs around even after the baby is born. It’s best to lose that weight by eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise because a tummy tuck is not intended for weight loss.
Instead, tummy tucks are meant to reattach overstretched muscles and remove excess skin. Although Dr. Smith may also remove some fat in the abdominal area using liposuction, it is only suited for small areas of stubborn and diet- and exercise-resistant fat pockets.
Once your weight has stabilized, which can take 6-12 months or more after delivery, you can safely schedule your tummy tuck.
Breastfeeding is best for your baby, and we encourage all new moms to give their children the advantages inherent in breast milk if they can. But while breastfeeding, you can’t undergo tummy tuck surgery.
Not only does breastfeeding alter your hormone levels and trigger weight fluctuations, but the surgery requires anesthesia and pain medications that can pass through your body and into your breast milk, which isn’t good for your baby.
Waiting at least 3-6 months after you’ve finished breastfeeding should give your body a chance to return to its normal hormone and weight levels. Bonus: Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories!
And if you find that the breastfeeding experience has left your breasts sagging, deflated, or lopsided, we can add a breast lift to your tummy tuck for an overall mommy makeover.
You can still have a baby after you’ve had a tummy tuck, but keep in mind that you’ll likely undo all the benefits of your procedure. While the changes Dr. Smith makes during your tummy tuck won’t interfere with future pregnancies, he recommends waiting until you’re as certain as you can be that you’re done having babies.
A tummy tuck is a significant surgery, and you can expect to need 2-3 weeks of recovery time, and 2-3 three months until you’re fully back to normal. If you’ve recently had a baby or have other children who rely on you to pick them up, carry them, and tote their toys and gear, it’s best to wait until that phase is over.
Even though your body may be ready for a tummy tuck about six months after pregnancy, your lifestyle and responsibilities may not permit it just yet.
If you think you’re ready for a post-pregnancy tummy tuck, talk to Dr. Smith to get his professional opinion. He performs a thorough physical exam and talks to you in-depth about your overall health, aesthetic goals, and future plans.
If you’re a good candidate for a tummy, he customizes your procedure to align with your vision for a flatter and tighter belly you can be proud of.
To schedule a consultation, call our friendly staff or request an appointment online today.